Dueling polls: Nelson down and up

A couple of polls came out yesterday that show the Nebraska Senate race in an interesting flux.

Ah, but are all polls the same? You can decide.

First, around noon on Monday, Magellan Strategies came out with their poll that showed head to head matchups of the top GOP challengers against Senator Ben Nelson. The results looked like this:

Jon Bruning 45%,    Ben Nelson 39%
Don Stenberg 41%,    Ben Nelson 40%
Ben Nelson 41%,    Deb Fischer 35%

But then they threw in a wild-card, just to keep things interesting.

Dave Heineman 51%, Ben Nelson 33%

Hmm. We thinks someone out there would still like Governor Dave to consider jumping in.

Nonetheless, we would note that even though Deb Fischer’s numbers are below Nelson’s, there is still a whopping 24% undecided there. She obviously has room for improvement, should the GOP voters decide to give her the nod.

Wait, how do we know that there are undecideds and whatnots (ah, the whatnots poll…)?

Well that is because Magellan Strategies gives us crosstabs! And breakdown of the voters who were questioned! Listing party registration, age and gender! You know, little things that matter just a slight smidge of a bit to campaigns and elections.

They also give the favorable/unfavorables which you can read and argue on to your heart’s content.

You can read it all here, including their release, the topline results, the crosstabs and a handy-dandy presentation.

One interesting group of numbers we saw:

T1. Are you registered to vote as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent voter?
Republican………………………………………………………………………… 55%
Democrat ………………………………………………………………………….. 34%
Independent ………………………………………………………………………. 11%

And then…

T12. If the 2012 election for President was being held today, for whom would you
vote if the candidates were Barack Obama, Democrat or the Republican Party’s
Republican Party’s candidate ………………………………………………… 55%
Barack Obama ……………………………………………………………………34%
Undecided ……………………………………………………………………….. 11%


And that leads us to the Ben Nelson poll, put out by Ben Nelson’s personal pollster Hickman Analytics. Now we noted that the Magellan went up around noon on Monday. Then low and behold, around 4pm, the Hickman poll hit...Huffington Post.

Now the Magellan poll was done on November 21st. But the Hickman/Nelson poll was taken November 5th – 10th. Yet they sat on it for nineteen days?

And it appeared out of thin air right after the Magellan poll?


Well, here are Nelson’s numbers on Nelson:

Ben Nelson 47%,    Jon Bruning 45%
Ben Nelson 49%,    Don Stenberg 43%
Ben Nelson 50%,    Deb Fischer 37%

Now Nelson’s pollster does put out a press release with their poll. But there are no crosstabs. And no breakdown of party. Or gender.

And no listing of the questions asked.

But they DO note that when they present “arguments” for and against Nelson they get different numbers! And Ben Nelson does even BETTER!  And we can only guess what some of those arguments against Nelson were..

“If you knew that it took Ben Nelson a full four extra days to finally reach Eagle Scout, but only because he was delivering food to sick puppies in Wilber, would that make you more or less likely to go, ‘awwwwww’?”

So anywho, bat those numbers (and polls) about in your head folks. Is the race a blow out for the GOP, or does Nelson still have a shot? Should Governor Dave reconsider, or is the current field good enough?

And whither Ben Nelson within the next 30 days?

Definitely in?

His pollsters says he’s golden.


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  1. Anonymous says:

    Golden my arse! Ben Nelson is a lot closer to Sandusky than he isn’t, at least in public opinion. Take that and stuff it in your poll pipe. We hate the old fat weasel who sold us down the river on the health care cloture vote, and so many other issues. Go away Ben. Go to your ranch with your millions in political windfall and leave us alone in the misery you foisted on us.

  2. Dennis says:

    Regardless of what poll is more accurate, there is no dispute that Nelson has gained ground this year and Bruning’s political standing has declined. Now I’m beginning to hear rumors that Heineman may jump in the race. This tells me that the GOP doesn’t believe that any of it’s Senate hopefuls can beat Nelson.

  3. Macdaddy says:

    Ben Nelson has gained ground this year? Seriously? Just because we only want to just tar him rather than tar and feather him means he’s gaining ground? I think it just means we can’t afford feathers thanks to Obama and his lousy economy.

  4. Neg says:

    Wow… Look at Brunings negatives creeping up. Still think he’s our guy? I am afraid we haven’t even touched the surface on cleaning out Brunings closet and he’s already at 34. Yikes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t matter who runs against Ben Nelson, Nelson loses. Now if the NDP and their master, Benadick Nelson, decide to run another candidate then the race might actually be interesting. No folks the whole shooting match is in the Primary. Since we have a closed primary here then it is up to the R’s and I’s to figure out who will be the next Senator from Nebraska. D’s don’t get a shot at it this go round, unless of course they to the crossover drill like they did with Osborne. So again it is in the hands of the R’s and I’s. Of course this makes the NDP and their ilk spend money they really don’t have. Old man Holland and his cronies will be shelling out a LOT of dough just to shape the REPUBLICAN Primary. Keeps his money working, and ices out the little donors along the way. Must feel great to be a Liberal Dem, and downright crappy to be a real Democrat.

  6. Dennis,
    Magellan’s isn’t a poll of Registered voters .It’s of Likely voters.
    Republicans, as a percentage of the whole registered voter base, consistently show up much higher than 48% (the Registered Voter base). Magellan’s poll of “Likelys” is an extrapolation of voting percentages over the last 10 years. And frankly, 55% might be low this time around.
    Thanks for noticing, in any case.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is Bruning even running anymore? He has been hiding from the pipeline issue for so long, it’s hard to tell if he’s still a candidate. Leaders are supposed to lead. If Bruning wants the job he needs to reemerge from the shadows.

  8. SoWhat??? says:

    So the Senator Skunk campaign has hired a certain ambulance-chasing clown to patrol LStreet and try to defend the Benator??? What a couple of losers…and skunks.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hiccup Analgesics polled comatose voters and found 101% of them like Nelson better than Jon Dondeb, per their spastic eye flutters.

  10. @ Dennis,

    At least the Magellan poll provided the information on the folks they polled. That way, you can look at the polling demographics and correlate it to poll results. Try doing that with the bought-and-paid-for Nelson poll.

    BTW, to heck with running for governor, Mike Flood for U.S. senator…he beats the heck out of all of the current Republican senate candidates, even if you toss in Heineman.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Sen skunk has Dennis on his side, what a stroke of genius. Maybe Dennis can team up with lil Timmy White and really get the ball rolling for the ol fat gas bag:) What a dream team.

  12. Leigh Courseoh says:

    With the fumblin’ fiasco of the lethal injection drug, can Nebraska GOP’ers afford to give the ball to Jon Bruning again? Hate to say it, but looks like Stenberg, the un-electable, is the most electable of this bunch. Come on Governor Dave………jump in. Somebody. Please, somebody! Fortenberry? Smith? Somebody!!!!

  13. Dennis says:

    Independent voters now constitute about 18.6 percent of registered voters in Nebraska, an increase since 2000 of nearly 5 percentage points. Only 11% of those sampled in the Magellan poll were independents.

  14. Lil Mac says:

    Heineman cannot jump in. He must be drafted by GOP acclaim. His numbers reflect a gubernatorial gravitas that evaporates the moment he sets himself on the level of GOP Senate wannabes. Voters would see that as weakness. But DSCC admen would see Dave as the only threat and shift all gun sights onto him. He needs the DSCC to waste its money hacking at Jon-Don-Deb’s necks. Waiting deflates Nelson’s funds and allows Heineman to enter with max positives.

    The idea that Heineman doesn’t want to be a Senator is pap. He has zero future as governor, he ran a powerful congressional office, he is comfortable in DC, and has obvious aspirations. Plus, he is smart enough to just say no until he is forced to be the GOP’s savior. It is an active form of waiting.

    Nelson is also actively waiting. Since Ben cannot be safely up out of reach, he needs to tread water with a steady presence and then touch off a firestorm close enough to the end to propel him over the top without leaving time for the glow of that fire to wear off or his opponent to recover. It is all in the timing.

    At this level, a great deal of effort goes into making spontaneous things happen.

  15. Anonymous says:

    It looks like Bruning stapled his balls to his chair again. This drug sodium thiopental the State purchased was from an unauthorized middleman. So basically they were dealing with a high profile drug dealer and sent out a press release naming a legitimate company, aren’t there people in the Corrections department for drug deals gone bad?

  16. Icon says:

    Polls are nothing more than SPIN. Any polling company can manipulate #’s anyway they choose… for the right price! Just more BS to baffle the Braindead public!!!

  17. TexasAnnie says:

    What? Heineman as your Senate candidate? Doesn’t he have an albatross around his neck,
    —–>BSDC, which will cause his “sanctity of life” constituents to balk?

    Now I don’t blame Heineman personally for that horrific stain on Nebraska’s image (I blame Ben Nelson and every sitting legislature since about 1990 for that local holocaust), but BSDC has happened on Heineman’s watch!

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