Bruning swings a poll at Johanns


Consider this the first full day of the Nebraska Senate GOP Primary.

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.”

Now…

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%

11 comments

  1. Neal Obermeyer says:

    Oooh, a wrestling analogy.

    How about this submission (no pun intended) … sometimes, in a battle royale situation, you can use an opponent’s own momentum against them to carry them over the top rope.

    And in this case, most of Bruning’s momentum has come from being the anti-Hagel.

  2. Eric says:

    I’ve said it before. Why does Bruning only poll head-to-head match ups? Especially when it is likely that both Johanns and Daub will be in the race? That’s not how the primary works, so it doesn’t really prove much. The only thing I can assume is that Bruning loses big in a multi-candidate race or he’d be releasing polls showing otherwise.

  3. Street Sweeper says:

    Bruning… Johanns… Daub… Raimondo… Flynn…

    It will be a crowded ring. Which is why we look not so much at the numbers, but at the release of the poll itself…

  4. One Out In The Third says:

    “Cosmic Bob” in his orange-pink day-glo tights with his manager “Stormin’ Norman” Hsu standing in the corner?

    Didn’t Kleeb play the poll the other way and lose by 10 percent? His strategy backfired. I wonder if Kleeb returned his 2000.00 in Hsu money? Kleeb is the young Turk that at the onset everyone immediately tosses out of the ring because he doesn’t have the skills or ability to stand in.

    Is this Bruning showing he is a straight shooter…a “I’ve got nothing to hide kind of guy?” He could have sat on the poll and in this day and age it is odd that he didn’t.

    Hagel was the master of his own demise…he tripped over the top rope.

  5. CrissCross says:

    Bruning’s support is crowded into the 55-plus category. This group accounts for 76% of his support but only about 31 percent of the eligible voter base, using 2000 census numbers. Two concerns then are that a poll is unable to reach many younger people who are wireless-only users and the prediction that the millenials will exert a tremendous influence in 2008. This may not be a factor in the primary, but could be fatal for Bruning in the general election.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The Buss in Palisade says…..

    I encourage any and all to check out Pat Flynn’s website and look at his campaign announcement youtubes. looks like he’s really hitting the ground…..period.

  7. Street Sweeper says:

    CrissCross,

    Since you apparently have seen the poll itself, your note that Bruning’s support is in the 55 and over age category is inaccurate.

    The respondents to the poll were largely in that category, but that only means ALL the percentages come from that range as well (unless you have access to some cross-tabs, that we do not).

    That being said, who knows how a poll which accurately resembles the ages percentages of likely voeters would come out?

    I also maintain that the wireless-only vote is negligible, but that could be debated.

  8. OmaSteak says:

    The wireless-only generation doesn’t vote. That’s been demonstrated time and time again. So what’s the sense of polling them? Whomever the Republican candidate for senate turns out to be, their only concern should be making sure that Bob “Moonbeam” Kerrey isn’t able to pull a Ben Nelson (talk conservative at home to get elected then be a true Dem in DC until up for election again).

  9. Street Sweeper says:

    (Sorry OmaSteak, “Moonbeam” has already been taken. That’s the moniker Mike Royko gave CA Gov Jerry Brown back in the 70s…)

  10. Street Sweeper says:

    As many of you have probably seen, Hal Daub will be doing his announcement fly-around tour on Monday. We will probably wait until then to comment.
    -SS

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