Obama competitive in NE02?

Close-up for OWH's Joe Morton

A few final, final notes on those PPP polls from last week. We had skipped over the second day results that showed Rick Santorum with a 39% – 25% lead over Mitt Romney in Nebraska.

What does this mean for Santorum? We have to think, nothing. We have yet to see a poll or scenario where Santorum can get the nomination, and frankly if Romney loses in November, we will not be surprised to see some blame heaped on Santorum. But Romney obviously needs to wrap things up himself, and he has yet to do it. Nebraska may get a Santorum visit.

So as a follow up, the Romney vs Obama numbers are not particularly close statewide in Nebraska. Romney holds a 51%-39% lead over the President. But, when you break it down by district, PPP shows it neck and neck in NE02, with Romney holding a one point lead. (Romney has an 8 point lead in NE01 and a 25 point lead in NE03.)

We still think the Obama camp will have much bigger fish to fry in this election rather than worrying about one Electoral Vote in Nebraska. And we also doubt that the enthusiasm will be there for the Dems this time for all of their GOTV activities. And we think things will change in the Second District once Romney sews up the nomination and becomes the national candidate. The Obama camp has been getting a free ride with the attacks by Santorum and Gingrich and Paul and others against Romney. When that disappears, we believe Romney will settle out in the second.

That is our guess. Yours?


In his Monday column, Don Walton, noting the lead the GOP Senate candidates have over Bob Kerrey, tells that an unknown Dem gestured towards Ben Nelson’s lead over Chuck Hagel at a similar point in the 1996 race. And yet Chuck Hagel won!

Well, except for the fact that there were two people running for an open seat, there is pretty much zero similarity to this race.

No one had heard of Chuck Hagel in 1996. Ben Nelson was the sitting Governor.

Today, everyone knows who Bob Kerrey is, yet they still reject him. Heck, no one knows who Deb Fischer is, and they STILL pick her by ten points over Kerrey.

Things will change in this race, but let us do a tiny bit of analysis before we start grasping at broad comparisons.


The OWH finally does a story on the DC fundraisers of the Senate candidates. If you read far enough down into the article. you will even find that Kerrey was in DC too!

The thing we like that it is totally cool for an OWH reporter to be standing around outside of the event to describe what a Senator took home in his doggie bag (sauce-slathered crab cakes!). But somehow it is unseemly for a tracker to be there with a video camera.

We are waiting for the tweets and comments about how alarmed everyone is that reporters are stalking Senate candidates (and focusing on what their guests are consuming).


Kerrey tells the North Platte Bulletin that “everything I own is in Nebraska,” and lists his businesses that he comes back to visit every once in a while.

Of course in his, “everything I own” description, he conveniently left out his New York, West Village loft. And all of his personal possessions, including his skull cap and giant trench coat and the rest of his black hipster clothes that won’t fly in Nebraska. And everything else that fills up his home. And we bet maybe a Prius or two.

But hey, if owning a business or land in Nebraska is all it takes, we are already awaiting the Ted Turner candidacy for Adrian Smith’s seat.

Oh, and Kerrey also goes on to describe his desire for a single-payer health care plan to replace ObamaCare. You may remember that Ben Nelson specifically fought to keep that idea out of ObamaCare…before he voted for the final bill.

But this is what Bob Kerrey wants to bring back folks. And we can tell you that would sell very well…in the West Village. (Psst! That’s in New York City!)


We apologize for not giving you an April Fool’s joke yesterday. So, to make up for it, here is a hillarious story from the OWH that will keep you in stitches for hours. All you really need is the headline:

State: Keep political signs off right-of-way

Whoa! Hohohohoho! Good one, State! Wheeeeee! We’ll look into that right away! Hoohoo….


  1. Seems Odd says:

    It seems odd that an OWH reporter who stood by and watched people come and go for a Kerrey fundraiser in D.C. would forget to mention that fact in the original article…..the article that mentioned Bruning’s D.C. fundraisers but not Kerrey’s. Some say that was an “oversight” by the OWH. You decide.

  2. Ted Turner for Congress? Hmmm, NOT a bad idea, Sweeper. He’s too late for this year, but it might be the right time for Ted to take up “residence” in the 3rd CD for his 2014 run. After all, isn’t Ted one of the largest, if not THE largest, landowners in the state? He could buy Tom Osborne’s old fishing shack on Lake McConaughy.

  3. Anon says:

    Whats with Stenberg calling last minute and saying he didnt think the SCC meeting was important enough for him to attend? Did he have something more important to be at Saturday? and AARP rally?

  4. Oh Mander says:

    Sure, the Obama campaign will most likely be too focussed on FL, OH, and PA this year to care about NE 02, unless of couse Kerrey can chip away at the polling gap with Bruning. NE 02 is in play if the Prez’s people view the Senate race as winnable and decide to rally the troops around Kerrey.

  5. Out of curiosity, I looked up some of Dr. Tom Osborne’s campaign contributions during the years that he served Nebraska’s 3rd CD in Congress. Interestingly enough his supposed “residence” on Lake McConaughy was mentioned only once. However, he DID list his CURRENT address, 5400 Trotter Road, Lincoln, NE., when he contributed:

    $250 to the Nebraska Republican Federal Campaign Committee on 12/23/1999
    $300 to the Stenberg for Senate 2000 Committee on 9/13/2000
    $500 to Jeff Fortenberry for United States Congress on 9/20/2004
    $500 to the Republican National Committee on 9/21/2004
    $7,500 to the National Republican Congressional Committee 8/11/2006

    Then he used P.O. Box 1027, Hastings, NE, to contribute $1000 to the Lee Terry for Congress Committee on 10/23/02, and P.O. Box 5885 in Grand Island to contribute $1,000 to the Jon Porter for Congress Committee on 8/20/2004.

    The only contribution that listed Lemoyne was $500 to the Tom Osborne for U.S. Congress on 8/19/2003, and it listed K3 Area Lot 13, Lake McConaughy, Lemoyne NE 60146 os his “residence.”

    Dr. Osborne’s wife, Nancy, whom one might suppose kept the homefires burning in their 3rd CD “home” also listed 5400 Trotter Road, Lincoln, NE as her address when she contributed $1,000 to the Hanson for Congress Committee on 7/12/2005, and $300 to the Stenberg for Senate 2006 Committee on 9/29/2005.

    Dr. Osborne, in his U.S. House of Representatives Financial Disclosure Statement for calendar years 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 listed his address as 5400 Trotter Road, Lincoln, NE.

    I’m curious, and perhaps some of you armchair legal beagles can help me out. If Dr. Osborne was “living” in his “residence” in Lemoyne, NE all those years, would his having filed these disclosure statements been an act of fraud … or worse? Or would his having claimed to live in Nebraska’s 3rd CD, so that he could run for Congress from there, have been an act of fraud … or worse?

    I don’t want to hear any more about Bob Kerrey being a “carpetbagger.”

  6. RWP says:

    I have no idea why you expect those of us who live in the first and second districts to bear any responsibility, or feel any guilt, about Tom Osborne, BTO. He was your problem, not ours. I voted against him the only time I had a chance, in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

    Let me refer you to the US Constitution, specifically Article I Section II.

    “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”

    In other words, Osborne was required to be a resident of Nebraska, not of the 3rd district.

    There was until 1967, in fact, no requirement that states be divided into House districts, and some multi-representative states elected Congressmen at large.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Obama not being competitive in Omaha? Have you noticed that the recent redistricting and reduction in polling places was citywide, but who protested and rallied an outcry? The voters in west O don’t vote much, how else do you explain Mayor Suttle and then his success with beating a recall–the guy was front row and center last evening in a Trayvon Martin vigil? Huh? Make no mistake, Obama is positioning strong and rallying his vote in all kinds of ways subtle and not so Suttle while the red vote sleeps in West O.

  8. Uhhhhh, let’s see … Sweeper’s banner says, “The talk of Nebraska politics.” It doesn’t say, “The talk of CD1 and CD2 politics.”
    So, RWP, I take it that you won’t be one of the ones complaining about Bob Kerrey coming back to Nebraska to run for a Senate seat, since Art. 1, Sect. 3 of the U.S. Constitution sets the requirements for that office.
    The issue I made was whether Dr. Osborne may have committed a class four felony, as you previously indicated that Bob Kerrey did, when he lied about his residence when filing for the office.

  9. RWP says:

    The statute I cited was voter registration, not filing for office.

    Where was Osborne registered to vote? Was he legally resident there?

  10. Anonymous says:

    Read the comments in the last blogpost. Someone anonymously accused Brian T Osborn of attacking an 84 year old woman, and his response was to attack her for a labor dispute in the 1960s. Brian sure is a class act isn’t he. HILARIOUS.

  11. Anonymous says:

    How about Brian Buescher being interested in replacing Fahleson as NEGOP Chair (per Robynn Tysver’s twitter)? He seems like an interesting and good choice

  12. RWP, I think it would be very revealing to find out if Dr. Osborne changed his voter registration to a seldom used vacation home in Keith County in order to circumvent Nebraska statutes, or if he kept his voter registration in the place where he actually hung his hat. In either case, he is a proven liar and his reputation is definitely tarnished.
    I really didn’t become involved in politics until around the time that Dr. Osborne was leaving them. Had I known then what I know now, you can trust that it would have been an issue for me.

    Pink Slime (aka Phil) @ 3:54, I hold people responsible for their actions, not their sex, age, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. If you think she needs a free ride, you go ahead and pick her up.

  13. Kortezzi says:

    Obama may indeed run TV and radio ads in Omaha. But if he does, it’s probably because the metro area overlaps with SW Iowa, and the state to our east is more likely to back Obama than the NE second district.

    Santorum’s lead in NE is due to his being the more conservative GOP candidate. But you’re right, Sweeper – – there’s little chance he’ll still be in the race by the time of Nebraska’s primary. I think Rick would call it quits today if only Newt would do so first – – which he should have done after Super Tuesday.

    BTO, if you’re convinced that Osborne commited multiple felonies, you should get the state Democratic party to file charges. They take everything you say seriously, don’t they?

  14. Anonymous says:

    BTO are you going to conduct another faux election for Phelps County Chair again this year? Tell everyone what went down in the last election in the park.

  15. Meatbeater @ 4:46, No, I have never done that in the past, so I don’t intend to be doing it in the future. Why don’t you ask the current Phelps County Democratic Chair, Robert McCormick, how he intends to run the show this year?

  16. I’ve been doing some research on the residency issue, and although I hate to admit it, it appears that RWP is absolutely correct. Neither Tom Osborne, nor Bob Kerrey would be required to live in the district they intended to represent. All that is required is that they have established residency in the state by the time of the general election in November. So, Tom Osborne’s fishing cabin ruse was not necessary, and the NEGOPS faux furor over Bob’s sister’s couch was unwarranted.
    As for whether either one of them could be held liable for being other than forthright about their voting registration, I guess we’ll have to dig a little deeper.

  17. According to the Nebraska Secretary of State’s website:
    By law, your residence is that place at which you have established a home, where you are habitually present, and to which, when you depart, you intend to return.
    Leaving for temporary purposes, such as military service, school attendance, hospital stays, or missions work need not result in a change of residence for voting purposes.
    However, any permanent change in your residence or address will require you to re-register to vote.
    If Tom Osborne changed his voter registration to Lemoyne, NE, but hung his hat in Lincoln, then it looks like he committed fraud. Otherwise he merely lied to the people of the 3rd CD. If Bob Kerrey isn’t actually living in the place he registered to vote, then he’s in deep doo doo.
    It looks to me like there is nothing which would preclude a person from registering to vote with a new address as often as they like. They could even do so on a daily basis. So, to PROVE that Bob did anything wrong would be extremely difficult.

  18. Sweetwater Observer says:

    I, along with many other voters in the 3rd District, was fooled by Tom’s carpetbagging our Congressional seat…but when it came time to voting for him for Governor, we said enough is enough. But he set the stage for someone else to try to carpetbag our Congressional seat, and we said no to Scott as well. We will say the same to the New Yorker as well, in his attempt to steal Nebraska’s Senate seat.

  19. Macdaddy says:

    No, no, no, Sweetwater. You are supposed to recognize the political genius that is Bob Kerrey and vote for him and his couch-hopping ways.

  20. Why worry about where our candidates live? The thing that SHOULD worry us is WHO is controlling them. Geez, SweetH2O, look at Adrain Smith, if he didn’t have the puppet masters at Club for Growth pulling his strings, he wouldn’t even be able to stand upright. Terry, Fortenberry, Nelson and Johanns are no better. They all do the bidding of their corporate masters.
    The thing I DO like about Bob Kerrey is exactly the thing that got you all to calling him Cosmic Bob. It is the way he does what he thinks is right and damn the consequences. I doubt Bob would be checking in on the polls everyday, testing the waters, and sticking a finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing before making decisions. We could use more, not less, of that.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hey everyone don’t you get it. Its ok when Republicans hide behind the letter of the law called our Constitution. But if a Democrat like Bob Kerrey does it . That is nasty and wrong. A real simple fact to remember Nebraska is a Republican state any thing to change that is wrong. Anything to keep it that way is ok. Got it?

  22. RWP says:

    People can have more than one residence. It’s perfectly legal. People can habitually reside in two or even three places. Problem was, none of Bob’s were in Nebraska. and none will be, after Nov. 2012, win or lose.

  23. Kortezzi says:

    Where a candidate lives does matter – – or should. An office holder can’t be expected to be responsive to his constituents if he wins election and leaves.

    Osborne was a shoe-in when he ran for Congress in 2000. I wish he had instead run for Senate in 1998. He’d have beaten Ben Nelson in a landslide, whereas Don Stenberg lost 51-49%. But that would have been like putting Alabama or USC on the football schedule – – a real contest! Tom chose the 3rd CD so he wouldn’t have to challenge Doug Bereuter. That move was like scheduling a game against Middle Tennessee State.

    Given his Hastings roots and statewide support, Osborne’s carpetbagging was minor and forgivable, and he won again in 2002 and 2004. But his support for in-state tuition for illegal immigrants was badly out of touch, which was why he lost the GOP primary for Governor to Dave Heineman in 2006.

    Bob Kerrey has lost touch with Nebraska in a more obvious way. Twelve years in DC and 11 years in New York have made him a very different person than he was 20 years ago. The voter registration fiasco brought even more attention to that fact than anything Kerrey’s GOP opponents could have done.

  24. The only “fiasco” involved with voter registration was what the NEGOP did with it. It was comedy worthy of the Keystone Kops! And don’t kid yourselves, a LOT of Nebraskans saw all that for what it was worth and they were laughing AT the NEGOP, not with them.

  25. RWP says:

    Reading the comments after the NY Times article today, I discern New Yorkers think Kansas should be grateful to have Bob Kerrey as a Senator.

    Oh, and go Kansas.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Bottom line is most Nebraskans don’t like liberals. If you aren’t disliked you get away with a thing or two. If you are despised by the majority, like Obama is, then you get called out most everything. It really isn’t difficult to understand. Of course it sucks to be in the minority, and to have most people not agree with much of what you have to say. Like right now it sucks for most Nebraskans, Republicans, Independents, and some Democrats, to have Obama in office. With a little bit of effort and an a nice turnout by the everybody who doesn’t support the Presidents ideology, there will be a new President to focus on. Just the way it is. If you don’t like it then move away to a state where your views are in the majority.

    Speaking of the majority it looks like the Governor left most of the Legislature’s budget alone. There is at least one veto override vote to be considered though.

    In other news,,,,,,,,,, Ben Nelson is fading away fast…….and that guy from New York is too.

  27. NE Voter says:

    Blah, blah, blah.

    Despite Lautenbaugh playing Geppetto to Phipps’ Pinocchio, Obama once again will win CD2.

    And at the risk of getting ahead of ourselves, Suttle will be re-elected in 2013.

    In closing, why does Brian Buescher always look like he just sucked a lemon?

  28. Too Bad says:

    Make up your minds. Either everyone in Nebraska knows who Mr. Kerrey is, or he’s a has-been nobody from New York City.

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