Former senator Bob Kerrey (D) has closed the gap on state Sen. Deb Fischer (R) in the open Nebraska Senate race and now appears to be giving his party a chance to hold on to the seat.

Accordingly, The Fix is moving the Nebraska Senate race from "solid Republican" to "lean Republican."

This is for two main reasons:

1) A new poll from the Omaha World-Herald shows Kerrey within the margin of error, with Fischer at 48 percent and Kerrey at 45 percent. The pollster previously had shown Fischer ahead by 10 points. (Kerrey's internal polling puts him down five, while Fischer's puts her ahead by 16. Previous polls had shown a double-digit Fischer lead.)

2) The GOP super PAC American Crossroads is launching an ad buy in Nebraska to give Fischer a little insurance. The ads start running Wednesday and appear to be the first money from big major national outside groups in the race, which suggests they see the race becoming a potential liability. Some smaller super PACs have run ads for each candidate, but the national parties have yet to get involved.

Fischer remains the clear favorite in this race, and Republicans say they're confident she will win retiring Sen. Ben Nelson's (D-Neb.) seat, but it's at least worth keeping an eye on this one over the next week.