And Attorney General Jon Bruning has swung the first metal folding chair in what should prove to be a Battle Royal amongst Nebraska Republicans.
Bruning’s camp has published a poll showing former Governor and current Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Johanns, at 39% and Bruning at 30%.
(It also shows Bruning ahead of Hal Daub, in a head to head match-up, 48%-17%.)
[See updated numbers below.]
The poll conducted for Bruning’s campaign, surveyed 400 likely Republican primary voters, was conducted September 10-12 by Dresner, Wickers and Associates and had a four-point margin of error.
So why publish a poll showing you nine points down? Well, we will let Bruning’s manager Jordan McGrain tell it:
“These numbers show that the pundits who say Mike Johanns is a clear favorite are flat-out wrong. Johanns is not the heavyweight among Republicans some expect him to be.”
McGrain may be correct or he may be simply puffing and spinning. Frankly, without the poll’s questions, locale and other details we just don’t know how accurate it is. In any case, you could argue that Johanns’s numbers should be much higher, or you could argue that considering Johanns isn’t campaigning, he’s sitting pretty.
But here’s what we DO know:
We know that Bruning has made the first move:
- By publishing the poll, he has taken away Johanns’s free-ride during his expected announcement.
- He has challenged the conventional wisdom among Republicans that Johanns will waltz back into the state and easily win the primary.
- And he’s done it all at a time when Johanns, as the Secretary of Agriculture and unable to “campaign”, can’t hit him back!
Heck, Bruning whacked him with the folding chair while he was still taking his cape off.
Once again, Bruning has shown, at least, that he’s not going to tap out.
You’re going to have to throw him over the top rope.
And who will be left standing in the ring at the end of this Battle Royal?
***UPDATE 10:45, 9/14/07***
We’ve now seen the poll summary and our comments still stand: You can argue either way, but the real significance is the release of the poll itself.
By the way, in a primary with Johanns-Bruning-Daub, it looked like this:
Johanns – 39%
Bruning – 30%
Daub – 15%
Undecided – 16%
With just Bruning-Daub-Flynn it was:
Bruning – 48%
Daub – 17%
Flynn – 3%
Undecided – 32%