Bush To Try To Save House Republican's Seat ... In Bright Red Nebraska?
President Bush will visit Nebraska on Sunday to try to help Republicans save a House seat they’ve held for 48 years.
Bush will make a campaign stop for GOP nominee Adrian Smith, arranged in the wake of polling last week showing Democrat Scott Kleeb moving within reach of the first Democratic congressional victory in western and central Nebraska since 1958. The seat is being vacated by Republican Tom Osborne, the popular former University of Nebraska football coach, after three terms.
It's amazing, given how red the district is. How red? As the Lincoln Journal-Star noted: "Republicans outnumber Democrats by more than 2-to-1 in the sprawling 69-county 3rd District. It is regarded as the reddest congressional district in a crimson Republican state."
But maybe this isn't that surprising. Consider:
-- Idaho voters are seriously considering Democratic candidates for the first time since the early 1990s, a new poll by the Idaho Statesman and by the Boise ABC television affiliate suggests.
-- Polls released by SurveyUSA show Kansas' Democrat Governor, Kathleen Sebelius, holding a 13-point lead over her Republican challenger and Democrat Paul Morrison maintaining a nearly identical lead over the incument Attorney General Phill Kline. Meanwhile, nine former Republicans will be on the November ballot as Democrats.
-- Only three "red states" -- Idaho, Utah and Wyoming -- gave President Bush an approval rating of more than 50 percent last month, according to SurveyUSA. (Nebraska has Bush's approval at 46 percent.)
Are the times changing? It's too soon to tell. Is there widespread disapproval of the Bush Administration and the Congressional Republican "leadership" in red states? Absolutely.