Kerrey has poll #s, waiting for Heineman

Leavenworth Street has received reliable information that Bob Kerrey has polling info in his fist that supports his candidacy for U.S. Senate.

We have learned that Kerrey has polling data back (one of the reasons he has been delaying his decision) that tells him that he can beat any of the Republican challengers, save one:

Dave Heineman.

As many have noted, Heineman, as an incumbent (no, doesn’t make sense to us either) has to make his decision on whether or not to run by February 15, 2012. Kerrey on the other hand, can wait until March 1st. That leads many to think that Kerrey may push his decision until after the 15th to see whether or not Governor Dave jumps in.

On that note, the Washington Post reports today that Kerrey just happened to plan to purchase a home in Nebraska some time soon. Timing is a total coincidence though, says Kerrey. He travels back to Omaha lots, so wants a place to hang out. You know. Has nothing to do with a Senate run, or anything.

And piggybacking on that, Joe Jordan did a Watchdog report noting the out-of-left-field attack by Ben Nelson on Heineman last week. Nelson was actually likely telegraphing to Heineman that if Governor Dave gets in, Nelson will campaign his hardest against him.

Well, maybe.

Would much of that really stick to Heineman, if it hasn’t already? We doubt it. If Heineman wants to get in, Ben Nelson or Bob Kerrey or anyone else is not going to scare him out of it. And frankly, Nelson doing his barking chihuahua routine may actually signal to Heineman that Kerrey is the one pulling his leash.

And that is the one person, likely, who may push Heineman into the race: Kerrey.

If it looks more and more like Kerrey would get in, then Heineman may be more likely to make the jump. Heineman would need to see the same type of polling that Kerrey did too.

And it is not easy to see where Heineman stands in all of this. On the one hand, if he does not get in, and a Bob Kerrey wins it, and tips the Senate to the Dems, there could be a lot of finger pointing his direction.

But also, if he does not get in, and Romney wins in November, he could be in line for an Administration position. Could that be better than a Senate gig? Hmm. Probably a bigger office. Bigger staff. Arguably a better gig than fighting every issue in the back rooms and flying back and forth to Nebraska every week.

Then again, there is power and prestige in the Senate. As Secretary of Whatever? Maybe not as much. Difficult decision. And then there is the part that even if you assume Romney has the nomination locked up, in no way does he have things in the bag in November. What if the economy turns around by then? What if Romney doesn’t catch on? Then Governor Dave would be siting in the McMansion in January with even more fingers pointing his direction.

Not an easy decision by a long shot. And do you think this little blog is the only one bringing these points up to Heineman? (He is reading, right? Right?!)

Well, point being that don’t expect Kerrey to necessarily announce what has been rattling around in his brain, this week. He can come up with whatever reasons he wants in order to wait until after the 15th. In the mean time, eyes will still be on Lincoln more so than Greenwich Village (you know, the place where Bob Kerrey has lived and voted in the past eleven years).


And in the mean time, state Dems are still using The Facebook to try to drum up support for Kerrey.

Of course when they say “independent voice”, they mean “independent of Nebraska voters”.


The Walk for Life was this past weekend, and how about that crowd of Republicans posing by Abe Lincoln?

Dave Heineman, Rick Sheehy, Jon Bruning, Don Stenberg, Deb Fischer, Lee Terry (among others). Mike Foley was there, but wasn’t around for this photo. And Speaker Mike Flood was back in Norfolk (with a family commitment) — you know, kind of like how one cabinet member stays out of the State of the Union speech? Might not be safe to gather every Republican in the same spot.

They are getting a little close to the teepee.


  1. Anonymous says:

    A trusted source informed me that Jordan McGrain is seriously thinking about running for Governor. Can anyone else confirm this?

  2. Lil Mac says:

    The Obama climate forced Nelson out, which forces Democrats to force Kerrey in, which forces Republicans to beg Heineman to run, which leaves Heineman pristine among a formerly contentious primary field saving all his money for the general. One gets the impression that BK is availing himself of an emergent opportunity here but that DH saw much of this briar patch coming for some time. Maybe not from cosmic himself, but, then again, DH didn’t beat TO by being stupid or shortsighted.

    Control of the Senate is at stake. Expect a flood of outside $$$ into NE fueling this catfight.

  3. anon says:


    I guess that was really sexist of me not to include Spencer Zimmerman and other cooky candidate with no shot. Deb Fisher falls somewhere between a credible candidate and a crazy person.

  4. Tyler says:

    Anon 11:43

    Jordan McGrain is not planning on running for Governor. However, I am pretty sure that he will be preparing to run for another elected office in the near future.

  5. Kerry for NYC Mayor says:

    The bottom line: Control of the Senate could very well come down to this seat and the RNC does not want to lose it again to sub-par candidates in Nebraska. Heineman will be promised so much money for this run that he would be a fool to turn it down – Kerry or not. If it were not for Heineman, Kerry would have moved back for the run already. That is all you need to know when it comes down if Heineman will run or not… In the end, he will not have a choice.

  6. Macdaddy says:

    Kerrey could go ahead and buy a house now. At least go house-hunting. Then he and his family could move here when school lets out. In the Fall, his son could go to school here. I hear BT and Creighton Prep are top-of-the-line private schools, probably better than the one Kerrey runs. Or there’s always District 66 or Dundee or Elkhorn or Millard. Lots of good schools here in Nebraska. I’m not sure why moving his family here would be out of the question.

  7. Bob Kerrey's Poll Respondents says:

    “Wait…Bob Kerrey doesn’t even live here? Hasn’t lived here in over a decade?? He ran what kind of university? He said what about [insert any policy here]? Can I change my answer?”

    Polls aren’t taken among the denizens of L St, folks; they’re taken of average, everyday people who may have some foggy, fuzzy, warm memory of Governor Bob, but don’t have a clue what he’s been up to the last few years. That’s what campaigns are for. And that’s why he’s toast if he runs.

  8. Bill says:

    I heard that he may be putting together an exploratory committee together to gauge interest in the state to see if there is a viable shot at him winning the primary. It would be a close primary but I think he could win.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I think Jordan McGrain for Governor isn’t a bad idea. I think him running for Mayor is a better option. I think the support from donors and grassroots activists would be there. I’ve heard a rumor about Jordan as a Lt. Gov choice as well.

  10. Dennis says:

    I expect Governor Dave to sit out the Senate election. He already has a good job and he probably wants to get back into the private sector in 2015 and make some money.

  11. Macdaddy says:

    BK’s Poll Respondents: you are exactly right. Kerrey is well to the left of Nelson. When he has to defend Obamacare somebody chosen randomly from the phone book could beat him.

  12. Matt says:

    I wonder if Rick Sheehy runs for something else if Jordan McGrain jumps into the Governors race. Maybe a statewide office like Sec. of State or even treasurer. Jordan would have the grassroots organization on lock and I don’t see Sheehy being able to tap into that.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see Jordan get into the governors race. I think he would mop the floor in debates. The key for him would be to get a good campaign manager with state wide election experience. If he can get a good campaign manager he wins easily in the primary. The question is who would that be. Sheehy would be a formidable challenger but doubt he could amass the organization and campaign war chest like Jordan could. It will be interesting to see.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I doubt Jordan will be running for anything soon, unless it is for legislature or such.

    DH is in a pickle to be sure. If polling is suggesting the POTUS may slip back into the feral hands of Obama, then there must be a concerted effort to win the Senate at all costs.

    It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall in the Bruning or Stenberg office IF DH announced for Senate. I could see DH maybe working to get Bruning an appointment or such to a high Federal Post to ease the pain, and pave the way for him in 6 years. But then again Bruning didn’t support the Gov a while back so it could be payback time.

    For the politicos out there it must be near nirvana, what with all the this and thats……….

  15. ricky says:

    One big assumption Mr Sweeper makes is a Romney victory in November. Almost surely Mr Obama will win re-election.
    Also what a bunch of losers in that photo.
    Most Nebraskans support a women’s right to choose.

    ricky from omaha

  16. Whatever says:

    DH is not going to run for Senate. He has the best job in the state. Kerrey would have no chance facing Bruning. Kerrey is to liberal for Nebraska. Remember Republicans out number Democrats 2 to 1 in this State.

  17. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Ricky, If “most Nebraskans support a woman’s right to choose” then the vast majority of our top elected officials and the Legislature would have to be woefully out of sync with the electorate. I also missed 5,000 abortion supporters marching in the streets of Lincoln but there were five hardy souls protesting the Walk for Life.

  18. FAC says:

    Umm – why would you need a poll to tell you that Kerrey wipes the floor with Sen. Fischer, Bruning or Steinberg? Those who say otherwise are the same ones who posted on this blog how Suttle was toast and that his recall was a foregone conclusion. Pull your head out and dive into reality. Heineman is definately the only R who could beat Kerrey. But, he appears to hoping for a VP or cabinet post with President Romney. He doesn’t want to risk losing a senate race. And it would be a risk.

  19. Anonymous says:

    Whose head is in their ass? If Heineman gets in the seat is his. If he gets in, Kerrey won’t run. He knows better. And then Heineman would have to beat Bruning and Suttle, and probably not even Fischer. And he would. Then who challenges him? Lathrop? Got another name?
    No, didn’t think so.
    So, IF he wants it, it’s his.
    Risk? “President Romney” is a risk.
    “Senator Heineman” is not.

  20. Never Left The Neb says:

    How about Heineman runs, wins, Romney gets the nomination in August and beats what’s his face in November, Sheehy get the appointment after Heineman gets sworn at by the Senate, Romney appoints the newly sworn at Senator to his Cabinet and the newly appointed Governor Sheehy gets to appoint a new Senator. I would guess that appointment would likely got to either Lee Terry or who ever came in 2nd in the Primary to Heineman. That way the seat would be held “R” for a good long time. That’s what you would call a good old fashioned Nebraska Spank on the liberal toddlers in this state 🙂

  21. Matt says:

    8:56, I highly doubt Sheehy would make the appointment. From what I have heard from people close to me Jordan McGrain is forming an exploratory committee to gauge interest in this state for a possible run for Governor. If he jumps in the race is over and it is likely that Sheehy runs for something else.

  22. Freud says:

    Julie Schmidt Albin has what could be considered ‘penis envy’ of the Occupy Lincoln group. Look at how much more organized they are than NRTL. They camp here, they’re really just more committed to their cause than Julie and her group.

  23. Kortezzi says:

    Polls in January are guaranteed to show Kerrey in a favorable light, simply because of name recognition. He was a Governor and a Senator and so every NE voter knows him. Every Democrat would vote for him, and many independents – – if they forget Kerrey’s liberal track record and scatterbrained ideas.

    If Cosmic Bob gets in, it will be easy to run ads highlighting his embarrassing low points as a Senator, Governor, and a kooky NYC college administrator. It will also be easy to show he’s a true liberal, supporting Obamacare, higher taxes, etc.

    Once NE voters are reminded of what Kerrey was actually like, his poll numbers will quickly fade back to levels that Bruning or Stenberg could overcome, and which Heineman would overcome easily.

    Think name recognition is enough to beat Dave Heineman? Ask Tom Osborne about that one!

  24. Anonymous says:

    Kortezzi, you’re comparing a general election to a Republican primary. Not the same animal. If Osborne would have run as an Independent or Democrat and bypassed the crazies in the Republican primary, he’d probably be governor today.

  25. anon2.0 says:

    I love that the anon post for “who’s deb fischer” is becoming almost as much of a a fixture on leavenworth street as a washington state flag on college game day.

  26. anon2.0 says:

    Can we trust Paul Johnson poll numbers? I bet all he did was take a bic pen and cross out Ben Nelson and write Bob Kerrey. This talk of poll numbers is a joke.

    Nebraskans aren’t going to vote for Kerrey because he’s a liberal. Doesn’t matter that he lives in NYC, or hasn’t been a fixture in the state for years, its his views and public comments of late.

  27. I remember when I was 12 says:

    Grow up Dowd. If you want to be taken serious don’t come to a website like this and start hurling the old tired tactics of your tired worn out want to go to woodstock ’69 professors.

  28. I remember when I was 18 says:

    I was very attracted to Kate Dowd. or was it Kate Middleton? aghh doesn’t matter, they both are worthless.

  29. Julie Schmit-Albin says:

    Yes Doctor, a rag-tag bunch of empty tents with delapidated signs and ad nauseum weekly marches which have dwindled to a handful, with no coherent message vs. 5,000 average pro-life Nebraskans on message coming together for one morning, marching through Lincoln and leaving no trash behind. You’ve got me pegged, alright.

  30. Occupiers vs. Julie says:

    I find it laughable that an occupier would even show up to this website given that it probably can’t afford a computer.So in defense of Julie, occupiers can only wish to be as organized as her. However, given that Julie has endorsed Ben Nelson in years passed well that just speaks for itself. Maybe don’t endorse a democrat this go around? What ya say Julie?

  31. anonymous says:

    5000 LMAO. Julie I saw your crowd and I saw the Occupy crowd when they were at their peak, you lose. Anyone believe your 5k claim? Julie was there one day, Occupy Lincoln has been there 100 days and nights. Julie just has grassroots penis envy, that’s why she talks about them incessantly.

  32. Macdaddy says:

    FAC, I don’t remember saying Suttle was toast. I do remember saying the recall was an idiotic idea. On this blog. I remember saying Tom White was toast and I also remember saying on this blog over a year ago that Ben Nelson would quit in 2012. And I did that all without official polls. So if Kerrey wants to listen to polls that are worth only the paper they’re printed on, and he wants to waste Ben Nelson’s money, then he should run. But if he runs, he will lose and lose big to whoever gets the Republican nomination. He’s simply not a viable candidate for Nebraska in 2012. Of course, the Democrats have no other choices.

  33. Macdaddy says:

    Julie, you should be thankful the OWS weren’t throwing condoms at you like their comrades in Rhode Island were doing. Classy folks, that OWS.

  34. ricky says:

    Dear JSA,

    The conservative Republican class in Nebraska also want to put a right to hunt and fish into the state constitution as well as Senator Christiansen’s bill to enable Nebraska to nullify federal law.
    The elected neo-cons do not represent much of Nebraska, but they think they have to participate in a silly walk when they know Roe V Wade will not be replaced as the law of the land.
    And, thank you, Senator Mike “Fetal Pain” Flood, for having a change of heart and boycotting the silly walk.

    Ricky From Omaha

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