Okay, this is a local issue for we Nebraskans but certainly of consequence to the rest of you too so here are Robert Novak's comments following Tuesday's elections here:
Nebraska Governor: As we anticipated, Rep. Tom Osborne (R) ended his career with a largely senseless run against the popular, conservative incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman (R). Despite polls showing Osborne slightly ahead, we expected that support for Nebraska's most popular citizen would be overstated in surveys, and it proved to be so. Osborne caused himself problems late with a series of negative recorded calls alleging Heineman was soft on immigration. In fact, Osborne supported in-state tuition rates for illegal aliens, which Heineman opposed. Heineman had ingratiated himself particularly with the gun lobby by dedicating the floor time needed to beat a filibuster and adopt concealed-carry laws.
Heineman will win his race for governor easily without any serious Democratic opposition. Likely Republican Retention.
Nebraska Senate: Peter Ricketts (R) walked away with a victory in this non-ideological race, which came down to his ability to put millions into his own campaign. Ricketts nearly took 50 percent in a three-way race that ultimately was between him and 2000 nominee Don Stenberg (R), the former state attorney general.
Ricketts now begins as the underdog against Sen. Ben Nelson (D), the most conservative Democrat in the U.S. Senate and a frequent ally of President Bush. Like all Democrats in Nebraska, Nelson cannot rest easy -- especially given Ricketts's personal fortune. But the incumbent still benefits from his moderate record. His support for President Bush, oddly, might not be such an asset. Likely Democratic Retention.