Outside groups pour $3 million into Nebraska Senate race

About $8.5 million has been spent on Nebraska’s U.S. Senate race so far, with $3 million of that being spent by outside groups hoping to influence Nebraskans’ decisions in Tuesday’s primary election.

The candidate who has benefited most from spending by outsiders is Ben Sasse, president of Midland University and a newcomer to politics. According to analysis by the Sunlight Foundation, $1.4 million has been spent by outside groups in support of Sasse, and nearly $300,000 has been spent in opposition.

That overshadows the $267,000 spent by outsiders in support of former State Treasurer Shane Osborn. Nearly $489,000 has been spent opposing Osborn’s election, according to the analysis.

As Sasse and Osborn’s supporters have duked it out on the airwaves, Pinnacle Bancorp President Sid Dinsdale has surged in the polls, and consequently gotten his share of attention from outside groups, too, with nearly $577,000 spent opposing him.

U.S. Sen. Mike Johanns, whose seat four Republicans are vying for in Tuesday’s primary, bemoaned all the outside spending in the race in response to a Nebraska Watchdog question Thursday.

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