State Sen. Deb Fischer won the Nebraska GOP Senate primary on Tuesday in a stunning come-from-behind victory that seemed inconceivable just a few weeks ago. With 79 percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race, with Fischer leading Attorney General Jon Bruning 40 percent to 36 percent. Treasurer Don Stenberg was third with 19 percent.
Bruning was the frontrunner for most of the race, easily outraising his two opponents. But he and Stenberg -- who was backed by conservative groups like the Club For Growth and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint's Senate Conservatives Fund -- have been attacking each other. Fischer, who was largely ignored until the end, appeared to benefit from the sniping between the two men. In the final week of the race, Fischer gained momentum and received a high-profile endorsement from Sarah Palin, and then one from Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. A super PAC boosted her chances with an ad during the final weekend of the primary.
Fischer advances to a general election contest with former Democratic Sen. Bob Kerrey. The Republican is favored to win in the red state of Nebraska.