Fischer likes poll numbers as debate nears

August 20, 2012

Tyler Ellyson

COLUMBUS - U.S. Senate candidate Deb Fischer says it’s nice to see her lead over opponent Bob Kerrey hasn’t dwindled since May, but she knows there’s still plenty of work to do between now and the Nov. 6 general election.

According to a poll released last week by We Ask America, Fischer, a Republican statesenator and rancher from Valentine, leads Kerrey by 20 percentage points in the race to replace Democratic U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson, who opted not to seek a third term.

The poll, sponsored by the Omaha, Lincoln and Nebraska chambers of commerce contactednearly 1,300 people producing an error margin of less than 3 percent.

“Even with all the attack ads against me, the numbers haven’t moved, so that’s nice to see that Nebraskans see through the negative ads,” said Fischer, who was in Columbus Friday to tour Columbus Community Hospital and Archer Daniels Midland and for Sunday’s Columbus Days parade.

Over the next two and a-half months, Fischer plans to stick with her positive campaign, simply pointing out the policy differences between Kerrey and herself and letting voters decide who they favor.

“We each have a record, and I want Nebraskans to look at our records to see who we are and what we’ve done,” she said. “There’s stark contrasts between us. This is a clear choice in this race.”

The U.S. Senate candidates will go head to head 4 p.m. Saturday at the Nebraska State Fair in Grand Island during a 90-minute debate aired live on RFD-TV/RURAL TV (Time Warner Cable channel 229).

Fischer said she’d like to debate two more times in September, but Kerrey hasn’t accepted any of the proposed dates.

“I don’t get into the debate on debates,” she said, answering a question about Kerrey’s claims that she is unwilling to publicly state her stance on several key issues.

Fischer is, however, more than willingly to identify some of the major differences between Kerrey and herself.

He voted for the nation’s largest tax increase ever while she supported Nebraska’s biggest tax break, Fischer said. Fischer also supports a federal balanced budget amendment, is 100 percent pro-life, has the endorsement of the National Rifle Association and is against cap and trade, all areas where she says Kerrey and her don’t see eye to eye.

WhileKerrey favors many key components of President Barack Obama’s health-care law, Fischer said she would like to see it repealed entirely.

“As I travel the state, the majority of Nebraskans I visit with say they want it repealed,” she said.

Fischer called Obamacare a tax that took $700 billion away from Medicare and mandates that every American purchase health insurance.

“I don’t believe in the federal government having mandates like that,” said Fischer. “It’s too expensive and it didn’t address affordability.”

Instead, Fischer believes a series of laws and bills can be effectively passed to make health care more affordable, including allowing insurance to be sold acrossstate lines and making it easier for individuals and businesses to form health-care associations, both of which would make the market more competitive, she said.

But, the main issue to address if she’s elected to the U.S. Senate continues to be the economy, Fischer said, adding that the federal government needs to reduce spending and promote growth and job creation among small businesses.

“Everywhere in the state people say we want you to cut spending,” Fischer said.