Nebraska Senate GOP primary ad war heats up

The Nebraska Republican Senate primary ad war is heating up in the final days as two groups backing Midland University President Ben Sasse launch new ads.

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One, the conservative Madison Project, is hitting banker Sid Dinsdale — a potential spoiler candidate who has picked up steam in recent weeks — with a radio ad, while the other, the Senate Conservatives Fund, is touting Sasse as the anti-ObamaCare candidate in a television ad.

“Are you sick of politicians who run for office as conservatives, then vote with the liberal elites once they get to Washington? Well there is one Republican running for Senate who will do just that,” the Madison Project ad declares of Dinsdale.

It goes on to call him a “liberal Republican” and a “counterfeit conservative,” noting in particular donations he’s given to Democrats in the past.

The SCF ad touts Sasse as “a proven fiscal conservative who will fight tooth and nail to fully repeal ObamaCare.”

The ads reflect the fact that the Nebraska GOP Senate primary is fully in flux in the final week. Multiple polls out over the past few weeks have shown varying outcomes, and though Sasse is largely considered the frontrunner, both his allies and Dinsdale’s campaign have begun to see an opening for Dinsdale to break through.

Similar to the 2012 GOP primary that ultimately sent Deb Fischer (R) to the Senate, Sasse and his main opponent through much of the primary, former state Treasurer Shane Osborn, have been locked in a tight battle over who’s the real anti-ObamaCare candidate. That’s given Dinsdale the opportunity to emerge as an alternative to both Sasse and Osborn for voters wary of the back-and-forth.

Indeed, another Sasse ally, conservative commentator Erik Erikson, targeted Dinsdale in a series of blog posts over the past few days, also pointing to his donations to Democrats, among other things, as evidence he’s insufficiently conservative.

The three will face off next Tuesday, and whomever takes the nomination is expected to easily win the seat in November.

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