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Kerrey's comeback bid gains some momentum

| Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, 9:24 p.m.
Republican Deb Fischer and Democrat Bob Kerrey, Senate candidates from Nebraska, hold their second debate on Sept. 28 in Omaha, Neb. AP

OMAHA — A Nebraska U.S. Senate race that once appeared headed for a blowout has gotten newfound attention with a frenzy of spending on political ads and some polls showing the race could be tightening.

With less than a week to go before Election Day, Republican Deb Fischer is banking on her association with the state's most popular Republicans — including Gov. Dave Heineman and U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns. She has tried to tie opponent Bob Kerrey to President Obama and other national Democrats in the deeply conservative state.

Kerrey is fighting back with a nod to Nebraska's history of electing conservative-leaning Democrats by reaching out to Republican and independent voters. His campaign has focused on voters' frustration with partisan gridlock in Congress and has promised to be a legislator who can reach across the aisle to solve spiraling national debt and salvage Social Security and Medicare.

That claim was bolstered with reports that Kerrey garnered the the endorsement of former GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel, a fellow Vietnam veteran.

Between the two candidates is a new rush of ads funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars by outside groups hoping to determine the outcome of the race.

“I think the thing that says is, where a few months ago many Republicans nationally were not taking the Kerrey candidacy very seriously, now they're taking it very seriously,” said Randall Adkins, political science professor at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

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