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Ben Sasse’s absolutely dominating performance


Ben Sasse, left, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Sharon Lee and Utah Sen. Mike Lee, stand together at an April 25 rally. (Job Vigil/The Telegraph via AP)

Plenty of folks thought the GOP primary for Nebraska Senate on Tuesday might be a close race — or even that banker Sid Dinsdale had a shot at pulling the late upset.

They were sorely mistaken.

Midland University President Ben Sasse's big win was all the more big because of how utterly dominating it was.

Here's a rundown of Sasse's win, by the numbers:

27 percent: Sasse's margin of victory over Dinsdale. The latest results with 100 percent of precincts reporting are Sasse 49, Dinsdale 22, and former state treasurer Shane Osborn 21. No poll showed anywhere close to that margin of victory for Sasse.

53 minutes: The amount of time, after polls were closed, before the Associated Press was able to determine that Sasse had won. Only about one out of every eight precincts had reported their vote totals by this point — a very rare early call in a competitive race.

1: The number of counties that Sasse lost. Dinsdale managed to carry Merrick County 47 percent to 33 percent. Dinsdale's family is from that county.

30,000: The turnout increase between the 2012 GOP Senate primary, which now-Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) won in another three-way contest (about 190,000 voters), and Tuesday's race (about 220,000). That 2012 race was happening the same day as the presidential primary — though Mitt Romney had sewn things up by then — and Tuesday's contest was held alongside a governor's race.

3,777: There were this many more votes cast in the primary for Senate than the race for governor, which businessman Pete Ricketts (R) won with just 26 percent of the vote.

190 percent: Sasse's raw vote total compared to Ricketts's. It was almost twice as much -- 109,829 to 57,921.

25: Sasse's lead on Democratic nominee Dave Domina in an April automated poll from Rasmussen. Sasse is heavily favored to become Nebraska's next senator.

Aaron Blake covers national politics and writes regularly for The Fix.

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Republicans debate tonight. The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
The Fix asks The State's political reporter where the most important region of the state is.
He says he could talk about Charleston, which represents a little bit of everything in the state has to offer from evangelicals to libertarians, and where Ted Cruz is raising more money than anywhere else. In a twist, Marco Rubio is drawing strong financial support from more socially conservative Upstate. That said, Donald Trump is bursting all the conventional wisdom in the state. So maybe the better answer to this question is, "Wherever Trump is."
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