Does it Matter if Hagel Endorses Kerrey?


Sen. Bob Kerrey has picked up a big endorsement, as former Sen. Chuck Hagel crosses party lines to support his fellow Vietnam veteran.

Hagel's support will be announced at a pair of press conferences with Kerrey Thursday afternoon in Lincoln and Omaha.

Meanwhile, Sen. John McCain, the former Republican presidential nominee will be campaigning for Deb Fischer, as the race for Nebraska's U.S. Senate goes to another level in the days before the election.

Bold Nebraska's Jane Kleeb calls it a "bold move" on the part of Hagel. Kleeb's husband Scott is a former Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate and a self-proclaimed "pipeline fighter" through her grassroots organization.

Kleeb spoke on NTV, saying Kerrey's endorsements "really show gaining ground, and show strength versus when Fischer is coming out with her endorsements like Sen. John McCain that she just announced, that shows she's slipping in the polls."

But are pundits making too much of the Hagel news?

"It's easy to say that, but Sen. Hagel is a distinguished senator," Kleeb said. "He's known as a moderate senator who works across party lines and so I think that's why this is significant."

Kleeb said the Hagel endorsement is "a big deal."

"I think it's a good day if you're an independent or moderate voter," she told NTV.

Polls vary widely, with some showing Fischer up by a wide margin. Others show Kerrey narrowing the gap.

Fischer told NTV she watches the polls, but says she's most encouraged by the voters she meets as she campaigns across the state.

The state senator from Valentine has some heavy-hitters backing her as well. Gov. Dave Heineman, Sen. Mike Johanns, and Rep. Adrian Smith will be joining her for campaign stops across the state, including in each of the tri-cities in the next few days.