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Sasse Makes Big Gains as Nebraska Senate Race Becomes Dead Heat

5:14 PM, Feb 5, 2014 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
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There hasn't been a lot of polling in the Nebraska Republican Senate primary so far, though the four way contest to succeed retiring senator Mike Johanns has been heating up. Today, ConservativeIntel released its poll of Nebraska showing that Shane Osborn and Ben Sasse are in a dead heat:

The survey of 565 likely Republican Primary voters found former State Treasurer Shane Osborn with a narrow lead in the race to succeed the retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb. Osborn drew 30 percent support, compared to 29 percent for Midland University president and former Bush-era HHS Assistant Secretary Ben Sasse. Sid Dinsdale, a banker from Omaha, took third with 13 percent, and attorney Bart McLeay drew 4 percent.

It's not surprising that Osborn is ahead, he's already held elected office in the Nebraska. But what is surprising is the huge gain for Sasse -- when ConservativeIntel polled Nebraska last summer, Sasse registered at just three percent. The primary is May 13 and this kind of momentum bodes well for Sasse -- especially since Sasse has been caught in the middle of a proxy war between national Republicans and grassroots Senate Conservatives Fund. This has resulted in the National Republican Senatorial Committee steering campaign cash to Osborn instead of Sasse.

However, Sasse has a very impressive CV and his unrivaled knowledge of health care and education policy has attracted national attention. THE WEEKLY STANDARD profiled Sasse in June of last year, and more recently Sasse landed on the cover of National Review. He was also endorsed by Paul Ryan last month.

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