New Poll! Bruning over Nelson; Stenberg over Nelson

A new poll out shows U.S. Senator Ben Nelson losing a 2012 re-election bid to EITHER Attorney General Jon Bruning or State Treasurer elect Don Stenberg.

The poll, commissioned by Magellan Strategies shows, if the election were held today:

Jon Bruning………………………………………………………………………52%
Ben Nelson……………………………………………………………………….38%


Don Stenberg …………………………………………………………………..46%
Ben Nelson……………………………………………………………………….40%

The Favorable/Unfavorables don’t get much better for Nelson:

Favorable …………………………………………………………………………43%

Favorable …………………………………………………………………………58%

Favorable …………………………………………………………………………48%

The poll also shows 63% of Nebraskans opposed to Obamacare and 64% think Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback is what’s wrong with Washington.


Yowza. There’s some data for Nelson to mull over while shoveling his driveway.

But we were contemplating another idea, based on our previous post.

Now suppose Nelson does have another offer in the hopper if he really isn’t gung-ho for a potential losing 2012 campaign.

On the one hand, he can just retire in 2012 and head out to pasture, or whatever.

But what if he wanted to stick-it to Bruning and/or Stenberg one last time. (No idea if he really would, but it’s possible, right?)

So instead of waiting, he retires early to take some awesome association gig, or whatever. Then Governor Dave gets to pick the new Senator, who may then presumably have an inside track on 2012.

And what if Nelson knows that Heineman won’t pick either Bruning or Stenberg. Or maybe he just won’t pick Bruning.

There is no way then (most likely) that Bruning would get out of the race. And whomever is in would presumably want to be elected-in in 2012, as well. So then more chaos for the GOP — or at least for Bruning. And Nelson gets to watch it all from the turkey ranch sipping a Merlot.

It is an interesting theory no?

Another (potential) Festivus Miracle.


  1. buck turgidson says:

    Absolutely, positively, no possible way that Governor Dave appoints anyone other than Jon Bruning in this scenario. None.

    And then Mike Flood is your AG.

  2. Short Timer says:

    As noted in the “Nelson-Mongering” post – add the recent DADT vote to this (taken after the poll was conducted) and things won’t be getting any better for EBN anytime soon.

  3. Shoe Salesman says:

    Here’s a theory –

    Republican polling firms like this one headed by a former RNC official are dumping skewed numbers trying to force Nelson from the race (or scare him) so that a preffered non-bruning candidate will enter the fray. Everyone from the 402 and beyond wants anyone other than Bruning and these numbers are pure poppycock at this point in time. We’ll probably see one per month for the forseeable future, all by Republican firms, all with skewed data. And of course we’ll see one from the nutjobs at Daily Kos also trying to push Nelson out.

    As an aside, with every serious republican leader supporting START and even that imbicile Johanns voting for it, how exactly does that hurt Nelson in NE?

  4. Oh Mander says:

    So one of the questions was “Do you think Nelson’s Cornhusker Kickback is what’s wrong with Washington”? Anyone else see that as a pretty good indication that the pollsters were steering respondents to that, and other, GOP-friendly conclusions? But yeah, he’s toast. Any rumblings of a potential DFL alternative to report?

  5. Shoey,
    Poppycock? Just watched “A Christmas Carol” did ya? Well, keep telling yourself that. Maybe you’ll start to believe it.
    (And, uh, speaking of START, no one is talking about that but you.)
    Merry Festivus

  6. Macdaddy says:

    Nelson is toast and you can add this poll to the very important poll that was taken last November 2nd where even Lee Terry spanked the Democrat. Nelson’s only hope is that the Republicans continue on their current baffling course of wasting time on things that are not creating jobs or cutting government spending. If Republicans continue to vote for horrendous policies like DADT repeal, START, DREAM Act and all the extra spending we have to suck up in the tax cut extensions, then there is really no point in replacing Nelson.

  7. Anon says:

    If Republicans don’t get their act together they will have opponents in the primaries. This time around the candidates will have a better understanding of the process and how to work the media against the incumbant. Along wiht throwing out more sick Dems like Nelson, so too might go a poorly voting congressman.

    Obama will be isolated in January and he has done enough damage to where it won’t really matter what he tries to get done in the time leading up to his defeat.

    R’s will have both houses and the Presidency in Jan 2013 and then the decomposition of Big Govenment will start in earnest. This time around the Dept’s of Ed, and EPA will be reduced to sub element of Congress if they are lucky.

    Can’t wait for the investigations of Freddie and Fannie, and a multitude of other SNAFU’s run by the Dems these past years. Pretty soon there will be plenty of censure’s and such. Then the Republican Gov’s can appoint even more R’s to fill the empty seats.

    I guess there is a silver lining to Obama.

  8. ditto says:

    Buck is right. Heieneman picks Bruning, Flood becomes AG, and Sheehy gets beat by Stenberg for Governor.

    Kramer runs for something in the mess.

  9. Anonymous says:

    You have taken on a biting edge lately- not quite appropriate to this time of year.
    Now back to the David Flaherty Magellan poll. Flaherty couldn’t have said it better himself (noting that you obviously omitted such from your blog post): “Magellan CEO David Flaherty has extensive experience applying political data and technology throughout his 18 year career at the Republican National Committee…and in influencing public opinion.” Like Shoey, though, I believe the poll wasn’t taken to influence Main Street, but was a pure recruitment tool for Repugs thinking about running because the GOP power and money has never liked Bruning– I have heard it called the “phony factor.”

    Oh, and for Nelson’s votes on DADT and START, didn’t DADT get 65 votes and START, 71, in the Senate. So, SS fans, the only people raging about the DADT and START votes are obviously the types who, like SS, are either literally or figuratively on their last-chance, pre-Festivus, mad dash to their nearest hardware stores buying up tiki torches, kerosene and pitch forks, while the rest of Mainstreet Nebraskans are actually enjoying some sense of holiday fun and cheer.

    Merry Festivus, SS. Cheers

  10. GOP Insider says:

    Anon 9:05

    You must be insane to think they ran a poll like that to pull more GOP primary contenders into the race? Why release a poll showing him as the strongest opponent against Nelson?

    I understand it may be Bold NE, Kleebs, Nelsons, and any other liberal activists dream to take out Bruning before he can destroy Nelson but, to say the Republican party would rather a weaker opponent against Nelson? The only folks to wish that is the has been David Kramer and his team of currently out of work political hacks. As well as Don ‘So you say theres a chance’ Stenberg

    Judging from the ‘word around the campfire’ Bruning has done pretty well with National GOP leaders this go around.

  11. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Ugh, WISH List (pro-choice Republican womens’ PAC) Google ad on right side of LS. These people must have some bucks to spread around. Good luck in Nebraska. I guess they can hope to get some moderate GOP readers to send money in for their races outside of Nebraska.

  12. 9:05,
    I am at the hardware store, but the only thing I’m picking is my aluminum Festivus pole (very high strength to weight ratio).

    Happy Festivus everyone!

    No new post today, so feel free to Air your Grievances of the past year, as well as note any Feats of Strength.

    Rock on.


  13. NE Voter says:

    Anybody else noticed that Jon Bruning looks more and more like Richard Nixon eavery year?

    C’mon, SS, how about a Festivus Separated at Birth?

  14. Hugo Chavez says:

    Congratulationes, mi comrades, su ciudad de Omaha is officale becom a banana republic!!

    Viva, David Nabity!! Viva, de KFAB!! Viva, de Omaha World-Herald!! Viva, Senor Major Daub!!!

    Viva, Viva, Viva!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    Arrivee, de dios de election!!!

    Ahora, bananas for allllll!!!!!!!

  15. To Hugo: says:

    Isn’t it about time you did some work Mr. Sund. Why did you go to Court all week instead of doing your job. I hope gary and ace can find you a new gig!!

  16. Also to Hugo says:

    You seem like you have a lot of steam to blow off with all those exclamation points. Vince Powers, is that you?

    You say banana republic, I say Omaha pulling the emergency brake on the insane roller coaster that Mayor Moron has taken us on for the last year and a half. I’m glad there are some things Omaha won’t stand for, and an incompetent mayor steering our ship into the rocks is one of them.

    Now if we all would just show up at the polls we wouldn’t have to do this every 25 years!

  17. Icon says:

    First off, Polls have become nothing more then SPIN/Advertising!! So why bother writing this banal GOSSIP?? Have an agenda SS? Nelson is a LOSER & has always been, that’s why you Nebraskans elected him in the first place, isn’t it! However by making some serious & stupid mistakes in the past 2 years trying to be a centrist, [# 1 calling himself a Dem], was just the beginning, & so he seemingly has cut his own useless throat. But once again your push polling about Nelson is total BS. If Nelson got a good Advertising manager & the $$$ to broadcast the lies, he could beat any of these pretenders, especially Bruning who should be running for head of the KKK instead of wet dreaming about the US House of Lords!!! Just one question, how long is it going to take for Nebraska to get out of the Stone Age????

  18. Dennis says:

    That poll is bogus. It over sample Republicans and under sampled independents. Magellan Strategies’ CEO worked for the RNC for 18 years. Take a look at who their clients are – all right wingers including
    Americans For Prosperity and Sharron Angle.

  19. Dennis says:

    About the Omaha recall. Now it’s time for the recall people to give us a specific budget proposal laying out where they want to cut. Vague promises to save money by cutting waste or making administrative changes won’t cut it. The people of Omaha need to ask the recall advocates to provide specifics about where they want to cut. If they don’t …provide an answer, they need to ask again and again. A failure to produce an alternative budget proposal would be disingenuous and work yet another fraud (in addition to the illegalities in gathering signatures) upon the City of Omaha.

  20. Nick Naylor says:


    Please take a very careful look of the RDI breakdown of likely voters in Nebraska.


    Re-evaluate your statement.

    Even when democrats legitimately poll statewide in Nebraska they use this ratio. If you don’t understand how polling works, please stop commenting on them.

  21. Dennis says:

    This Magellan Strategy poll made the assumption that 54% of voters were Republican and 12% were independent or otherwise unaffiliated. According to the Secretary of State’s office as of 10/25/10, 48% of registered voters were Republican and 19% were independent or otherwise unaffiliated.

  22. Re Dennis says:

    Dennis —

    1. The Douglas County District Court and everyone else with common sense would disagree with you: illegalities is a strong word.

    2. It is not the recall committee’s job to come up with these proposals. That’s the job of the candidates who will surely appear after mayor moron is removed from office.

  23. Pollster says:

    Kindly please re-read Magellan’s methodology in light of Nick’s comment. Nobody cares about the breakdown of REGISTERED voters in any district. LIKELY VOTERS are what matter. Magellan based their sample universe of LIKELY VOTERS on turnout from 2002 to the present. You will see that they called the proper proportion of voters by both party and gender breakdowns and determined that 94% of them are ‘very’ or ‘extremely’ likely to vote in 2012. You can’t blame the messenger on this one.

    Polls are SOLEY for spin as cars are built ONLY to fill garages. Don’t offer any evidence and continue to make wild unsubstantiated claims. Quit blaming Sweeper, Magellan, and NE Voters. You have some pent up issues. Drink some eggnog and deal with them.

  24. Dennis says:

    IMO, it’s disingenuous and a big cop out for the recall people to fail to offer specific spending cuts. The people running the recall campaign are operating under the assumption that Suttle’s tax increases are unpopular. Fair enough. If that is the case, it would certainly follow that cutting spending would be popular with the voters. The recall people should be loud and proud in their support of specific spending cuts. They should have more confidence in themselves and the Omaha voters. What’s there to be afraid of?

  25. Hank Kimball says:

    Dennis – If you’re saying it was disingenuous of the mayor to campaign for the job saying he was going to run the city like a business and bring efficiencies to the office while lowering properties taxes, I agree with you. If you’re not saying that, you’re a total loon.

  26. What Hank Said says:

    So it’s fine to refuse to offer anything specific during a campaign, except “We’re gonna lower property taxes” and then turn around and do exactly the opposite when elected?

  27. Anonymous says:

    When Dead Don polls above Has Ben, Ben retires.

    So then, Heiny plays Orr, appoints someone to play Karnes, Bruning plays Daub, and some Dem with an onion head plays Bob. Maybe not. Dave is smarter than Kay, Bruning isn’t Daub, and Medal of Honors are hard to find among Dems now-a-days. That cluster won’t fly twice.

  28. Dennis says:

    If you believe in the democratic model of government, the recall people owe the voters their vision for the budget. The people running the recall campaign are operating under the assumption that Suttle’s tax increases are unpopular. Fair enough. If the recall people are correct, it would certainly follow that cutting spending would be the favored choice of the voters. The recall people should be eager to lay out the specific spending cuts they favor. Who are they going to lay off? What services will be cut? They should have more confidence in themselves and the Omaha voters. What’s there to be afraid of?

  29. Dennis says:

    It appears as though David Nabity is using the recall process as a vehicle to run for Mayor. Nabity owes the voters some specific answers on the budget as well.

  30. Trinity Church Member says:

    I can’t wait for Omaha to know how divisive Dave Nabity is. We at the congregation can’t wait to speak volumes on Mr. Nabity’s leadership ability and we know the local media will listen

  31. Concerned Voter says:

    Has anyone asked Brent Smoyer why he got fired from the law firm Rehm, Bennet, and Moore? Practicing law without a license? Ouch!

  32. Omaha Independent says:

    So much to catch up on!
    Senator Nelson embarrassed the entire state with the Cornhusker kickback. He’s damaged goods. It’s time for him to go. I realize the talent pool is thin over on the Republican side of the house, but we’ll just have to muddle through. We both know the Republican party is owned by insurance and pharmaceutical companies, so if Bruning passes the butt-kissing test, it will probably be him.

    As for the recall, I will vote against it, but I have little hope Suttle will be retained. I’m looking forward to see where the new Republican mayor finds a hard-headed budget advisor for less than six figures. Most of the larger corporations in town pay controllers that much. At least the successful ones do.

    Finally, I had this brilliant idea. Would it be legal to cap police/fire/city employee pension benefits at a certain percentage of revenue? And why shouldn’t we make the municipal employees just have a 401K like the rest of us corporate slobs? Comments?

    Have a Happy!

  33. Hank Kimball says:

    We can spell it that way, too.

    Dense, “recall,” in the political sense of the word, is the procedure by which a public official may be removed from office by a vote of the people. People voted Suttle in, and people are preparing to vote him out. Now, in the democratic form of government, people do not establish a budget – repeat, the people do NOT do that, and they don’t do it during a recall election either. This is purely to remove an elected official.

    This is much to wrap your head around, Dense, so let it sink in before you ask your next question and lower the collective IQ of this blog by about a hundred points.

  34. MLMJ says:

    Concerned Voter- Who really gives a large rodents rectum?

    Omaha Independent- I think caping the benefits or tying them to an economic indicator would be great. So to would ending the current system and creating the 401K.

    Dennis- You obviously missed the majority of the messages in church, Your continued display of anger with Mr Nabity shows you lack the faith to lay your burdens at the cross. Which is very sad considering this being the eve of the Christ’s birth. For me I’m okay with both you and Dave.

    Merry Christmas to you all.

  35. Lawyer-Smoyer says:

    MLMJ, I bet there’s some voters in Northeast Lincoln that care that their newly elected County Commissioner practiced law illegaly. Just think how easy it would be to recall a Lancaster county board member. 8% of 28,000 is a walk in the park.

  36. MLMJ says:

    Well bring it you oh so cool one. Hmmmm it will be exciting to watch that unfold. Like watching paint dry, which may well be your speed. Either way, have fun with it.

  37. Anonymous says:

    Regarding “rodent’s rectum”:

    “Pica” is:

    A. A small furry rodent (presumably with a rectum). .
    B. A 12 point typeface.
    C. A disorder characterized by the ingestion of feces, etc.

    Answer: All three. But in matters of political blogging, answer “C” best applies.

  38. Anonymous says:

    For clarification, “in the democratic form of government, people do not establish a budget” is wrong. In a democratic form of government (a democracy) people do establish the budget. In a democracy, the people vote on everything. But the USA isn’t a democracy.

    The United States has a “republican” form of government ala it being a Republic. Regardless of the party in charge (GOP, Democrat, Whig, whatever) the USA is never a democracy.

    Just so we are clear on this, a democracy is where 51% vote to kill 49%. And as soon as the first bunch disappears into ashes, the 49% of what’s left over starts sweating. Sooner or later everyone ends up in the bloody 49%. That’s why some have called democracy the most evil form of government. You can argue that point, but the USA is a Republic. It always had been.

    In a Republic, voters don’t do budgets. So, yes, the next mayor, whomever, will submit a budget.

  39. Dennis says:

    If the recall people don’t provide a specific budget proposal, they are dishonest cowards. Apparently, they lack faith in themselves and the voters of Omaha.

  40. anonymous says:

    Dennis is right. It’s one thing for the recall people to claim they’re going to cut “spending” or “waste”, it’s entirely another to say we’re going to cut libraries, pools, parks, public transportation, or whatever it is they have in mind to slash. Let’s spell it out, where are the cuts going to come from?

    The thing is, the recall people don’t have a plan. This is a not well thought out power grab.

  41. Nick Naylor says:

    Anon 6:21 –

    The fire union would be a great start to look at waste. Hell, even asking them to have proper enough books to be successfully audited would be a good start.

    What are they doing to help with the budget? Oh Yeah? Suing the city because we did not give them a raise.

  42. MLMJ says:

    Perhaps the recall peeps could save the city money by working with the county and the legislature to shore up their business rules. It is amazing how little businesses and commercial property are taxed and yet the people bear such a burden. While it is true there needs to be some incentive for businesses to stay, so too is the same for people. Nebraska’s biggest issues stem from there being a very small population to tax. Nebraska is the 16th largest state as land mass goes and yet we have trouble getting to 2 million citizens. The young people leave for excitment and variety and the seasoned citizens leave because of the tax burden. The state has maintained roughly the same population for decades while costs have gone up. Meanwhile the tax breaks for businesses have grown by a conciderable amount. Sure the people who have the jobs are being helped, and therefor the tax revenue, but the question is by how much. If you look at the latest census those states with lower or NO income tax grew by leaps and bounds. In Nebraska we grew but not a whole bunch and our burdens continue to grow. Just thoughts about Omaha’s problem and taxes as they relate to population.

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