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Palin-endorsed Deb Fischer wins Nebraska Senate primary; will face Bob Kerrey in November

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By Doug Powers  •  May 16, 2012 11:02 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

The race to fill the seat of outgoing Dem Ben Nelson was narrowed down to two last night:

Nebraska state Senator Deb Fischer pulled off a surprise upset victory against Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning in the state’s Republican Senate primary Tuesday, marking the second contest in two weeks in which an establishment favorite was upended by a dark horse candidate in a Senate primary.

Fischer, a rural rancher from the state’s 43rd legislative district, eked out a 5-point victory over Bruning, winning 41 percent to the Attorney General’s 36 percent with nearly all the votes counted. State Treasurer Don Stenberg earned 19 percent.

As of just a few weeks ago, Bruning was widely considered the favorite in the race, and was expected to handily defeat Fischer and Stenberg to face off against Democratic candidate Bob Kerrey in November.

(Note from MM: Full coverage from last night at Twitchy here, here, and here.)

Sarah Palin, who had endorsed Fischer, offered congrats. In spite of that, the race is on to paint Fischer’s primary win as anything but another win for the Tea Party. So far I’ve read articles in both the WaPo and The Hill doing just that (the latter actually claims Fischer’s win “dealt a blow” to the Tea Party). RS McCain responds to that.

Fischer’s win certainly proves that the influence of Sarah Palin hasn’t waned. Sarah and Todd Palin endorsed Fischer less than a week before the primary, and that gave Fischer the momentum needed to push her over the top.

(Note from MM: An enormous amount of credit goes to ShePAC, which provided early and vocal support for Fischer.)

Big Apple Bob Kerrey won the Democrat primary, but a recent poll (PDF) shows that he faces an uphill battle.

Meanwhile, Mitt Romney easily won the Nebraska and Oregon primaries.

Also, George W. Bush made an elevator pitch for Mitt Romney.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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