Poll: Nebraskans love Heineman, hate Nelson

Public Policy Poling came out with their final results from last weekend’s polling in Nebraska.

They found that:

  • Dave Heineman gets the highest approval rating of any Governor in the country (60%).
  • Mike Johanns has one of the highest approval ratings of any Senator (55%).
  • Tom Osborne is the most popular person in Nebraska (79%).
  • Warren Buffett is the most popular person at Gorat’s (though has a lower statewide approval, 63%, than Osborne).
  • Bo Pelini is stil popular (58%), but not as popular as he once was (70%).

The kicker was Ben Nelson’s numbers. PPP notes that once pols announce their retirement, their poll numbers tend to go up — maybe for nostalgia’s or pity’s sake.
But not Nelson’s.

Nelson’s numbers make him one of the LEAST POPULAR Senators in the country.

The least!

PPP found Nelson’s approval rating to be just 36%, with 53% disapproving. They state that that 17 point spread is the worst they have found for any Senator in the last two years.

Hmm. Wonder what the cause of that could be?


Maybe it is the Cornhusker Kickback!

And Nelson is still kicking away after Untied States Supreme Court Justice Nino Scalia took a shot at him from the bench during oral arguments on ObamaCare this week.

Scalia referred to the “venality” of the Cornhusker Kickback — essentially bribery of a public official. Of course Scalia was referencing it humorously to make a point about the court’s inability to decide what parts of the law should stay intact if another part is chopped out. (In other words, the court should not rewrite the law, by deciding what should last if the individual mandate is found unconstitutional. Congress should have to go back to the drawing board and fix it themselves, if they want to.)

Scalia also called it “cruel and unusual punishment” to expect the Justices to read the entire 2,500 page law. He pointed out that he would more than likely have a staffer plow through it if need be. But we would also wager a guess that Scalia will argue that if they knock it down because of the individual mandate, the rest doesn’t matter.

But Nelson would have none of it. And he could not return a joke with a joke. Or make a counterpoint at least with a smile. Nope, he shot back, “It seems fitting that Justice Scalia’s attempt at humor instead displayed his ignorance of the law.”

Now you can call Scalia whatever you want — but ignorant, he ain’t. And it is sort of cute that Nelson doesn’t understand the point Scalia was making about severability, and looks at it only down his political nose.

Besides, maybe Scalia is just saying that we have to reject ObamaCare to really find out what is in it.


We sort of blew off the Lincoln Journal Star’s editorial the other day, criticizing the NEGOP for their court challenge against Bob Kerrey’s candidacy. Our feeling on it was that it was written as a take-home assignment for the new junior staffer. But we didn’t feel like making the effort to write that up here.

Well, we got a chuckle when Nebraska Republican Party Chair Mark Fahleson wrote an Op-Ed in the LJS hammering the editorial, entitled “Error-riddled regurgitation by an intern” (snort).

From Fahleson:

(Y)our editorial blindly dismisses Kerrey’s residency problems by claiming that Chuck Hagel and Tom Osborne also had residency problems. Tom Osborne? Really? No one disputes that Osborne and his wife have lived their entire adult lives in Nebraska and owned homes in Lincoln and near Ogallala. Former Sen. Chuck Hagel and his family lived in Nebraska at least four years before he filed to run for the U.S Senate. Your simple regurgitation of Democratic talking points about Kerrey’s residency problems does a disservice to Osborne, Hagel and the entire political process.

Nice work there, Mr. Chairman. This will continue to be campaign year to talk about.


Oh, and one final note on that PPP poll:

60% of Nebraskans favor building the Keystone XL Pipeline. And that’s a majority of Republicans, Independents AND Democrats.


Have yourselves a weekend!


  1. Kortezzi says:

    Nelson is the angry one here. In fact, he sounds like a bitter clinger.
    He’s bitter at the lack of hero-worship from Nebraskans too stupid to be grateful for his masterfully negotiated Cornhusker Kickback.
    And clinging to the memory of when he was among the most popular Nebraska politicians, which wasn’t all that long ago.

  2. Sweetwater Observer says:

    Why is the LJS editorial board so liberal and ignorant?

    Just remember, subscribers and readers of the OWH and the LJS must never criticize, because, after all, readers are NOT journalists and editorialists or know the newspaper business, so we must not be allowed to comment on their performance. No siree! Only those involved in the business know how to report and editorialize…. and the readers can just shut the hell up.

  3. Mel Mains says:

    What was my popularity rating? Devaney and I have the overs at 81%. Bruce Kopplin down a chute at 47%. Siemek kicks ole Bruce K. around.

  4. SweetH20, I see you’re still bitching about that darned free enterprise system that you conservatives are always bragging about. So, which is it, do you LIKE the fact that the owners of a business can do (and write) as they please, or don’t you?

  5. SweetH20, You wrote, “Why is the LJS editorial board so liberal and ignorant?”

    Is that question in reference to why in the world they printed Mark Fahleson’s manifesto demonstrating his level of ignorance in yesterday’s issue?

  6. Anonymostly says:

    A couple of predictions for when the SCOTUS strikes down Obamasurance in June:

    1. John Bruning is going to be a frickin’ hero in this state — a status that won’t easily rub off prior to the November elections no matter what the Democrat smear machine has dug up; and

    2. The libs will be in full dudgeon about an activist court striking down an act lawfully passed by Congress and signed into law by the President.

  7. Sweetwater Observer says:

    BTO (no d)

    Indeed they can print whatever they want. But when they do, they should stop saying they are fair and unbiased.

    LJS didn’t write Mark’s letter, they just printed it. And after the crappy editorials they do write on a daily basis, they were probably more than pleased to print something that was well written and made some sense.

  8. @Macdaddy says:

    Other results of the poll: POTUS has a chance in CD 2 and a majority of Nebraskans favor splitting our electoral college votes.

  9. I did not know that the LJS ever claimed to be fair and unbiased. Is that printed on their front page banner or elsewhere in the newspaper? I was aware that Fox News fibs BOLDLY about their being “fair and balanced” and that is why they get called on their lies all the time.

  10. Bam says:

    Hey cool! I used the word “manifesto” yesterday, and Bri-Bri is using it today! I predict he’ll be angry I pointed that out.

  11. Anonymous says:

    The LJS never went to court to saying they had a right to lie. Now FOX news went to court saying they have a right to lie. Guess what? They lie all the time. Their owner said the main goal of FOX news was to tell their viewers what they want to hear even if it is not true. The LJS is a paper in a very right wing state. It may not be good business sense to tell the truth . But it is the truth and honest people should appreciate it.

  12. RWP says:

    Actually, Fox News did no such thing. A single broadcasting station in Florida, which happened to be a Fox affiliate, challenged the applicability of a Florida whistle blowing statute, arguing that the FCC policy against falsification is not a “law, rule, or regulation”. Saying a policy does not apply to you does not mean that you admit you violated the policy. It just means its easier to get a suit thrown out for standing than it is to fight in on factual grounds. The appeal that WTVT won did not address claims of falsification at all.

    The lawsuit was over a planned four part series on the dangers of recombinant bovine growth hormone. When Monsanto, the maker of the hormone, was asked by WTVT for a response, they complained the report was grossly distorted and irresponsible. After the reporters in question made a major issue of it and rewrote the story 80 times to try to get it aired, WTVT fired them.

    Most reputable research institutions that have looked at recombinant bovine growth hormone have concluded its use poses no hazards for humans. So in fact, Monsanto was right, and WTVT in effect sued for the right not to lie.

    But anonymous coward @4:56, in his/her/its reckless disregard for the facts, is undoubtedly a liar.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Wish I had as much time to investigate as RWP. If only I were a college professor working on the taxpayer’s dime. Sigh.

  14. ricky says:

    All these polls tell me is how dumb Nebraskans are; and a majority of them Republicans.
    Tom Osborne with a 79% approval rating? Haven’t Nebraskans seen how T O has messed up the UNL athletic department? And BO Pelini with a 58% approval rating? Haven’t the Husker fans seen how BO has embarrassed the state time and time again on television? I must have been in a coma when T O as AD and BO as football coach brought championships to the school.
    Mr Bruning is unlucky that the election is not tomorrow; he has plenty of time to screw things up and no doubt he will.
    Also Justice Scalia brought my respect for the SCOTUS down a lot when he spouted G O P talking points. Sounds like the Bush appointee is watching too much Fox TV.

    ricky from omaha

  15. Bam-Bam, Sorry to disappoint you. Actually I’m glad that your mommy is looking up new words for you to use. She’s a good mother to be helping you with your vocabulary. Now if only she’d work on your self esteem issues.

  16. RWP says:

    Wish I had as much time to investigate as RWP. If only I were a college professor working on the taxpayer’s dime. Sigh.

    I’m still in slavery at 5:34 on a Friday?

    Here’s the deal. Get a good college degree. Then spend 6 or 7 years on a doctorate. Then do a couple of post docs. They’ll take you maybe 4 years these days, if you’re lucky. Then you spend 7 years proving you should get to keep your job, and another 3 or 4, if you’re good, to get promoted to professor.

    Send me a postcard when you’re done.

  17. Byron "Turd" Hawthorne says:

    Hello, I don’t have much to say. Just want to say I’m here and I have opinions. Smart ones, too. I’m going to go think some up and then I’ll be back. Right now I think I don’t like Republicans.

  18. While RWP and I go round and round on most of the issues, I do have to admit that I respect the very important research that he has done, particularly in the area of identifying explosives. Unlike many other posters here on LS, he does his research and bases his arguments on the facts as he sees them, rather than merely tossing unsubstantiated BS into the mix.
    We don’t have to have a visceral hatred for one another because of our differences of opinion, but when anonymous monkey poop tossers pop up, it is just too amusing to treat them like a Whack-A-Mole game.

  19. Lil Mac says:

    A Democrat polling firm polled the high popularity of a GOP Gov and GOP Senator after it discovered Kerrey getting whipped by two boy AGs and a uncameral girl, as if to suggest Nebraska is so solidly Republican that no Democrat can get elected in NE. As excuses go, that is more comforting than saying voters find Kerrey repulsive, just as voters obviously find Nelson repulsive. Yet until recently, Nebraskans loved Dems Exon, Kerrey and Nelson, and NE’s nonpartisan unicameral shows Nebraskans vote for individuals they trust and that parties don’t much matter. Or do some partisan things matter after all?

    Just because Nebraskan’s are happy with Heineman and Johanns that doesn’t mean Nebraskans are kneejerk Republicans. NE voters still don’t like parties. But their distrust of all parties leaves them open to seeing one party’s core principles and policies as a cause of America’s, and their own, severe pain. If that is what is going on in Nebraska and in America today, if liberal principles made into Obama’s policies are on trial by voters, we are perhaps looking at something more dramatic than just Obama losing. Or, maybe not. We shall see.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Keith Olbermann is suing Al Gore’s CURRENT TV network for firing Olbermann last year for, says Gore, failing to share “values of respect” held by the network, which replaced Olbermann with disgraced former NY Gov. Eliot Spitzer infamous for the 2008 prostitution ring scandal. The madam jailed for the Spitzer affair later ran for Spitzer’s old seat. Rumor has it that Spitzer will be replaced by Bob Kerrey.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Bri-Bri is extending an olive branch to RWP? Why does this remind me of Adolf Hitler asking Joe Stalin for a nonaggression pact in ’39? (Not that you’re anything resembling Stalin, Prof).

  22. TexasAnnie says:

    Don’t bet on your analysis, Lil Mac. Most Americans don’t think as Nebraskans, and many Americans are finally realizing how egregious public policy-making has become. (They should have been listening to Libertarian philosophy decades ago!) It is amusing and also sad that many Nebraskans will vote for the candidate Julie picks out, or the du jour ‘tea party’ favorite without actually upholding tea party principles. (Corporate welfare is at least as bad as people welfare!)

    While you assert that liberal principles may be on trail, I’m asserting that conservative principles are on trail too. It’s both the Republicans AND Democrats who got us into the mess we’re in. And it’s the minor parties and the ‘tea party’ who seek a remedy, not the R’s and D’s. But as you say, “we shall see” whether this election year will free Americans of their longstanding two-party-bondage.

  23. Anon@12:08am, I wouldn’t say that was an “olive branch” extended to RWP (aka Right Wing Professor, aka Gerard Harbison), just the facts. I do indeed respect the work that Mr. Harbison has done on our behalf. I would be a fool not to. One of the few things that we seem to agree on is that we haven’t much use for anonymous monkey poop tossers.
    Now, before you bring up the issue of Street Sweeper also being anonymous, it would be very in-civil of me to take him, as the host of my often verbose diatribes on LS, to task over his shyness. SS does write a lot of things that I disagree with, but they are his opinions, not merely monkey poop.
    If I, as a citizen of south-central Nebraska, didn’t personally like a lot of Republicans and conservatives, I wouldn’t have many friends. I like them as people, I just disagree with their ideas.

  24. Texas Annie, you do make some good points, but the solution to our problems doesn’t lie with Libertarianism, nor Tea Party tomfoolery. To do so would be tossing the baby out with the bath water. What is needed is a return to bi-partisanship, when both Democrats and Republicans worked toward the same destination, serving the American people, albeit with differing philosophies as to how to get there. Our representatives in government used to care more about the people they supposedly represented than the money it took to get them into office. Now they are mostly nothing but corporate whores.

  25. Anonymous says:

    If you all want to see how much of a man BTO is, realize this. Marion Bahrensky, who BTO constantly attacks on here, is 84 years old. Ask yourself what sort of man incessantly attacks an 84 year old woman?

  26. Monkey poop tosser @ 2:31,
    “… who BTO constantly attacks …” WTF are you smoking and where can I get some?
    If that 84 year old woman didn’t insist on being the only “voice” of all Democrats in the 3rd CD (sending out her NDP approved, however self-serving, propaganda newsletter with the email list that I provided her) and if she hadn’t thought that just because she was the Chair of the 3rd CD that she could run it like her own private dictatorship, she could still be a friend of mine. Although there IS that other little thing about her having hidden the fact that she was a SCAB during the 1960 New York teachers’ strike. Sooooooo ,,,,
    Just as many other posters here on LS insist that Bob Kerrey must be judged not only on his valor, but on his responsibility for other actions, so must everyone else. I don’t discriminate based on race, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, infirmity, weight, beauty or AGE. My rancor is directed towards ANYONE that deserves it. You, for example, are lower than a snake’s belly … and that is putting it nicely.

  27. Macdaddy says:

    BTO, what decade would you be referring to for this wonderful bipartisanship you speak of? Would that be the 00’s? LOL. How about the 90’s with Clinton getting impeached and everyone on the liberal side of the aisle destroying any woman who dared oppose Billary. Ah, yes. It was the 80s. All the Democrats loved Reagan. The 70s? Snort, snort. The 60’s? With the Vietnam War? I know. The 50s. There you go. BTO wants us to return to the 1950s for some mythical bipartisanship.

  28. TexasAnnie says:

    Yeaaa, Brian. What decade indeed! Never during my lifetime did I fail to notice partisan rancor, and never since I began reading Libertarian philosophy a few decades ago did I wish for bipartisan cooperation! In this case, I do want the baby thrown out with the bathwater. At the very least, the R’s and D’s, when lawmaking, could “permit” third parties legitimate ballot access without going to court to secure it… Hell, we may not even get a primary voting date down here in Texas due to the partisanship having taken place when R’s and D’s were last redistricting.

  29. Macdaddy and Texas Annie,
    Bipartisanship did exist. It wasn’t the lovefest that you both think it would be if everyone just thought exactly the way each of you does, but the rancor, the bitterness, and the logjams were nowhere nearly as pronounced as they are now. It used to be that the Rs and the Ds fought over issues, sometimes acrimoniously, but then they’d sit down together and figure out how to keep things working. Now they refuse to sit with one another even for the best of causes.
    McD, there is no way that Bill Clinton would have gotten the things done that he did without help from some folks on the other side of the aisle. It would be far better to return to the days of Eisenhower, albeit without the misogyny and racism, than to continue the way we have been.
    TA, I can’t help you insofar as Texas goes. I’ve been there twice in my lifetime and I couldn’t wait to get away from it as quick as I could each time. I regret that Davy Crockett, my ggg-grandfather had anything to do with encouraging them to become a nation.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Macdaddy and Texas Annie, BTO is absolutely right. I remember those days. Just pick up any history book instead of relying on suspect memories. And don’t give me the trite, lazy response that both sides are just as bad. The current breed of Republicans practice obstructionism far beyond what Democrats did during GW Bush’s terms.

  31. Macdaddy says:

    You guys are either naive or idiots if you think there was this air of kumbaya in Washington at any time other than for about 2 weeks after 9/11. Now if by bipartisanship you mean that members of both parties voted for things after hard fought compromises, then guess what? Bipartisanship is alive and well today. Opposition to Obamacare was bipartisan. Support for the Iraq war was bipartisan. In both instances, the bipartisanship came about because the other side thought it was to their political advantage to vote the way they did, not because they got a warm fuzzy feeling for their colleagues across the aisle. Hence Kerry’s I was for it before I was against it BS. Tip O’Neill pulled the same crap. He went along with the Reagan because he thought he had to politically. He would have shanked him if he thought he could get away with it. My guess is that by bipartisanship you mean that the Republicans would roll over on everything. Well, then you’re right. It’s gone and good riddance.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Yeah, MacDaddy. What alternate universe were you living in the last 20 years? Sure, both sides will obstruct. But Republicans have turbocharged obstructionism. There is no comparison, but I forgot that you righties only see black and white. Shades and degrees are unrecognizable by you.

  33. Macdaddy says:

    You nimrods completely missed my point which was that your nostalgia for bipartisanship was for an era that never existed. I think it’s great that bipartisanship is officially dead. Let’s quit the pretenses. I applaud the Repblicans for not voting for the suicide pact known as Obamacare. We are at the point where the problems we face require either or solutions rather than compromise. One side is proposing more government despite not having money to pay for it or providing any proof that it will work this time. The other side proposes less government. Where can compromise take place? That’s an either/or proposition. I have to laugh that BTO complains about us getting screwed by both parties. Well guess what? That’s the essence of bipartisanship! Geez. At least use some logic sometime.

  34. RWP says:

    At risk of introducing some actual facts, the US was superficially bipartisan before the 60s because the interests were primarily regional, not ideological. You still see it in Ag. subsidy bills, which are the most bipartisan legislation we still have. So Southern Democrats created cross party coalitions to keep Jim Crow going, New England Republicans to keep protectionism going, etc..

    Bipartisanship was cronyism at its worst. It was almost always in defense of something evil. And the worst ideas are almost always bipartisan. Now we have a struggle of ideas between freedom and big gummint. St. George vs. the dragon. I’m OK with choosing a side.

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