Just a few days after her surprise victory in the Nebraska Republican primary, anti-choice political group National Right to Life has announced its endorsement of state Sen. Deb Fischer in the race to replace retiring Democratic Senator Ben Nelson.
According to their statement:
“Senator Deb Fischer is a strong advocate for life,” stated Darla St. Martin, National Right to Life Co-Executive Director. “As a state senator, she voted for Nebraska’s Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, protecting babies who are capable of feeling pain from abortion. Fischer supports legal protection for unborn children, and opposes government funding of abortion.”
Fischer was the surprise upset candidate, coming from behind just one week before the election to outpoll and eventually beat Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, who earlier had impressed anti-choice leaders with his defense of bills like the onerous “pre-counseling” omnibus bill that would force those who provide safe abortion care to “forewarn” women of any possible or imaginery “complication” that could arise from the procedure, and his lawsuit against the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act.
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But when it came to primary day, Fischer outpaced Bruning and his extensive party support with her sudden surge in popularity as the “non-establishment” candidate. Voters who were unhappy with Bruning’s insider status and State Treasurer Don Stenberg’s Tea Party and Club for Growth credentials (and reputation for just being plain unlikable) were drawn to Fischer’s new profile as new blood and outsider, backed with recent endorsements from Sarah Palin and former presidential candidate Herman Cain — a Nebraska businessman still popular in the state despite his national scandals.
Fischer will be running against former Democratic Senator Bob Kerrey, who served in Washington after a stint as Nebraska governor, but then left politics (and the state) for New York. Kerrey has returned and is reestablishing residency, and easily won the state Democratic primary.
According to Rasmussen Reports, Fischer currently leads Kerrey 56 percent to 38 percent in this Republican-heavy state. Fischer’s most likely vulnerability will be whether her popularity decreases as more voters learn about her record, and whether the massive support she is likely to receive from eager GOP interest groups will detract from her outsider status.