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A county analysis of Deb Fischer's win
With a win in this Senate race Fischer has skyrocketed from a rural rancher to the national spotlight. The unexpected win has brought up questions of how Fischer managed to defeat her well-known opponents.
As the votes started coming in, it appeared the results would be as expected: a Bruning victory.
Absentee ballots were released at 8:00, and Bruning led with a wide margin.
But at about 9:00, votes started to pour in, and Deb Fischer, the rancher from Valentine, made a leap to the forefront.
All through her campaign, Deb Fischer has preached that she is not the typical politician and she really reached out to the rural voters. It's a move that looks like it paid off.
"When you look at the data, she won, out of the 69 counties, she won 64 of them," said Associate Professor of Political Science Claude Louishomme.
Fischer topped Bruning in most rural counties.
The local county by county break down of votes looks like this:
In Adams County, Fisher received 49% of the votes, while Bruning sat at 31%.
In Buffalo County, the gap was even larger, with Fisher at 53% and Bruning 29%.
Hall County also voted Fischer ahead, receiving 48% of the votes.
But in the more urban areas of Sarpy and Douglas County, votes leaned towards Bruning, with him pulling 40 and 41 percent of the votes.
This difference between the urban and rural voters could demonstrate Fischers' support from the outlying areas.
"I think her organization was state wide, not only in the rural areas, but in the mid-sized cities," Louishomme said.
Recent endorsements from both Sarah Palin and Representative Jeff Fortenberry of Lincoln could also have helped bring in votes for the Senator.
Palin even posted on Facebook about the victory.
"Certainly, those endorsements helped her, but the foundation I think is the real story of her success is the groundwork that she did," said Louishomme.
But even more impacting than the endorsements could be the last-minute third party TV ads that ran over the weekend.
"You see the effectiveness of those ads particularly to the detriment of Attorney General Bruning who had a large lead in the polls just a month or so ago," said Louishomme.
The general election race is now between Democratic candidate Bob Kerrey and Republican Deb Fischer.
As November approaches, this race is sure to receive national attention as the outcome could determine Senate control.
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