Will Nelson stick around for 2012?

Hopefully by now you have seen the poll that Senator Ben Nelson’s spokesdude, (former OWH reporter) Jake Thompson is so pumped about.

It shows that…

  • 55% of Nebraskans think Ben Nelson should be replaced in 2012
  • Nelson would lose to Jon Bruning 50% – 35%
  • Jon Brunings “Favorable” rating is 53%

But Thompson is pumped that Nelson’s Favorable is 50%.

Rock on Jake. Rock on.

***

So that leaves the follow-up question: Will Ben Nelson bother with 2012?

Hmm.

In 2012 Nelson will be 71 years old.

The Washington Post recently speculated that he has not really been raising money on par with a “serious” candidate for re-election.

Oh sure Nelson says he is running.
But then adds the caveat that he has not made his final decision.

In the mean time, the LJS’s Don Walton is writing features about Tony Raimondo on Election Day.

And then there is still the ghost of Bob Kerrey looming out there, still wanting to stay in politics.

It is enough to make you wonder, eh?

***

In the mean time, we have heard a number of candidate rejections for a Senate campaign in the past few days.

All of the Congressional delegation, out.
Speaker Mike Flood out (hey, we didn’t even know he was in!).
Walton gave Pete Ricketts a “nope”.

That leaves, along with Bruning…
Don Stenberg?
Mike Foley?
And then, state Senator Deb Fischer (of Valentine)? (Really?)

Who knows?

Problem for any other candidates is that if they sit back at this point, Bruning will have a giant lead on them, financially. Well, he will no matter what happens.

Frankly, there is a decent chance that the road to the nom will be plowed clean for Bruning.

Stenberg way feel, “why the hell not”, but does he have a shot? Geez…

Oh sure, it’s a long road, and lots could change and all that.

Then again, maybe not.

47 comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    So, the NEGOP spent money on a poll for an election that is two years away.

    I am really glad there were no close legislative races this cycle. No GOP candidates losing to liberal Dems by 36 or 90 votes that could have used additional resources. At least the NEGOP saved money and only asked about two GOP candidates. They could have saved even more money by not polling Heineman considering he said a 2012 Senate race was "unlikely."

    Anyone hear of any conservative grass-roots movement that targets and defeats establishment candidates/career politicians?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Anyone hear of any conservative grass-roots movement that targets and defeats establishment candidates/career politicians?

    I thought that's what the Tea Party did. Unfortunately Nebraska's TP is really weak tea.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I was waiting for some idiot to blame the NEGOP on a leghislative loss.

    The races lost by those close margins were all on the candidates who did not work for their election.

    One candidate did everything he could to keep the GOP at arms length until the end and the other thought he had a cake walk and was lazy.

    No third party can win a race for a candidate if the refuse help or don't do their own work.

  4. GeosUser says:

    EBN was on KFAB yesterday trying to position himself as "focused on working for Nebraska in 2011" and "I'm raising money for reelection but I haven't decided yet"…just what you'd expect from a pol that knows he's got serious reelection problems ahead. When asked if Obamacare hurt Dems in recent elections, EBN got very defensive and tried out several old defenses in an attempt to justify his career-ending vote. You could tell he wasn't even buying what he was saying. He's toast.

  5. Fall Out says:

    Does anybody know the last time a an incumbent State Senator was defeated? And when it was a woman? Just wondering if taking a seat away this year by Brasch and the NEGOP would really count?

    Looks like Big Labor's investment didn't pan out and Krist is heading back to the Capitol. Does this have implications on CIR reform? Can the legislature decertify public unions?

    Then there is the redistricting issue and the 2CD. Not to mention Winner Takes All.

    Oh and looks like there is some movement by Sen Nordquist to take the Nebraska Retirement Chair. What's up with that?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Ben Nelson thinks his ethical rot smells like fine cheddar. He’s toast.

    Yes, the NEGOP spent money on a poll two years away. Democrats are big on feeling happy. Maybe they can look at Bob Kerry’s old polls and feel better.

    The smart comment is by 5:59. Said the losses were on candidates who "did not work for their election". Valid point. No influence is strong enough to overcome a really lazy, stupid or self destructive candidate, thank goodness.

    These are real people for a real job. Nebr voters don’t need a US Senate advocate like Nelson who plays and angers both sides in his smarmy games, or Stenberg who can hardly be expected to win arguments in the Senate when he cannot even win his own party's voters in Nebraska. There is a weight of respect due to someone like Bruning who tends to succeed in the critical argument that is an election.

    If Nelson, Stenberg and others cannot argue well enough to convince Nebraska voters, they shouldn’t be expected to convince other Senators. That leaves our hat off to whomever is the least lazy, stupid and self destructive candidate… or, if that irritates you, whomever is the most hard working, intelligent and self advancing candidate. At this point, that’s probably Bruning.

  7. Ethos says:

    Aww come on, Stenberg is a standup guy who has won more than a few elections. Sure he lost a few, but that is the nature of the game. I will take Stenberg over Nelson every time. Stenberg is also a man with good ethics and family values.

    Now with all that said I may not vote for him in a primary.

  8. Anonymous says:

    It appears like the NEGOP is already ensorsing Jon Bruning for U.S. Senate. I must have missed that vote at the last SCC meeting.

  9. Nattering Nabob of Negativism says:

    Ben Nelson just got the biggest endorsement he's going to get for his 2012 race. No surprise here, it is from his every trusty sidekick, Vile Kyle.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Chad Wright could have won if the NEGOP would have spent that money they spent on the Bruning poll on helping him get elected. Another case of mismanaged priorities.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Maybe if Republican leaders were less focused on the Suttle recall and more on winning legislative racces we'd have some different outcomes.

  12. Grundle King says:

    @ 10:39, according to the Lancaster county election commissioner, the vote totals indicate the following Republicans won in Lancaster County…

    Jeff Fortenberry – House of Reps
    Dave Heineman – Governor
    John Gale – Sec. of State
    Don Stenberg – State Treasurer
    Jon Bruning – Atty General
    Mike Foley – Auditor
    Deb Schorr – County Commish Dist 3
    Brent Smoyer – County Commish Dist 5
    Norm Agena – Co. Assessor
    Terry Wagner – Co. Sheriff
    Andy Stebbing – Co. Treasurer
    Joe Kelly – Co. Attorney
    Sue Kirkland – Dist. Court Clerk
    Don Thomas – Co. Engineer
    John Knabe – Legislature District 30

    The Democrats who won in Lancaster Co. are as follows:

    Jane Raybould – County Commish Dist 1
    Dan Nolte – County Clerk
    Dennis Keefe – Public Defender
    Amanda McGill – Legislature Dist 26
    Bill Avery – Legislature Dist 28
    Danielle (Nantkes) Conrad – Legislature Dist 46

    I suspect your intention was to portray Republicans in Lancaster County as a dying breed. It would appear as though they fare rather well here…though I'll scratch my head bald wondering how the idiot voters of my district put the snowplow battering ram into office again.

  13. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    I detect a note of sarcasim re: Deb Fischer (of Valentine?) (Really?) Why not a mature woman with an ag background? She's older than most of the capable men whose names are put forth here. And it happens to be the year of the conservative (pro-life) woman. If any of these men are qualified so is Sen. Fischer. (This is not an endorsement or non-endorsement of anyone. Simply rankles me that a conservative woman is given the brush-off.)

  14. Anonymous says:

    I'm curious…which party fared the best in truly contested matches? Obviously, Republicans own the statewide and Federal Offices, but most were uncontested or had no viable opponent. But the same argument can be made for Democrats in Douglas County. Obviously, Lee Terry was a big win, but what about lower ticket races where the parties actually had to fight each other. Sorry for being lazy, but I don't know all the races that well and don't feel like doing the research. 🙂

  15. Street Sweeper says:

    Julie,

    If it had been reported that state Senate TED Fischer of Valentine was thinking of running, he would have received the same response.

    State Legislature to US Senate (in Nebraska anyway) is a leap. It isn't impossible, but it is not the traditional route.

    And like it or not, Senator Fischer isn't exactly a name widely known across the state. So when a relative unknown from a small town is mentioned for the biggest statewide race of the upcoming election, we say, "Really?"

    If it helps, Julie, if YOU had said you were interested in running, we would have been much less surprised.

    SS

  16. Anonymous says:

    Danielle Conrad won because her opponent was completely unqualified. Of course that hasn't prevented many other Republicans from getting elected. I would say that the county Dems have a better GOTV operation than the Rs.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Conrad won because the NSEA dumped over $50,000 against Chad Wright the final week of the campaign and paid "volunteers" to work for her.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Grundle King, my comment was 'contested' races. Among them Democrats won Wallman, Avery, Raybould, Conrad, and Mcgill, the Republicans won Smoyer, the laziest Nebraska state employee.

  19. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Sweeper, you may have the accurate read on what traditionally plays in NE. However if this election taught us anything it's that people are tired of biz as usual. Now if the Tea Party people end up being marathoners instead of sprinters, I think you will see a whole lot more agitation out in the "hinterlands" by "unknowns." In some States those are just the type of candidates who catch fire and who may have a shot at upsetting the apple cart. And yes, some of them are lesser known women officeholders or non-officeholders. (Yes I know Sharon Angle and Christine O'Donnell lost.) I just don't concur that the only woman whose name comes up in the context of a Senate race should be dismissed just because she is from a rural area and not a household name. Again, I would reiterate that we're supposed to be in the Year of the Conservative Woman here (hopefully decade) and maybe people can give equal consideration to a woman for Senate. Not unconceivable given our history with Kay Orr, Jan Stoney, etc.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Julie, what is your take on our new County Attorney Joe Kelly? I know Gary Lacey was your arch-nemesis since those felony burglary charges, do you feel that Joe Kelly will give you more leeway in removing constitutional rights from women?

  21. Anonymous says:

    @1:26

    While I like the tone of your question, I have to ask, is the constitution angle the correct way to frame it? Does the constitution guarentee abortion rights?

  22. Thinking man says:

    Why is the NE GOP trying to push Nelson out of the race? Anyone else wondering? Might it be that Bruning is the new Ricketts?

  23. Anonymous says:

    It would be difficult for Sen. Fischer to gain traction as a candidate, but if she did I'd be the first to jump in and campaign for her. She would make a great U.S. Senator! A little bit of her rural, hardworking, go get 'em attitude would be a breath of fresh air in D.C.

  24. Street Sweeper says:

    Julie,

    My point is I judge anyone running by the same standards, and not based upon their gender.

    (Check me if I'm wrong, but isn't that what we were supposed to be doing all these years? Or has that changed now, and I'm supposed to do the opposite? I never know what the latest is on these issues.)

    Now if Senator Fischer is all that, great. But, once again, when a near unknown suddenly surfaces as a name for one of the top gigs, against a statewide office holder who is well known, well funded and has the conservative credentials to go with it, sue me for wondering what is with the unknown.

    And is the Tea Party the vessel for only supporting long-shot candidates? Or do they also support candidates with whom the agree? Are you suggesting that the TP peeps don't agree with Bruning's stances? Or is it that he is "The Man", so they can't back him?

    And then at what point is someone like Deb Fischer, "The Man"? She is an entrenched pol, I'm guessing. Is she only TP material b/c she is a woman, even if she is The Man?

    These are only questions, and again, for all I know, Senator Fischer is the second coming of Margaret Thatcher. But I'm not ready to just give my personal blanket support to someone b/c they are a woman I've never heard of from a small town.

    I'm pretty sure that makes sense.

    SS

  25. Macdaddy says:

    Think about it, Thinking Man. Incumbents are always harder to dislodge.

    I still think Nelson won't run in 2012. The best indicator is that he won't back down from his Obamacare vote. If he admits he made a colossal mistake and apologizes for it, then I was wrong and he'll run in 2012.

  26. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    SS; Okay, you're not a sexist. I was going to be doubly upset by that in case you really are a girl. 1:26 I would presume he would apply the law in his decision-making and not let political forces from any side influence him.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Ben Nelson is the only real maverick left in the Senate. He's the only one with the guts to stand up to his own party. He delivered on healthcare reform and worked to reform it. Ben Nelson will be reelected.

  28. Anonymous says:

    To Anonymous above: You really believe your own BS? Amazing! It's like John Kerry saying I voted for it before I voted against it…lol

  29. Beenthere says:

    Ben Nelson solicited political bribes and tried to rob Americand while making every Husker his accomplice, but he did that legally so he cannot go to jail, which to him is the measure of fine ethics. He judges right and wrong for himself by what he can get away with.

    EBN gains nothing by saying he is wrong or by quitting. It is simple math and hard history.

    Nixon quit and is hated. Clinton didn't quit and is liked. Carter admitted sinning and was deemed an idiot. Clinton admitted taking drugs while smiling/bragging about it. Now he's posing for Rushmore.

    Obama's inept dithering displeases everybody. Many hate his policies.
    But BHO unapolitically went on a fierce campaign effort last month and stopped an unstoppable GOP from taking the Senate. That gives Obama more options in the next two years then he'd have had if he blubbered out an apology.

    There is nothing for Nelson in quitting or admitting. There is much for him in him pushing ahead.

    Like a cockroach, Nelson will have to be squashed by voters or he will eventually die behind your toilet.

  30. Bipar Trolls says:

    Beenthere- you were doing pretty good until the "…behind the toilet." comment.

    Perhaps just saying EBN has nothing to gain from quitting would have captured the essence of your thoughts.

    Boy oh boy do we get the pleasure of trolls for BOTH camps for the next 2 years? Weeeee

  31. To Veterans says:

    I would like to thank all veteran's for their service and sacrifice for our Country. Without their past and present service we wouldn't be enjoying the Freedom of this blog.

    Thank You!

  32. Anonymous says:

    Other than Wallman and Knabe, the main reason Republican Candidates lost close races in Lincoln was becasue they were running against incumbents in districts with substantial Democratic majorities that were able to hold of strong challenges with the aid of union money. District 46 has been Democratic for years. Wright coming with in 90 votes would have been considered impossible a year or two ago by most political observers. Dierks lost the primary by 36 points and only lost by 5 points. At the end of the campaign McGill, Conrad and Wallman were portraying themselves as conservatives so the Republican message was winning the day, they just weren't able to overcome the voter registration advantage.

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