Polls: Sasse and Ricketts with solid leads

New polls commissioned by the New York Times / CBS News / YouGov Battleground Tracker for the 2014 Nebraska Senate and Governor’s races show Republicans Ben Sasse and Pete Ricketts with solid leads.

Here are the topline results:



More to come…


Our takeaways:

Ricketts and Sasse both lead in every age group and in the two genders that are identified.

Also, both lead among “Independents”.
But both are behind among “Moderates”.

Which leaves us to believe that most who register as “Independents” are actually conservatives.
And most self-ID’d “Moderates” are actually Democrats.

Which sounds about right.


  1. Wow. That has got to be a serious blow to Upchuck Hassebruck, who’s been telling his potential contributors the race is close. Indies splitting 44:28 for Ricketts won’t do it for the Chuckster, I’m afraid.

    Sasse is no surprise. Joe College vs. Montgomery Burns.

  2. Ricky says:

    Ha ha RWP. I wish I could dispute these poll numbers but in the primary the polls were pretty accurate. That’s why the Dems should have challenged the Gale ruling on the ballot .

  3. Anonymous says:

    That poll was all before we found out Ricketts’ running mate attacked his sister, Ricketts knew about it and unsuccessfully sent his campaign lawyers (who are also Koch brothers lawyers) to sweep it all under the rug. The poll was also done almost entirely before Labor Day, the traditional fall campaign kickoff, so I wouldn’t put too much stock in it.

  4. David West says:

    All I have heard since the selection of Foley has been “I wasn’t sure about Ricketts, but I’m solidly behind him now.” So, Anonymous will find the gap larger today if it were taken. Nice try on the spin.

  5. David:

    Agreed. Foley has respect right across the political spectrum. The choice of Heidemann was misguided. The third district wasn’t ever going to vote for Hassebrook. They know he’s a nut. Far better choice is a politician with an unsurpassed reputation for integrity and going up against the powers that be, regardless of party.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Remember that poll that had Bob Kerrey and Deb Fisher tied a week before the general election? There’s only one poll that counts.

  7. To Anon says:

    Yeah anon, that was done by the OWH who is notorious for botching up polls. This one was done by the big boys at the national level.

    Ricketts/Foley 2014

  8. The Lincoln Journal Star, true to form, now emphasizes that Ricketts only has a two point lead among 18-29 year olds (who, generally speaking, don’t vote, especially in midterms) and leads among self described ‘moderates’ (typically far-left Dems). It would be nice if Lincoln had a newspaper that wasn’t a hilariously-slanted newsletter for the Lancaster County Democrat Party.

  9. Drew says:

    The real interesting part will be how the minimum wage initiative pans out. Considering Nebraska has among the lowest cost of living and the lowest unemployment rates in the nation, jacking up the minimum can do some serious damage. The initiative would put Nebraska’s minimum at $9 which higher than any of Nebraska’s neighbors. But, no one is polling it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Even if there was zero chance of keeping Foley’s name off the ballot, it is odd that Hassebrook slammed that matter shut almost as quickly as Ricketts picked Foley. There are things in politics that don’t stand a chance but you do it anyway to milk the situation for time. Hassebrook also folded the instant Kerrey came to town. Reminds us of Spence being behind so he said screw it and went fishing. Some people just lack grit.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hassebrook also has a 33/30 ladies over men. In LJS parlance that means he is movie star handsome.

    Do you think he does is own “ass work”? Mel does.

  12. Ricky says:

    Hey where is the Ashford/Terry poll?
    I looked at the NADC campaign filings and did not see anything where it listed Mr Ricketts donated to Mr Gale’s Sec of State campaign. Gale did not need to raise a lot of money.
    Hal Daub did donate $250 to Gale.
    Also while looking around I saw a humongous amount of money given to Ricketts for Gov by the Ricketts family; better than $500K.
    Which dwarfs the amount Buffett gave Chuck.
    And that is not counting the super PACs that work with Ricketts.
    As far as the OWH and the LJS; I believe the reporters try as much as they can to be unbiased;
    the editors on the other hand may be partisan. (disregarding the sports reporters Husker homerism)


  13. Polling says:

    The New York Times / CBS folks is polling all of the U.S. Senate races, because they’re more interested in whether the GOP takes the Senate back. If you’re already polling Statewide, you may as well throw in the Governors race also (two birds, one stone).

    Doing a poll for a congressional race isn’t as sexy, so not worth their time. The first poll that we’re probably going to be subjected to, is another OWH poll. Too bad, since they’ve had questionable polling accuracy over the years.

  14. Napoleon says:

    Since the Ricketts “economic” plan is well known, since the plan has been tried only in Kansas, and since the experiment has proven such a disaster that Republican officials are now supporting the Democratic candidate for governor, the only conclusion is that the majority of us can’t wait to vote for the transfer of more wealth to the wealthy, and paralyze the state with a dysfunctional state government. Looks like the Tax Foundation is right to lobby this plan only in red states with Republican legislatures paired with a not-too-bright Republican governor. Looks like Ricketts’ DC advisers were right that the hayseeds will fall for anything so long as it’s labeled “conservative.” Looks like the Ricketts message team is right that the hayseeds are totally ignorant of anything in the country or the world that’s not football.

  15. two decades says:

    By throwing in the towel four weeks before the 1994 gubernatorial election, GOP Spence gave the race to Democrat Ben Nelson, who later as a US Senator passed Obamacare on a kickback, thus destroying Nelson’s own Senate career, which allowed NYC Bob Kerrey to come back to Nebraska to treat the spineless Hassebrook like a girl, Kerry then losing the Senate race to a real girl, and Hassebrook today being nominated only to thrown in the towel in this gubernatorial race two decades after Spence.

    Some candidates are just spineless assholes. Once a party knows it has one of these, it props them up at its own risk.

  16. anonymous says:

    “Some candidates are just spineless assholes. Once a party knows it has one of these, it props them up at its own risk.” Yes. Lee Terry is the defining example at present.

  17. jray says:

    After reading all the post about how great a pick Foley is for LT Governor. I have one question. Why did Pete not pick him in the first place. As reported hear on Leavenworth Street Foley was willing to drop out of the race and be Pete’s runingmate. Pete said No, Then in May Pete choose Heidman and it was praised as great choice. So Pete had 2 chances to pick Foley and passed both times. Then when Heideman turns out to be a turd. Pete dumps him and picks Foley.

    What does it say about Pete leadership and judgment if he did not choose the best person as his running mate the first time around.

  18. Young Voter says:

    I do not put much wait into this poll. If you look at the last 3 open US Senate races. Kerry got 42% Kleeb got 40% and Nelson 51%. For a average of 44%. The last 3 open governors races. Hoppner got 45%, Boosalis got 48% and Whelan got 42%. For a Average of 45%. Some both Domina and Hassebrook are going to get at least 40% of the vote. Hell even Kleeb got 40%

  19. Dems Scrambling says:

    Funny how Democrats are trying to refute a poll that is more realistic than a phone call poll. Yougov is moving into the 21st century with online polling because there are less and less land lines to be reliant on for old school polling techniques.

    If the race was really as close as the hassebrook campaign is saying it is, they would have released their internals instead of just saying how a 21st century poll is not “reliable”.

  20. Asking Again says:

    How much longer will America, and now Britain, allow the beheading of their citizens by Muslims? America has become a chickenshit nation if it’s leader continues to watch these beheadings with disinterest and weakness.

  21. Pollcatter says:

    Street Sweeper is right. That poll was paid for by CBS and the New York Times who aren’t paying for Democrats to look bad. If these NE Dems look bad, its because they are bad.

    Actually, they are probably worse, for this is a poll of RVs not FVs. The rule of thumb is you tack on 2.5 for GOP among RVs. Ricketts and Sasse are probably doing better than this poll shows.

    Their huge leads are amazing until you realize that Obama’s unpopularity translates into an extraordinarily bad season for Liberals. He’s not just term limited, but legions of Hillary Dems hate his guts, other Dems previously taken in by his patter feel jilted, and non-partisans increasingly see him as feckless. And that’s most of the people who previously voted for him.

    This, of all years, is the year for Democrats to run a Ben Nelson sort of guy who pretends to be Conservative. NE voters love that sort of thing. Domina and Hassebrook are proud of being overly overtly Liberal, which in a mostly conservo-apartisan NE is dumb on a good Dem day.

  22. Anonymous says:

    The solution is, we parachute Obama and his cabinet into ISIL territory. A few hours of listing to those assholes and the terrorists will cut off their own heads.

  23. Interested Observer says:

    Why did the American reporters and the British aid worker go there in the first place? By doing so, they simply volunteered to be fodder for ISIS’s propaganda. Staying out of areas like that denies groups like ISIS their barbaric photo ops.

  24. To: IO says:

    Interested Observer, you sound like you might be a good candidate to become one of the president’s senior advisors–if there are bullies in the world, then Americans should just stay at home and let them have their way. Yep, you would fit right in with the wussies in the White House!

  25. VirginiaRWP says:

    32 has it right. If you make the mistake of engaging them, you’ll have noticed that after several years of comparative mellowness, Dems have reverted to their normal nasty selves the last few months. They see it all falling apart around them, they can’t do anything about it, and they know the only ones to blame are themselves, their crappy policies, and the empty golf-shirt they put into power.

    So they’re foaming at the mouths. Taunting them has never been more fun.

    BTW, here in Arlington VA, they’re not carrying the NE Senate debate. Shame; it’s nice to see Sasse make the tag-team look stupid.

  26. VirginiaRWP says:

    Ah only speak fo lil ol me, 37, an ahv bin backin duh boy Sasse since the staht. Cyan’ tok fuh udder Republicans.

    (Working on my south-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line accent. Though from my current abode, With a moderately favorable wind, I could literally spit and have it land north of the Mason-Dixon Line. )

    (And come to think of it, the above sounds Cajun, not Virginian)

  27. Hesdeadjim says:

    Im still hating on him, though only in my head. Im not going to vote for him either. Im registered R but ill write myself in for senate. Ben’s Asse couldnt even be bothered to give a straight answer regarding a path to citizenship for illegal aliens at tonight’s debate. He completely avoided the straightforward question: do you support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants? This is one of many reasons that i will not be voting for Ben Sasse.

  28. Interested Observer says:

    So, #35, you want to send in 2 unarmed civilians to squash ISIS? I prefer Cruise missiles and drones, in the same sense that you don’t take a knife to a gun fight.

  29. To: IO says:

    if you read, you know that the 3 guys that have had their heads cut off by Muslims were not military…2 were journalists and 1 was a humanitarian. So saying that they were there to “squash ISIS” simply doesn’t make sense—even in the sandhills.

  30. Bullschizzle says:

    It turns out that Obama isn’t even guilty of leaving Iraq defenseless to ISIL. It is, once again, per the US news media, Bush’s Fault.

    The American political system is one tiny bit better off today because people who volunteer to work for Obama, like the Berkley Peace Corps Ambassador in Bengasi, and Liberal Pulitzer seekers in Iraq who fawn over Barry in the US press corps, have – if you believe the US mainstream press today – had their heads sawn off by Dick Cheney.

    You just can’t make America’s mewling, drooling Left-wingnuts one iota less suicidality stupid.

    IO is correct about dealing with ISIL. But a tad light on the mega tonnage.

    In this blogdom discussion, “What we have here is a failure to communicate” caused by Liberal Democrats who cannot believe that six years of an utter dickhead in the White House wouldn’t be noticed by voters. I’d say get ready for an ass whipping, but really, its going to feel more like a barbed wire colonoscopy.

  31. anonymous says:

    Sorry #46. We’re going to have divided government – a Republican Congress (both Houses) and the Clintons in the White House. There will be enough pain for everyone.

  32. Interested Observer says:

    To #44, thank you for explaining that “the 3 guys that have had their heads cut off by Muslims were not military…2 were journalists and 1 was a humanitarian”. Just how, exactly, does that differ from my original comment in post #34, when I mentioned “the American reporters and the British aid worker”? So, yes, obviously I did “read”.

    Comment #35 said “if there are bullies in the world, then Americans should just stay at home and let them have their way”. My comment #43 pointed out that I prefer to actually use the military and our modern technology to address those “bullies”, NOT unarmed civilians.

    Obviously, your purpose of responding to my comments was specifically and exclusively to attempt to denigrate me, as you have for over 2 years now, and had absolutely nothing, whatsoever, to do with actually furthering the discussion at hand. So, please continue . . .

  33. Ricky says:

    Wow that Sasse guy scares me. I heard he was very unprepared for the debate last night.
    He apparently did not understand the NRA question nor was he up to speed on Isis. (For the record I do NOT think ISIS is a threat to America and do NOT think the Great Mr Obama needs to escalate our military over there. It’s their problem not ours.)
    So anyway, Mr Sasse wants a Christian type Sharia law to be implemented in America. To heck with laws congress and states draw up; it’s the bible he will follow.
    Also not getting much traction is Mr Sasse’s presence as a house page in D C about the time of the page scandal involving Mark Foley. I read on another blog somebody was trying to make the connection between Sasse’s involvement in the D C page scandal and Mr Sasse’s Athletic Director at Midland College who apparently had to resign in a sex scandal?
    Mr Buffett’s OWH is not doing a good job looking into this Sasse scandal are they?

    Ricky From Omaha

  34. ‘Christian type Sharia’? LOL.

    Some bozos on the Lincoln Journal Star are trying to claim that Sasse is a young-earth creationist, based on the claim Midland is affiliated with the Missouri Synod (it isn’t; it’s ELCA, which is not creationist). The fact that Midland teaches several courses in evolutionary biology seems to have escaped these bold inquistors.

    Living with a liberal must be hell. Given that they seem unable to utter a truthful word, it must be ‘opposite day’ every day.

    “How was your day dear”


    “Oh, I’m so sorry. What was the problem?”

    “There was no work for anyone to do”

    “So, if you’re so busy, why don’t you hire more people?”

    “Boss is a really, nice, no pressure guy”

    “Well if he’s such a ball-breaker, why don’t you look for another job?. By the way, does this dress make me look fat”


    “You bastard. How dare you call me fat!…”


  35. Ricky says:

    The Sasse scandal I was referring to was when some guy named Jason Dannelly was fired from Midland College in 2012 for asking two basketball players from the women’s team to have sex with him. Nice.
    Then Sasse’s AD told one of the gals she might be found floating down the Loop River.
    (By the way I saw some of this story on Chris Scott’s political insider web site. Also it was on KETV).
    And Sasse was a page in D C when the Mark Foley scandal broke. What is with Mr Sasse on the fringes of sex scandals?
    As far as Mr Sasse wanting Christian Sharia law implemented in America, I am referring to Mr Sasse’s assertion on his web site that says “Government can not force citizens to violate their religious beliefs under any circumstances.”
    So does this mean that Mr Sasse can violate any law that he claims interferes with his religious beliefs? Like stoning adulterers should be allowed if justified by a religious belief? (reading from ThinkProgress on this one).
    Yep, Mr Sasse is a loon, and even less qualified than Deb Fischer to be a U S Senator, and if he gets in there will be just as embarrassing as Ms Fischer.

    ricky from omaha

  36. Tonic & Tonic says:


    Is Dave Domina more qualified than Ben Sasse to be a United States Senator? If so, please explain why. If not, shut up about Sasse’s qualifications or lack thereof. I would like to add though, that Ben Sasse is far and away much more qualified than Deb Fischer to be a United States Senator even though Sen. Fischer’s years of experience on the school board make a pretty compelling case.

  37. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

    It says NO law. I guess that permits stonings, then?

    Yeah, I know Ricky’s reading from Think Progress. A clone on the LJS website is using the exact same argument. But if they could think for yourselves, they wouldn’t be Democrats.

  38. TexasAnnie says:

    Y’all should ask a Mormon whether Congress can make laws respecting bigamy.

    Interested Observer: In the late 90’s, I think it was ’97 and ’98 (or ’98 and ’99 ?), I followed the Education Committee on tours around central and western Nebraska to see what could be done about consolidating some of those one-room schools. The unicameral had been debating this issue for several years and getting nowhere because, and I quote, the western Nebraska senators were describing potential consolidation in terms of warfare and bloodbaths!

    I was empathic about the loss of one room schools, even though I did not believe the education to be received therein was adequate for the 21st century. My empathy subsided however when I learned about one tiny school not far from Valentine which received state aid yet had no students! When the Education Committee members (led by Bohlke) held a town hall meeting there the locals explained that they had to keep the school “open” as a place-holder so that when they did get a student, said student would not have to travel by bus to the next nearest little school.

    Now I’m not saying Sen. Fischer was on that school board of a school district which had no students, because in fact I think that particular one room school did get closed at that time. But I never forgot the fervent pleas of the locals to keep the school “open” while bitching that they weren’t getting enough financial support from the state to afford it’s “operation.”

    That’s what “conservatives” do, Interested Observer. Even when they KNOW the political system has run amuck, they will make every effort to “conserve” injustices working to their advantage. (Of course “liberals” who want to change everything to their advantage are no better.) So when you wrote to us years ago about Sen. Fischer’s land dispute with her neighbor, I envisioned HER at that town hall meeting years ago bitching about not receiving enough state aid for a school with no students! And such conservatism as this certainly IS qualified for our U.S. Congress!

  39. TexasAnnie says:

    Note to Uncle Wiggily:
    A few days ago you wrote on the previous article about Foley and you accused me of “religious bigotry.” Your claim was that when you met him on the campaign trail he did not appear overly religious. Please go beyond his campaign persona and look at his legislative history beginning in 2001. Make yourself a count of all the bills he filed by means of two lists: A-list = secular issues. And B-list = Catholic [abortion] issues. Now of course if you are Catholic, then your bias will prevent your realization that Catholic issues were VERY important to Foley. But those of us who want ‘separation of church and state’ know by the mere count of the B-list, that Foley was/is VERY CATHOLIC, which was what I stated. (I also took criticism from another Leavenworth St. contributor claiming that calling someone VERY Catholic is a form of denigration, and someone else lectured that if you don’t like Catholicism then don’t vote for the Catholic, etc.) But you, Uncle Wiggily, usually the fount of knowledge, were grossly out of step in your accusation! I’ll be looking out for your peculiar “bigotries” in the future…

  40. Anonymous says:

    TA is right about the Cherry county school. But it was not Deb Fischer’s school. This is going on in Sioux County right now. The main reason why Deb Fischer got on the rural school board and then the high school board was because her kids would not behave. Fischer had to become the teachers boss, to make sure her kids did not get kicked out of school, or get any more bad grades. Considering the legal problems those three guys have had since their school days, she might consider becoming a Judge instead of a Senator.

  41. devolved says:

    And now, for a change of pace.

    John Merrick said, “I am not an animal!” Edicaria says, “I might be an animal, or a plant, I’m not really sure.” And so, political candidates have devolved from 600 million year old skeptical life into elephant headed men that think they know better. (More on donkey headed men later.)

    Soft bodied Edicaria biota were deposited in rock in Earth’s early environment that did not include oxygen. O2 was early life’s poisonous flatus and complex toxic organics its excreta. This toxic waste grew until it literally choked life into becoming creatures that breathed and ate the poisonous poo.

    And so came today’s Toilet Earth, in which plants use sunlight to turn inorganics and CO2 into organic plant mass that oxidizes releasing energy, on which animals graze as parasites, upon which carnivores prey as energy usurping top parasite’s, with human beings in the lead parasitic role of concentrating the most biomass energy into the neuron power of thought that we have used to elect donkey headed men.

    Your apex predator is potentially anyone seeking your vote. Pick one that empowers himself in a useful symbiosis that allows you to float alongside him and not some well-meaning iidiot who thinks the way to clean the bowl is to hit “flush”.

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