United States Senate elections in Nebraska, 2014

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2014 U.S. Senate Elections in Nebraska

General Election Date
November 4, 2014

Primary Date
May 13, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Pending
Incumbent prior to election:
Mike Johanns Republican Party
Mike Johanns.jpg

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2014 U.S. House Elections

Flag of Nebraska.png
Voters in Nebraska will elect one member to the U.S. Senate in the election on November 4, 2014.

The Republican primary for Nebraska's 2014 U.S. Senate election was rated as a hotly contested primary. However, Ben Sasse, who had the support of many tea party groups, defeated the four other Republican candidates by strong margins.[1] The Cook Political Report rates the U.S. Senate election in Nebraska as a solid Republican district, so Sasse should have no problem defeating Democratic candidate Dave Domina in the general election.[2] Sasse also has a huge advantage over Domina in both polls and finances. This should be a huge victory for the tea party, which has struggled in the past to get its candidates elected over more moderate, establishment Republicans.

Candidate Filing Deadline Primary Election General Election
March 3, 2014
May 13, 2014
November 4, 2014

Primary: Nebraska is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. A blanket primary system is used for the nonpartisan legislature and some other statewide races while congressional primary elections are closed.[3]

Voter registration: Voters had to register to vote in the primary by either April 25, 2014, by mail or carrier, or by May 2, 2014, in person. For the general election, the voter registration deadline is October 17, 2014.[4]

See also: Nebraska elections, 2014

Incumbent: The election will fill the Senate seat currently held by Mike Johanns (R). Johanns was first elected in 2008. He announced in February 2013 that he would not seek re-election in 2014.[5][6] He joins a growing list of U.S. Congress incumbents not running for re-election in 2014.

Candidates

General election candidates


May 13, 2014, primary results

Republican Party Republican Primary

Democratic Party Democratic Primary

Independent Independent candidates

Declined to run

Election results

Primary results

U.S. Senate, Nebraska Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBen Sasse 49.4% 109,829
Sid Dinsdale 22.4% 49,829
Shane Osborn 21.1% 46,850
Bart McLeay 5.7% 12,702
Clifton Johnson 1.5% 3,286
Total Votes 222,496
Source: Results via Associated Press Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.
U.S. Senate, Nebraska Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngDave Domina 67.5% 44,818
Larry Marvin 32.5% 21,610
Total Votes 66,428
Source: Results via Associated Press Vote totals above are unofficial and will be updated once official totals are made available.

Race Background

Republican primary

The majority of polls showed Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse as the main contenders to win the Republican nomination in the primary on May 13, 2014. However, a poll commissioned by Sasse's campaign in late April 2014 showed that Sid Dinsdale was closing in on the frontrunners.[19] Daniel Horowitz, from the Madison project, explained that Dinsdale posed a threat to Osborn and Sasse because they spent so much time attacking each other, leaving Dinsdale unscathed.[20] In the weeks prior to the primary, when Dinsdale started closing the gap, Republican groups such as the Madison Project, Club for Growth and the 60 Plus Association began running attack ads on Dinsdale, causing him to respond with defensive ads. In the Republican primary, Dinsdale did overtake Osborn, but Sasse defeated both by a safe margin with about 50% of the vote.

Polls

Republican primary

Republican primary candidates
Poll Sid Dinsdale Ben SasseShane OsbornBart McLeayOther/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Strategic National
May 7-8, 2014
23%34%20%8%14.5%+/-4.9500
NSON Opinion Strategy
April 16-20, 2014[21]
12.8%29.2%26.8%3.3%27.9%+/-5400
Conservative Intel/Harper Poll of Nebraska
February 5, 2014
13.10%29.03%30.44%4.25%23.19%+/-4565
AVERAGES 16.3% 30.74% 25.75% 5.18% 21.86% +/-4.63 488.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

General election

Ben Sasse vs. Dave Domina
Poll Ben Sasse Dave DominaOther candidateUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports (May 14-15, 2014)
51%34%5%10%+/-4750
Rasmussen Reports (April 7-8, 2014)
52%27%5%16%+/-4750
AVERAGES 51.5% 30.5% 5% 13% +/-4 750
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Endorsements

See also: Contested primaries in U.S. Congressional elections, 2014
Nebraska Senate Republican Contested Primary
Endorsement/Contribution Shane Osborn Ben Sasse Bart McLeay Sid Dinsdale Clifton Johnson
Senate Conservatives Fund October 22, 2013
Club for Growth November 7, 2013
FreedomWorks** November 11, 2013 March 28, 2014
Dick Armey November 14, 2013
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) November 21, 2013
National Review January 10, 2014
Erick Erickson January 17, 2014
Mark Levin January 17, 2014
Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) February 10, 2014
Gun Owners for America February 12, 2014
Concerned Women for America February 19, 2014
Family Research Council February 21, 2014
Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) March 4, 2014
Phyllis Schlafly March 4, 2014
Sarah Palin March 13, 2014
Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund April 17, 2014
Ted Cruz April 23, 2014
Tea Party Express May 06, 2014

[23][24][25][24]

Media

Shane Osborn


Shane Osborn's campaign ad

Club for Growth ad attacking Osborn

60 Plus ad attacking Osborn
  • In his campaign ad, Shane Osborn claimed that he, unlike his opponents in the primary, has proven that he will follow through with his promises. Osborn says that while he was State Treasurer, he cut his office's budget and helped find employment for veterans.[26]
  • The 60 Plus Association released an ad on May 2, 2014, in which veterans criticize Osborn for having a friend write a false memo, which Osborn claimed was an official Navy document.

[28]

Ben Sasse


Osborn criticizes Sasse for remarks on Obamacare

Senate Conservatives Fund ad supporting Sasse

Freedom Pioneers Action Network ad attacking Sasse
  • The Freedom Pioneers Action Network released an attack ad against Sasse in May 2014, criticizing him for saying that Obamacare "is an important first step." Sasse defends himself by saying that this quote was taken out of context.[31]

Sid Dinsdale


The Madison Project radio ad attacking Dinsdale

Club for Growth ad attacking Dinsdale

60 Plus Association ad attacking Dinsdale

Sid Dinsdale 2014 campaign ad
  • In a May 2014 radio ad, the Madison Project characterized Sid Dinsdale as a liberal masquerading as a Republican.[32]
  • Following a radio ad by the Madison Project, Club for Growth released a similarly themed television ad in May 2014 saying that Dinsdale would raise the debt ceiling and believed Obamacare has "some good aspects."[33]
  • The 60 Plus Association followed other outside groups in criticizing Dinsdale for not being a true conservative, focusing specifically on Dinsdale's statement that he would vote to raise the debt limit.[34]
  • In order to defend himself against attack ads from outside groups, Dinsdale released an ad of his own, stating that he would try to reduce spending "so we don’t have to raise the debt ceiling ever again."[35]

Campaign contributions

Ben Sasse

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Sasse's reports.[36]

Ben Sasse (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[37]October 8, 2013$0.00$835,103.00$(28,607.56)$806,495.44
Year-End[38]January 26, 2014$806,495.44$569,593.76$(373,636.02)$1,002,453.18
April Quarterly[39]$1,002,453.18$883,903.11$(809,943.09)$1,076,413.20
Running totals
$2,288,599.87$(1,212,186.67)

Shane Osborn

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Osborn's reports.[40]

Shane Osborn (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July Quarterly[41]April 4, 2014$0.00$233,868.00$(4,666.13)$229,201.87
October Quarterly[42]April 4, 2014$229,201.87$336,554.46$(138,996.95)$426,759.38
Year-End[43]April 11, 2014$426,759.38$369,006.02$(213,430.00)$582,335.40
April Quarterly[44]April 11, 2014$582,335.40$617,091.98$(431,148.10)$768,279.28
Running totals
$1,556,520.46$(788,241.18)

Bart McLeay

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are McLeay's reports.[45]

Bart McLeay (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
October Quarterly[46]October 10, 2013$0.00$303,562.53$(42,844.76)$260,717.77
Year-End[47]February 21, 2014$260,717.77$134,161.43$(154,841.16)$240,038.04
April Quarterly[48]April 13, 2014$240,038.04$118,222.33$(209,272.69)$148,987.68
Running totals
$555,946.29$(406,958.61)

Sid Dinsdale

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Dinsdale's reports.[49]

Sid Dinsdale (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End Quarterly[50]December 31, 2013$1,500$682,511$(212,697)$471,313
April Quarterly[51]April 14, 2014$471,313.62$284,731.15$(658,450.80)$97,593.97
Running totals
$967,242.15$(871,147.8)

Dave Domina

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Domina's reports.[52]

Dave Domina (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[53]April 15, 2014$0.00$303,077.00$(112,049.61)$191,027.39
Pre-Primary[54]May 1, 2014$191,027.39$26,681.12$(80,582.27)$137,126.24
Running totals
$329,758.12$(192,631.88)

Jim Jenkins

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Jenkins' reports.[55]

Jim Jenkins (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
Year-End Quarterly[56]December 31, 2013$100$30,500$(0)$9,177
April Quarterly[57]April 12, 2014$9,177.66$33,435.00$(17,051.36)$25,561.30
Running totals
$63,935$(17,051.36)

Todd Watson

Candidates for Congress are required to file up to seven main reports with the Federal Election Commission during the 2014 elections season. Below are Watson's reports.[58]

Todd Watson (2014) Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
April Quarterly[59]April 14, 2014$0.00$10,957.00$(6,162.00)$4,795.00
Running totals
$10,957$(6,162)

Election history

2012

On November 6, 2012, Deb Fischer won election to the United States Senate. She defeated Bob Kerrey and Russell Anderson in the general election.

U.S. Senate, Nebraska General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDeb Fischer 57.8% 455,593
     Democratic Bob Kerrey 42.2% 332,979
Total Votes 788,572
Source: Nebraska Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

2008

On November 4, 2008, Johanns was elected to the United States Senate. He defeated Scott Kleeb (D), Kelly Renee Rosberg (Nebraska), and Steve Larrick (Green).[60]

U.S. Senate, Nebraska General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike Johanns 57.5% 455,854
     Democratic Scott Kleeb 40.1% 317,456
     Nebraska Kelly Renee Rosberg 1.4% 11,438
     Green Steven R. Larrick 1% 7,763
Total Votes 792,511

See also

External links

References

  1. Fox News, "Tea Party-backed candidate Sasse wins GOP Senate primary in Nebraska," accessed May 28, 2014
  2. The Cook Political Report, "2014 Senate Race Ratings for May 23, 2014
  3. National Conference of State Legislatures Website, "State Primary Election Types," accessed January 6, 2014
  4. Nebraska Secretary of State Website, "Voter Information Frequently Asked Questions," accessed January 3, 2014
  5. NY Times.com, "Republican Senator From Nebraska Won’t Run in 2014," February 18, 2013
  6. 6.0 6.1 NBC News, "Johanns on Senate retirement: 'Time to close this chapter,'" February 18, 2013
  7. Watchdog.org, "Sasse jumping in Senate race", accessed August 19, 2013
  8. Journal Star "Shane Osborn launches Senate campaign," accessed July 15, 2013
  9. Campaign website, "Home," accessed February 5, 2014
  10. Campaign website, "Home", accessed February 5, 2014
  11. Campaign website, "Home", accessed December 11, 2013
  12. Nebraska Watchdog, "Democrat enters Nebraska U.S. Senate race" January 21, 2014
  13. Nebraska Secretary of State, "Statewide Candidate List for May 13, 2014 Primary Election," accessed May 11, 2014
  14. Candidate Website, "Intro", accessed January 14, 2014
  15. Campaign website, "Home," accessed February 27, 2014
  16. Campaign website, "Home," accessed February 27, 2014
  17. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named rollcall
  18. Omaha World-Herald, "Dave Heineman weighs Senate bid," February 18, 2013
  19. National Review, "New Poll: Sasse Leads Tough Three-Way Fight in Nebraska," accessed May 11, 2014
  20. Roll Call, "Sid Dinsdale Fires Back in TV Ad," accessed May 11, 2014
  21. The Hill, "Poll: Nebraska Senate GOP primary a dead heat," accessed May 5, 2014
  22. FreedomWorks, "FreedomWorks PAC Withdraws Osborn Support, Endorses Ben Sasse in Nebraska Senate Race," accessed March 28, 2014
  23. Omaha.com, "Senate hopeful Ben Sasse picks up endorsement of ex-House Majority Leader Dick Armey," accessed November 15, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 Watchdog.org, "FreedomWorks endorses Osborn for Senate," accessed November 13, 2013
  25. Roll Call, "Rep. Paul Ryan Gives Support to Ben Sasse in Nebraska Senate Race," accessed November 19, 2013
  26. YouTube, "Proven Conservative," accessed March 31, 2014
  27. YouTube, "Nebraska Way," accessed April 23, 2014
  28. Roll Call, "Veterans Blast Shane Osborn on TV in Senate Race," accessed May 5, 2014
  29. National Journal, "Osborn's New Ad Hits Sasse's Obamacare Past," accessed April 29, 2014
  30. The Hill, "Nebraska Senate GOP primary ad war heats up," accessed May 8, 2014
  31. Roll Call, "Super PAC Uses Candidate’s Kids to Attack His Campaign," accessed May 8, 2014
  32. YouTube, "Nebraska Senate: Sid Dinsdale: Counterfeit Conservative," accessed May 11, 2014
  33. Roll Call, "Outside Groups Target Dinsdale Ahead of Nebraska Primary," accessed May 11, 2014
  34. YouTube, "Debt," accessed May 11, 2014
  35. Roll Call, "Sid Dinsdale Fires Back in TV Ad," accessed May 11, 2014
  36. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  37. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse October Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  38. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse Year-End," accessed April 29, 2014
  39. Federal Election Commission, "Ben Sasse April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  40. Federal Election Commission, "Shane Osborn Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  41. Federal Election Commission, "Shane Osborn July Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  42. Federal Election Commission, "Shane Osborn October Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  43. Federal Election Commission, "Shane Osborn Year-End," accessed April 29, 2014
  44. Federal Election Commission, "Shane Osborn April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  45. Federal Election Commission, "Bart McLeay Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  46. Federal Election Commission, "Bart McLeay October Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  47. Federal Election Commission, "Bart McLeay Year-End," accessed April 29, 2014
  48. Federal Election Commission, "Bart McLeay April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  49. Federal Election Commission, "Sid Dinsdale Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  50. Federal Election Commission, "Sid Dinsdale Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 18, 2014
  51. Federal Election Commission, "Sid Dinsdale April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  52. Federal Election Commission, "Dave Domina Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  53. Federal Election Commission, "Dave Domina April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  54. Federal Election Commission, "Dave Domina Pre-Primary," accessed June 18, 2014
  55. Federal Election Commission, "Jenkins 2014 Summary reports," accessed April 29, 2014
  56. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Jenkins Year-End Quarterly," accessed February 27, 2014
  57. Federal Election Commission, "Jim Jenkins April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  58. Federal Election Commission, "Todd Watson Summary Report," accessed April 29, 2014
  59. Federal Election Commission, "Todd Watson April Quarterly," accessed April 29, 2014
  60. U.S. Congress House Clerk "Statistics of the Congressional Election of November 4, 2008"