Latest Poll: Fischer leads Kerrey by 18

First a quick Separated at Birth rerun from over a year ago (whew, time flies!):

Deb Fischer and President Taylor from “24”.


The latest Rasmussen Reports survey of 500 Likely Nebraska voters shows Deb Fischer with an 18 point lead over Bob Kerrey. It looks like this:


That Undecided number is significant. Remember that going into the final week of the GOP Primary, the polls which asked for an undecided found that number still nearly in the 30’s. Obviously this means that not only would Kerrey need to get voters to lean his way, he will need to pull them away from favoring Deb Fischer.

And while there is always a great deal of discussion about how spectacular the Bob Kerrey Campaign will be, it will not be operating in a vacuum. Kerrey’s voting history is much deeper and richer than Deb Fischer’s. Might Kerrey pound away at Fischer? Sure. But do not doubt for a second that voters will learn about all the things that Kerrey supports and has voted on which do not jibe with their views.

Remember that it is the Kerrey strategy to find out what the voters want, then convince them that you want the same things. That may prove difficult for Kerrey now that he has a significant record of NOT wanting the things that Nebraskans want.


These things always come in waves, and the Talking Heads always need something and someone to talk about, but Deb Fischer has been riding a Delta rocket of popularity the last few days as she rocked the Nebraska and national political world with her win on Tuesday.

Already one candidate in Texas described himself as the “Deb Fischer of Texas”. Politico wrote the “Ten facts about Deb Fischer“. And Charlie Cook, of the venerable Cook Political Report was on MSNBC’s Morning Joe this morning and batted away Joe Scarborough’s suggestion that the election was “Bob Kerrey’s to lose.”

No. I think this is the outcome Democrats would like least to see happen. She’s the least controversial of all the candidates.

(We noted this yesterday.)


We will not spend much more time rehashing the race, except to say that both Jon Bruning and Don Stenberg were gracious to Fischer in the face of their loss.

Think how difficult it must have been for Bruning to go to that unity rally for Fischer. Easier in theory than a Stenberg victory, since Bruning and Fischer traded few blows. But humbling, nonetheless.

It will be, and is in some ways more, difficult for Stenberg or Bruning hard-core supporters to get behind Fischer at the moment. We have no doubt that they eventually will, but we understand that these things take time.


Big wins for Lee Terry and John Ewing in Nebraska’s 2nd District. The prognosticators still cannot seem to get over Terry’s challengers receiving votes. We would say that it is simply a sign of the times and the character of the district. In the mean time, Terry still pulls around 60% and we will see if he does much less than that in November against bully, John Ewing.

Did we say “Bully”? Yeah, we did.

We are going back to Ewing’s mailer a week or two ago where he chuckled to himself that back in high school — HIGH SCHOOL — he was a starter on the football team and that Terry was “the water boy”.

Yeah, Terry was an equipment manager of the football team — while working a separate job all through high school, we would add. And having played high school sports we will say that we never, NEVER would hassle a team manger. These are students who are trying to help the team win and oftentimes trying to help the athletes personally. We never knew any fellow teammates who would demean them by using the term “water boy”.

And maybe Ewing was or wasn’t that kind of guy in high school. But as an “adult” his jokey comments demean every student who is trying to help their team, even when they can’t play and won’t get an ounce of the admiration and accolades the players get.

But it is nice to learn a little bit about John Ewing. Pass it along.


Back at the Senate race, Senator Mike Johanns went hard at it in Roll Call against the Club For Growth, and their attacks on Jon Bruning in the Senate race.

Johanns notes that the CFG is now trying to claim victory in the race, saying that their real goal was to defeat Bruning, not to try to elect Don Stenberg. Which is complete and utter nonsense.

As Johanns said,

“I feel bad for Don because he is a good guy that worked hard and beat his brains out trying to put this Senate race together. But at the end of the day I really think [the outside groups] hurt,” Johanns said. “The club came to Nebraska to elect Don Stenberg. Deb Fischer wasn’t on the radar screen with them. For them to argue that this was about Bruning is to rewrite recent history.”

We are hearing this from Jim DeMint as well — that he is happy about the Fischer win –, and we just chuckle.

And Johanns was uber-critical of DeMint’s efforts, to the New York Times, on behalf of Stenberg as well saying it would be…

“…like me going to Massachusetts and telling Scott Brown how to win,” he said of the freshman senator facing a re-election battle.

Finishing up on Kerrey, Johanns said,

“I would call Bob a friend. But my goodness, setting aside New York and where he’s lived, he supports cap and trade, believes the health care bill did not go far enough and voted five times to uphold partial-birth abortion,” Johanns said. “I don’t know where Bob goes.”


You thought he was gone? You thought he was out? Oh he’s still kickin’ ass and takin’ names, baby.

Hal Daub over 50% in the four candidate regent primary.

(Former Democrat Governor candidate Mark Lakers? 4th place with 8%…)


And by the way, the Secretary of State’s election results web site? Kicked ass.
Nice job John Gale and whomever else put that together.


  1. Commentator says:

    Mike Johanns is a terrific senator and a policy maker of the first-order, but some of his observations on the politics of things are downright silly.

    The Club for Growth and Senate Conservatives Fund campaigns were ABSOLUTELY about Jon Bruning. That takedown was personal to them, and Don Stenberg was just the vehicle they used. Yes it helped to sink Stenberg – who was never, ever going to win this race – but taking out Jon Bruning was their number one goal, without a doubt.

    Maybe Johanns knows this and was just lashing out at DeMint, but man does it sound naive.

    Johanns then said that Fischer wouldn’t get “tangled up” with the TEA Party. Yikes. Let me know how that one works out for you, Senator.

  2. RWP says:

    Seeing the poll numbers, a quiet man in Lyons Nebraska allows himself a smile…

    Biggest problem for Kerrey, that far down, will be fundraising. Nobody wants to donate big to a near-certain loser.

  3. CC Music Factory says:


    I found it interesting that he was getting $$ out of DC and NY in such numbers before the primary had ended, and before he had shown any numbers that had shown he could be competitive coming back here.

    He endorses gay marriage and tax increases ALREADY in such an early phase of the campaign. Maybe… MAYBE you can afford to do that it you’re up. But down… and he was down in the polls taken before the primary was over, and that hasn’t changed. The numbers actually show him about the same away from Deb that he was away from Bruning the last go around on numbers for Kerrey. A little different, but not much. After those revelations this early in the campaign, I’m beginning to wonder if this is a smokescreen for Bob to get money, and then just tank the campaign. Not what I’d expect, but then I wouldn’t have expected him to come out in favor of gay marriage and tax increases so early either.

  4. Kortezzi says:

    Though I supported Stenberg I will happily vote for Fischer in November. In the meantime, I can’t wait to hear what happens when Bob Kerrey goes to kiss Jane Kleeb’s ring. He should also remember to pay a visit to the discouraged liberal base at McFoster’s.

    Calling Lee Terry a waterboy is not a classy move by John Ewing. Reminds me of Patton’s description of Eisenhower (“the best clerk I ever had.”) But when the attention returns to Ewing’s incident in Aurora CO – – as it surely will – – Ewing will make local Democrats wish they’d nominated Gwen Howard.

    Mike Johanns should think twice about trying to make enemies of DeMint and the Club for Growth. Plenty of Nebraskans would certainly vote for a conservative opponent to Johanns in 2014. Don’t be surprised if Mild Mike faces at primary challenge then.

  5. RWP says:

    CC Music Factory, I think you nailed it.

    In the last couple of months, I’ve read almost ever word ever written about Bob Kerrey, and I’ve come to two conclusions. The first is that he truly is an unusual politician. Some politicians never make much money; some make enough to be comfortable; and some make money before they go into politics, and use the money to buy power. But Kerrey (as he once blurted out in an unguarded moment) got into politics because he saw it as a way to become rich in business. The power is secondary to him.

    Bob made an enormous amount of money last year, almost all of it in payments for nebulous services from a couple of billionaire Democrat donors. Looking at the timing of those payments, and a significant meeting Kerrey had with Obama’s chief of staff in May 2011, I’m convinced Kerrey was, quite simply, paid several million bucks to run. I honestly don’t think he cares that much if he’s elected or not; as a matter of fact I wonder if, now he’s collected, he’s particularly fired up about winning. He’s quite happy to reiterate unpopular positions he held when he was, basically, running for President, and had to make nice to the Dem. base. He’s a very smart man, and was a very adept pol. once. He must know that those positions will cost him votes in Nebraska.

    I could well be wrong, but I think he’s just going through the motions. He has a social media staffer putting out lame tweets, he has an unimaginative campaign strategy with a couple of truly left-field ideas. It’s hard to believe the same guy once, as a newbie, beat an incumbent governor and senator.

  6. CC Music Factory says:

    SM – Little different story head to head v. primary. And Kerrey already had ads out to remind people of who he was in March and April while the Republican primary was going on. Some of the older polls suggest (and I don’t subscribe to Rasmussen or any of the pollsters, so I can’t see what the percentage of favorable/unfavorable is in that poll) that Kerrey’s unfavorables are very high in this state. That becomes an extreme problem, and not one that looks good for his chances. He isn’t as ‘unknown’ as many would like him to be, and his policy differences to Deb’s are in stark contrast to those of the three primary candidates. Also, as SS pointed out, there aren’t large numbers of undecideds here, like there were in almost every primary poll that was taken. While damage can be done with negative advertising on Deb, I’m sure, Kerrey’s road is MUCH tougher than hers was because of the differences I’ve listed. It’s not apples and apples you’re comparing there.

  7. CC Music Factory says:

    RWP –

    I’m actually truly surprised that the two guys smart enough to get Kerrey elected twice (himself and Johnson), and the guy smart enough to get Nelson through two elections (Johnson again), allowed those opinions to really get out there, much less this early. While I know he tried to minimize both by saying the gay marriage stance mirrored Cheney’s, and the tax increases would come after spending cuts, either one of those ideas doesn’t sell in Nebraska. It just doesn’t. Both of these guys know that. I just can’t see them making taking those risks in a calculated effort to actually win support here. I guess we’ll see in the next few months.

  8. Political Genius says:

    This state knows Bob Kerrey and what his positions are on the issues. 38% is about right for Bob. This vote will be a referendum on Obama and Obamacare. Since Kerrey supports both, he will go down in flames.

  9. Indeed, as RWP alluded to, Bob Kerrey isn’t so pure that he wouldn’t view public office as a way to make money. The next time someone suggests that ol’ Cosmic Bob would NEVER even consider such a thing, show ’em this:

    “You have to know someone or cater to this or that politician, to get anything. The only way you are going to be able to make any money is to be in politics.” Bob Kerrey, September 1981

  10. Macdaddy says:

    I have to tip my hat to Bruning as well. For making Hagel take a hard look at his future when it was a definite risk on his part, I will always be grateful. After getting blasted with all kinds of personal attacks and then lose at the last minute, he was quickly gracious and threw his support behind Fischer. Hopefully loyalty like that will get noticed at the national stage.

    John Ewing obviously should have been watching TV last night. The waterboy singlehandedly won the game.

  11. 2013 says:

    The next mayor of Omaha introduced Deb Fischer in Omaha today at the Marriott event. Hint ….it wasn’t you Dave!

  12. Lindstrom at 23%??? says:

    How does a political nobody Lindstrom drop 23% and freeman who has been in politics for years and Heidel an elected official combine for less than Lindstrom. No one ever heard of this kid a year ago?? Smells fishy.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Franklin would not be a great mayor…its very telling that he has not been elected council president the last 12 years he’s been on the council

  14. Huh says:

    Scott peterson works his butt off good luck trying to find someone to do that job for free. Of coarse we can go back to Nancy that worked out well

  15. Interesting says:

    Well I dont know the facts but 23% for Lindstrom with no prior political involvement and his team had NO involvement seems a bit weird. Love to see the precinct breakdown

  16. Lil Mac says:

    Kerrey running for the Senate again is like a guy trying to remarry his ex-wife. That is so very unlike him. President? Sure. But his old job? That never has made sense. Money would motivate. Of course, Fischer must assume he is running for real.

    Stenberg’s and Bruning’s supporters, indeed all Republcians, are irrelevant to Fischer now. GOP voters will flood to the polls in Nov to vote against Obama. What Deb needs are Independents to vote for Fischer in November. But since there are only 3% undecided and she’s up 18, she apparently has that too, at least so far.

    Now the hot spotlight is on her. And with Bob being lower and with no wiggle room, he is be forced to do throw fire bombs at her and she has to be smart enough to handle it. If she doesn’t melt, she wins.

  17. Straight voter says:

    To love to see jean: I hear several black ministers have reached out to Jean due to Suttles and Grays position on LGBT issues. If jean got 20 percent of the North O vote, Suttle would lose in a landslide!

  18. Anda, ya. says:

    First, and most importantly; Ewing went to NORTHWEST. doesn’t count if you played football there. It is like being on the chess team at Omaha South or the coed liaison at Prep.

    Gwen Howard is a cat lady.

    Johanns wore a vest (mix between han solo and American gothic) on a state map as Governorm(seriously, all he lacked was a pitchfork) and lee terry was a water boy.

    Kerrey was a killing machine who went on to riches and screen Starlets. If only he believed smoking bans were for fascists and that abortions were only acceptable if the same methods were employed in capital cases….okay that was tasteless.

    None of them really seem like someone I woulD like to have a drink with which is an entirely acceptable metric in my opinion, which is why I voted for bruning because he could pick up the tab and take the bar to the nelnet lake home for Ashland dancers on the house.goodnite.

  19. The Joke says:

    Did you hear Nabity is unofficially officially running for Mayor? He thinks he can intimidate the competition. Right Jon…errr I mean Dave.

  20. CC Member says:

    Scott Petersen is not as great as he says he is, especially as county chairman. The central committee meetings take FAR too long, we can’t get printed financial reports since ‘it costs too much’, not to mention the backstabbing against the volunteers actually get things done

  21. Ikon says:

    So what’s the back story on the Fischers? How did they get the land rights or who did they Bribe??

    They will be seriously vetted! Might be fun??

    I must say however, that you GOPER Nebraskan are really simpletons en masse! Deb Fischer is in the Little Leagues & now that your hero, corrupt Jon “Raccoon” Burning is out, you all want to send someone from the Little League to DC to be another bump – on – a – log GOP rubber stamp like the rest of your Reps.! No wonder J. Bob Kerrey got the hell out of Nebraska!!

    BTW; Open up your crusty eyes & accept the fact that Obama brought this country back from it’s Death Throes! Death Throes brought on by those pathetic POS Cheney & Bush!! Stupidity, BOUNDLESS STUPIDITY!!!

  22. Waterboy says:

    Did Ewing call the Aurora police officer a waterboy–if so, maybe that’s part of the reason he was arrested there.

  23. RWP says:

    No wonder J. Bob Kerrey got the hell out of Nebraska!!

    But…but…Bleecker St. Bob says it’s ‘great to be back’. You’re saying he’s insincere? I’m so disillusioned!

  24. Badger Benson says:

    Bob Kerrey back in Nebraska for 2012 senate run = Walter Mondale’s 2002 senate run in Minnesota.

  25. Whatever says:

    That’s okay. Recently studies have repeatedly shown that Rasmussen is the least accurate polling firm in the country. Fischer got an initial bump too because of the media in the last few days. The numbers are more like neck and neck. But as people get to know Fischer, she will start to drop again.

  26. CC Music Factory says:

    Anon @ 5:13: as opposed to Whatever, who couldn’t be bothered to post any links to back up the repeated studies statement? Even if Rasmussen is the least accurate (and I’m in no way conceding that) any likelihood the poll is far enough off to make the race within even ten points is unlikely. Fischer was polling in double digits ahead of Kerrey with little name recognition before the primary. While I think the Dems will have some fight in them, it’s tough to ignore high unfavorables for Kerrey along with a low number of other voters and undecideds. At this pint, it’s pretty obvious a good majority of voters don’t want Kerrey. Again, I don’t doubt it’ll likely get closer before fall. But it’s a much tougher road to hoe than the Republican primary for Fischer, with high levels of undecideds.

  27. BkDodge42 says:

    “Remember that it is the Kerrey strategy to find out what the voters want, then convince them that you want the same things” Well if that’s all it takes for Kerrey to decide what he wants to back, then all he needs to do is come out and back Deb Fischer, since that’s what the voters want.

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