Nelson received some good news at the end of November in the results of an internal poll showing an uptick in his favorability and an improved standing against his likely Republican opponent. But the bump didn't come from nowhere. Seven figures worth of advertising from allied groups, which outpaced the six figures spent by opponents, and a series of Bruning missteps propelled the Democrat's numbers.
Nelson campaign manager Paul Johnson
said that the hits against the senator will not have a major impact on Nelson's decision about whether or not he will run. Still, the attacks could spur some new energy in the Nelson camp.
"If somebody kicks you in the chin you tend to react to that," Johnson added.
That sounds a lot like what Nelson told Politico
"It's like the cat that chases something that's running," he said. "There's an urge to say, 'OK, now ... 'Let's go.'"