Former Sen. Bob Kerrey now appears likely to launch a bid for the seat expected to be vacated by Sen. Chuck Hagel. Kerrey has said that he will not run against Hagel, but that he also expects that Hagel will call it quits. A Kerrey candidacy would put the seat in play while maintaining a Republican edge.
Kerrey served in the Senate for two terms and Governor for one. He’s a fairly popular figure in Nebraska, but would get beaten badly if he challenged the incumbent. Nebraska has a history of being open to Democrats who are perceived as moderate, but Kerrey’s time at New School University may make it difficult for him to maintain that image.
If former Governor and current Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns entered the race, he’d be a solid favorite for the seat. If not, any Republican would maintain the early edge, but would be in for a race. Democrats are hopeful that Kerrey would enter because he has proven himself in statewide elections. Though other Democrats may put up a fight, no one else looking at a bid has won anythinig close to a statewide race.