#NESen: Sasse announces he’s raised $750k — not a longshot after all

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Published on September 30, 2013

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Is it possible that Nebraska will soon have the only Senator ever to read the entire Obamacare bill?

The putative favorite for Nebraska’s open Senate seat this year is Shane Osborn, the former Republican state treasurer. But Ben Sasse, a conservative former Assistant HHS Secretary, president of Midland University, and self-described scourge of Obamacare, has surprised everyone with a record-breaking fundraising haul, Breitbart reports. He has raised $750,000 in the eight weeks since he launched his candidacy.

That’s an enormous haul for a small and relatively inexpensive state like Nebraska, especially considering we’re still just talking about the primary.

The most important way to measure the fundraising, of course, is relative to the other candidates in this crowded primary, who don’t have to report their numbers until next month. But Sasse, a wonkish first-time candidate who says he has read the entire Obamacare bill, raised more than three times what Osborn reported raising in his first quarter in the race.

In his 2000 open-seat race for the state’s other Senate seat, former Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., had to raise only $2.7 million for what turned out to be a very close race. When retiring Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., originally won this seat in 2008, he raised only $3.9 million in all.

Sasse has very little name recognition, as our poll of the race from June demonstrated, but with a warchest like that, he can compete with anyone.

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