Half Nelson

By now you’ve most likely seen the OWH poll which showed that only 48% of Nebraskans gave Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson a “favorable rating”. Even less than those, 42%, approved of the job he was doing.

While most of you probably said, “It’s that high?”, Ben Nelson let everyone know what the reason for this is:

TV ads.

Yup, it’s those darn TV ads about health care that have caused Nelson’s woes.

Not his voting for the Health Care bill after withering and wallowing.

Not his betrayal of the Pro-Life groups.

Not the Cornhusker Kickback.

Not his claim that he is listening to Nebraskans on this issue.

Not his inability to recognize that nine out of ten Nebraskans DON’T support him.

Here’s the funny thing about the OWH’s story: They make this little point:

Nelson has been aggressively arguing his case on radio shows and in meetings with newspaper editorial boards. The Nebraska Democratic Party has spent more than $350,000 on a media campaign in support of Nelson.


And that doesn’t even take into account the President’s pulpit and NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and MSNBC. (Oh, but FOX! FOX!!!)

But at least Nelson has one other staunch defender: the LJS’s Don Walton.

Say’s Don:

Most of those ads helped fuel anger and fear about health care reform legislation and played a big role in creating the environment that drove down Nelson’s approval numbers in Nebraska after he voted for the bill.

See Nelson as the face on the giant Kool-Aid pitcher and Don drinking a big, red glass-full.

Well, you know what they say: It’s NOT just a river in Egypt…

Here’s a good Q though: If Scott Brown wins, and provides the 41st vote for cloture on the final Health Care re-form bill…does that give cover for Nelson to change his vote?


We’ll be watching tomorrow night with interest.


  1. Pol Observer says:

    Nebraska has 2 senators. Both were bombarded by TV ads, one was bombarded by Jane Flemming Kleeb. One polls in the 60's and one polls in the 40's.

    Ben Nelson's numbers are low because only 24% of Nebraskans support the senate bill. Mike Johanns' numbers are high because he voted against the senate bill (and also because Nebraskans know if Jane Kleeb is on your ass, it must mean you are doing something right)

    Don Walton, wake up!!! You are better than this!!!

  2. GeosUser says:

    Ben Nelson did a half hour interview that aired yesterday on KETV's Kaleidoscope program. While no one thinks of Mike'l Severe as a serious journalist, the NE Dem Party must have paid for the 30 minute info-mercial on Ben's behalf. Severe wasn't playing softball with Ben, it was more like tee ball. Severe would tee-up some pro-Obamacare talking point, no doubt supplied by Nelson's staff complete with graphics, and then Ben continue spewing nothing but his now standard delusional BS. Severe already suffers from low expectations but his performance confirms those were way too high.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I heard Nelson wouldn't be on because Ben Gray wasn't host. Then I heard pigs flew and then…
    Nelson's handlers need to get a clue that too much of anything is….too much of something. Pull those stupid ads that are boring, annoying and don't sell the product or service.

    Osborn or Bruning? THAT is intereting.

  4. Right Wing Professor says:

    Don Walton isn't better that this. He's always been the de facto press secretary for the Nebraska Democrat Party.

  5. One Out In The Third says:

    Nelson has made his bed. Scott Brown's win or loss makes no difference. Nelson turned his back on his constituency when it mattered most.

    Nelson tells Reid to pull the Cornhustler Kickback and Reid and Pelosi turn around and give it to every state. What's this going to cost the American taxpayer or do to the price of health insurance? This makes Ben an even bigger villain. Nelson lacks forethought…if he even has any

  6. Anonymous says:

    I though the federal insurance was free. You mean to say that if the feds cover the mandate we still pay? Oh, citizens are dual taxpayers for both the federal and state government. So if the state taxpayer saves a $1000 the fed taxpayer pays the $1000. Wait that's me!!!!

  7. macdaddy says:

    Anon 12:18: it's you, and your kids, and your grandkids, and your great-grandkids. We're going to be paying for the past year for several decades.

    Nelson can vote however he wants now. He's not to be trusted. He thinks that the correct answer to "How do we fix healthcare?" is let the federal government take charge of it. He needs to find another line of work because he has shown poor judgement, a deaf ear, and a willingness to corrupt the entire political process. In short, he's part of the problem, not part of the solution.

  8. Brian T. Osborn says:

    I see on the disclaimer of Ben's TV ads that they were paid for by "the Nebraska Democratic Party." It will be really interesting to see the FEC reports on who actually funded them, because the NDP was practically broke just weeks before these things aired. If they couldn't pay the staff in the LIncoln office, where in the hell did they find all the cash to glorify Ben?

  9. Anonymous says:

    Brian- thinking like that will get you into trouble in these parts. I agree with you, follow the money! Wonder if it leads to buffet?

  10. Anonymous says:

    All that money being spent for EBN. Poor Tom White must be really irked, may have to spend some of his own $$. Oh wait I forgot he wants to spend Tax dollars, not his.

  11. Uncle Wiggily says:

    BTO makes a good point (even a blind rooster finds a kernel of corn now and then).

    Does anyone know FOR SURE who is funding the Nelson ads? National Committee? Private money? Local? It would be verrrrry interesting to know for sure.

  12. Anonymous says:

    I know I have read the disclaimers on the adds and saw the National Party was paying for some, near the bowl game time frame, and now the Nebraska Dem Party is paying. The reports should be in fairly soon either way.

  13. Macdaddy says:

    The race in Massachusetts has huge implications for Tom White. The only way he can win is if Obama's Omaha organization is still operative and willing to put out for White. We are seeing in Mass that obama's organization has taken over the Coakley campaign to no avail. They were impressive in getting their guy over the top in 2008. It appears that they are worthless and weak now and in liberal central of all places. Mr. White better have a plan B because Obama can't help him.

  14. he belongs on the opinion page says:

    Has Don Walton always been so biased? It hasn't seemed this bad in the last 5 years that I have been reading him. I always thought he was a lib, trying to look even-handed….I don't think he's even trying anymore…..

  15. Anonymous says:

    "Not his inability to recognize that nine out of ten Nebraskans DON'T support him."

    Any proof of this claim, or is this yet more of the right-wing misinformation campaign?

  16. Street Sweeper says:

    If it helps, this is to refute EBN's implication that since 9 of 10 gave him supporting attaboys, that is the attitude of the state.

    I believe that the polling data shows that only 4.8 of 10 support him.

    But then this is all stated in the post, so I'm not sure why I'm bothering here, but you caught me after lunch…

  17. prairie wind says:

    Does it matter if 9/10 Nebraskan's think Nelson voted correctly? Or if the 9/10 think he voted wrong? Nope. I think the 9/10 number is hogwash of course, but Nelson's vote is not required to follow the wishes of the majority. Even if the majority of the nation liked this healthcare bill, it would still be wrong to vote for it.

    Saying that Nelson should have voted with the majority is a bad argument. Stick to solid arguments: the healthcare bill will not improve our healthcare or our insurance; it will cost us dearly and will not cut the deficit.

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