Republican state senator Deb Fischer won the Nebraska Senate race, beating former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey. NBC and CBS called the race shortly before 10:30 p.m.
The seat is currently held by retiring Democrat Ben Nelson. The Nebraska seat was always viewed as a challenge for Democrats to hold onto in the very red Cornhusker State.
The Republican rancher had been a dark horse candidate during the primary season, but ultimately upended better-known names Don Stenberg, the state treasurer, and Jon Bruning, the attorney general, for the nomination after receiving endorsements from national figures such as Sarah Palin and a sizeable late ad buy from the conservative Ending Spending Action Fund super PAC.
Kerrey served in the Senate from 1989 to 2001. He spent the past decade in New York as head of The New School, and his Republican opponents used that against him, painting him as an outsider, no longer in touch with Nebraska mores. Kerrey gained some momentum back late in the race with a series of television ads attacking Fischer's character and endorsements from several former Republican senators, but was unable to make up the difference in the end.
Check out our full analysis of the Nebraska Senate race here.