The Pete Ricketts polling numbers that could mean a Mike Flood GOP primary challenge

Mike Flood for Governor…in 2012

Former Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman kicked up a bit of a storm yesterday on KLIN’s Drive Time Lincoln, with host Coby Mach. Mach asked Heineman about his interest in running again for Governor.

Hear it here (at about the 12:00 mark):

Heineman demurred, saying he is happy with his life.

But he went a step further:

“I will say I think (former Nebraska Speaker of the Legislature) Mike Flood would make an outstanding Governor.”

Mach followed up:

“Do you anticipate endorsing Pete Ricketts?’


“I think the Governor’s had some challenges…he needs to work through those…I’m disappointed we haven’t solved the property tax issue here in Nebraska. We made progress on that when I was Governor, but in last few years we let that go by the wayside.”

That certainly wasn’t a “yes”.
(And some would note that it probably wasn’t lost on the former Governor to needle Ricketts while he was mugging with his World Series trophy in the Oval Office on Wednesday…)

So Leavenworth St. dug a little deeper.

It seems that there is definitely an interest out there from Mike Flood. If there is a number on Flood’s interest, some say (purely speculatively at this point) that it is over 50%.

Which is also an interesting number.

Because Leavenworth St. has also heard that there has been some polling of Nebraska GOP likely voters.

And that polling currently shows, Governor Pete Ricketts’ re-elect number, from GOP primary voters, is UNDER 50%.

State that again: fewer than 50% of those polled said they definitely would vote for Ricketts. That’s just a bit shocking in Nebraska’s political climate.

So back to Flood.

You may remember that he dropped out of the 2014 Governor’s race when his wife was diagnosed with breast cancer. After speculation (by Leavenworth St. and others) that he would get back in the race, that obviously never happened, and he continued in the radio business in Norfolk.

Well, jump to 2017, and Flood’s wife Mandi has a clean bill of health.

Flood still has a record as one of the most popular Speakers in recent Nebraska Unicameral history. He could potentially have the support of Nebraska’s longest serving Governors.

And Leavenworth St. has also heard that there are some very powerful groups in Nebraska who could also be behind a Flood candidacy — which groups, we have to play coy on now.

And there’s the surprisingly low Ricketts re-elect numbers.

Does this add up to a Mike Flood challenge of an incumbent Governor, who has already announced his re-election campaign, and has pockets so deep they run to his ankles and down the street?

Not so fast.
A number of other factors would have to be present.

Like, just what sort of support could Flood get to be competitive with the limitless financial resources of the owners of the Chicago Cubs?

It’s not impossible. All the Joe Ricketts cash in the world couldn’t push Pete Ricketts past Ben Nelson in 2006. Then again, Nelson, like Ricketts now, was an incumbent. And that ain’t for nothin’.

And, FWIW, some Democrats are already hoping to see Ricketts go down to give them some sort of a chance at the Governor’s Lincoln McMansion. (Hope springs eternal!)

But things are very fluid.
And Leavenworth St. will keep you updated.

In the mean time, please discuss.

**UPDATE at 2pm!**

Per the LJS:
Flood says he won’t run for governor in 2018


But what about…?

This is such big news, we will save some of the other interesting stuff in the news for Friday morning. It’s not going anywhere.


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  1. TexasAnnie says:

    Hmmm…what to do? I promised bynd that I would provide important information at a more timely Leavenworth post, but, here we are with a NEW TOPIC so early in the morning. I’ll check yesterday’s post and see if this important information will fit there better…

  2. Sparkles says:

    Of course if Heineman is pushing Flood you can expect a pile o’ HerbsterCash is at the ready.

    And you know the Trumpster Trio – Chuck, Dave and Beau are desperate to play politics. They didn’t get the Ag Dept gig for which they so openly angled. Although, six months into Donny Two Scoops tenure and I don’t think a Deputy Ag Secr. has yet been nominated? I guess that’s not surprising, since as of mid-June, a hapless Team Trump had announced only 151 nominations for the more than 500 critical jobs across the executive branch.
    Ahh.. but who needs a Dept of Ag anyway.. just, shut ‘er down! Let the farmers, who overwhelmingly supported Trump, fully participate in their beloved free market. They don’t need no stinkin’ subsidies, no jumble of trade protections – hell, they don’t need no trade!

    Nebraska could be in for a real barn burner – HerbsterCash vs. RickettsRiches.
    Seems a fitting distillation of the modern GOP, no?

    Imagine the skullduggery you can buy and the mud you can sling with that kind of money in play. And with all that fire power in a GOP primary, we could see a significantly damaged candidate heading into the general.

    There used to be a time when Republicans tried to hide the strings controlling their every movement. No longer. It looks like GOPlutocracy is finally ready to come on out of the closet.

    • support obeseity in government says:

      Spoken like a true big government person.

      I guess that’s not surprising, since as of mid-June, a hapless Team Trump had announced only 151 nominations for the more than 500 critical jobs across the executive branch.

      Please delineate why those jobs are so critical. Or are you just regurgitating talking points.

  3. Bluejay says:

    Why didn’t Governor Dave fix the property tax problem in his decade as governor?

    And for the life of me I don’t know why the KXL debacle isn’t pinned on him. He was governor and he signed the bill that allowed TransCanada to bypass the PSC. That was the legal opening that gave Bold Nebraska the win in the Nebraska Supreme Court. Dave’s mistake allowed Obama to correctly say, “We are waiting on the folks in Nebraska.’

  4. Anonymous says:

    Ricketts has been a train wreck as governor. He just can’t seem to get anything done unless he buys it. Not sure about flood but if Pete’s numbers are that low… that’s just embarrassing…

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen….on the buying power of legislation and then there are those nonriots at prison which end up in bodybags. Oh for Pete’s sake what is Jessica to do?

  5. Republicans Are Mean says:

    I used to have respect for Flood because he was at least consistent on issues (anti-abortion, but also anti-death penalty). But at the Fischer “supposed public” event in Lincoln, I asked him how he reconciled his strong Catholic beliefs with the Republican AHCA (Wealthcare) bill. Didn’t have the decency to even speak a word to me. Just smirked and walked away. What a disrespectful ASS!

    • Silly Rabbi, Kicks are for Trids says:

      There is no reconciliation.
      That’s why not a single Republican is out there extolling the virtues of the AHCA, because there are none.

      Flood smirked and walked away because any real Nebraska Republican should know that the AHCA is about taking that jar of grapes away from all those welfare racoons.
      Those grapes are needed so the GOP can better fill the massive troughs from which the 0.01% gorge.

      • ACA was always a false hope says:

        That jar of grapes would be the one the Dems gave them and the grapes were plastic.

    • what does faith have to do with government? says:

      What kind of person wants their government officials to bring their faith to their government job? A religious zealot? Even such a zealot knows that faith and government don’t mix. It’s why Jesus didn’t spend anytime, except when being falsely judge, with the secular government of his time.

      So it would appear that the type of person who would ask such a question, could rightfully be called the ass.

      • Republicans Are Mean says:

        Sorry, you can’t have it both ways. Righties want to ban abortion based on their religious beliefs, and look at the Hobby Lobby ruling. Even corporations can use the religious beliefs of its owners as justification to ignore laws. Religion directs how one lives their lives. While dogma should never be enacted into law, one would hope someone’s Catholic faith would at least cause one to question taking away health insurance/care from mostly poorer people to give tax cuts to those making over a quarter of a million dollars.

      • repenting lawyer says:

        What does faith, Catholics do not accept that view of faith and government, neither do a lot of other Christians. Flood makes much of his religion as does Ricketts, so it is an appropriate question to either of them. An ass is a person who thinks he can insult others because they do not share a very narrow part of the Protestant tradition as normative for all.

      • progressives want faith in government says:

        You really are clueless. But you can’t have it both ways, if they can: “one would hope someone’s Catholic faith would at least cause one to question taking away health insurance/care from mostly poorer people to give tax cuts to those making over a quarter of a million dollars.” which is making judgements and governing by faith based on religious principles, then they can bring them to all things in government at all times. All or none. Who have we heard that from? You can’t have it when you believe it serves your purposes. But then we shall see if the Pres. really gets rid of the Johnson amendment.

        Especially since the help you are talking about is mandated to be the responsibility of the church who has dumped that mandate on the government. And the progressives just love doing things that are mandated to the church. Especially while giving the church tax breaks while they shirk their duty.

        And you’re arguing apples, oranges and guacamole. You have no logic or nexus between all those things. Just throwing your crap against the wall to see what sticks. Typical.

      • Laws are for Little People says:

        Neither Ricketts nor Foley let their faith get in the way when they chose to drop $50 large on a batch of death drugs cooked up in a bathtub in India. An attempted purchase funneled through a shady middle man that even a cursory google search shows to be con artist.
        Drugs the FDA had explicitly warned Ricketts are illegal to import into the country.

        And as Sweeper has now noted – not once has this site ever criticized the woeful reign of Ricketts.
        As long as there’s an R behind your name, you’re free to f*ck up whatever you want without being held accountable.
        Ricketts, like Heineman before him, has proven wholly inept.

      • narrow minded or faithful says:


        So you are judging who? I see every day the Catholic hierarchy likes to get involved in politics and government. Maybe they should give up their non taxable status and just run the world.

        Like Billy Graham said, to Christianity Today in January that he wishes he hadn’t been so pol­itical during parts of his career. Graham replied that he wished he had spent more time with his family, then added, “I also would have steered clear of politics. I’m grateful for the opportunities God gave me to minister to people in high places; people in power have spiritual and personal needs like everyone else, and often they have no one to talk to. But looking back I know I sometimes cros­sed the line, and I wouldn’t do that now.”

        As for the rest, everyday I also see more Christians wasting time and resources on a world that He has already overcome. Or maybe you don’t believe that.

        I’m pretty sure the governments and their squabbles have nothing to do with; For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

        But I realize that is very narrow minded.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I can’t believe I’m typing this… but in the event of a Flood candidacy, I would actually volunteer and campaign for Governor Ricketts.

    Flood was a RINO when he announced in 2013 and he’s a RINO today.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Biggest pro-Flood argument that can be made is Rickett’s mis-management of his staff and bully tactics used to strongarm legislators with threats of pulling support and running candidates against them. Disgusting. Buying votes and using money for threats is not something Nebraskans see as a net positive. Heineman would actually have conversations and talk with legislators. I’m sure Flood would do the same. It would be refreshing to have a Governor who has legislative experience.

  8. Anonymous says:

    L St has had a beef with Pete Ricketts as long as I can remember, but this was more than just political sniping within the party like usual -this was a stupid post. Flood said yesterday on KMTV he wasn’t running for Governor. Now he has said it publicly to the Journal Star. Get a job.

    • Apparently you have a short memory then.
      See if there’s a single criticism of Ricketts from L.St. after the GOP Primary in 2014, through the General.
      In the mean time, not a word of what is written in this post is taken from anything other than personal sources and news reports.

      Not the first time Leavenworth St. had been burned on the “Mike Flood for Governor” reports.
      Third times a charm…

  9. anon says:

    It’s not Ricketts, it’s that POS legislature and the fake republicans in it, taxes and prison are a carryover back from Heinnie, heard it every year as every election candidate said it was their priority

  10. Word up says:

    Imagine that, clueless Dave, still clueless.
    Just flapping his gums.
    Not surprising. The bumbling and the stumbling is what endeared D-D-Dave the NEGOP base. It’s what secured his status as the state’s longest serving Governor.
    If there’s anything we’ve learned about the Republican party in the last few decades, and epitomized last November, they loves them some doltish.

    • your worse than a dolt says:

      Once again, it is the Republican’s fault the Dems can’t get someone elected to governor.

      Your claim to fame. You can’t beat a dolt or Trump. How impressive!

      Aren’t you just the epitome of intelligence.

      • Finding of Fact says:

        You’re easily the most offensive troll I’ve ever come across.
        There’s not a single post I can ever recall where you’ve added anything of value to a conversation. And given your prolificacy, that’s quite a feat.


      • TexasAnnie says:

        bynd is worse than a troll. At least trolls try to communicate; bynd just hits and runs.

  11. NE Voter says:

    Flood hasn’t left his table at Whiskey Creek since he left the Unicameral. No way he was running for governor in 2018.

  12. Anonymous says:

    9:22 says the President announced “only 151 nominations for the more than 500 critical jobs across the executive branch”. That sounds like a pro-Trump reelection pitch. I mean, how “critical” is any job you can leave unfilled for half a year?

    The easiest way to shrink government and budgets is do nothing. It really is that easy but Conservatives don’t have the balls to do nothing. Call them “bigot” and they instantly apologize and self-gag and dutifully serve the wasteful status quo. Populists however don’t apologize. They tell Progressives, “Screw your feelings, your policies don’t work!” Populists are happy to not fill empty jobs and not fund projects and then grease whatever squeals. It’s how executives downsize. And it’s so rare in DC that politicians don’t even know what it is when they see it.

    Of course, leftists think every Deputy Assistant Poop Raking job is a heart-lung machine keeping Uncle Sam alive. And on occasion some budget items and jobs do useful important work. But even the people who do the work don’t really know what happens if they don’t show up for work. As often as not, things run along just fine, sometimes better, without the dead weight.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I’d like to know what accomplishment Dave Heineman claims after 10 years? Property taxes went up, not down. Spending went up, not down. HHS was a mess and lost federal funding because of incompetent management. Do we forget Corrections was compiling prison terms literally by hand on the back of file folders? Dave took millions in ObamaDollars to study a ObamaCare exchange until the conservative wing of the Party convinced him that would be a mistake. Please, Governor Dave, stay quiet.

    • business incentives? says:

      He personally shepherded the Angel Investors act of Nebraska. The law that gives millionaires millions. The law Pete called dumb, and promptly acted to have it rescinded when he got into office.

      OH, he didn’t! Never mind.

  14. TexasAnnie says:

    The so-called “progress” on property tax relief that Heinemann is claiming was nothing more than a tax shift to income taxes. Which works out great for rural Nebraskans with large land holdings but is not so good for urban Nebraskans, who are generally already paying both high property tax and higher income taxes than their rural counterparts. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the charts, but I’m recalling that more than 90% of all income tax revenue Nebraska collects derives from only nine Nebraska counties!

    • the inhumanity! says:


      “but I’m recalling that more than 90% of all income tax revenue Nebraska collects derives from only nine Nebraska counties!”

      Look at the population numbers T&A. Those nine counties hold the most citizens. And most of the state wealth. You know, tax the wealthy.

      Shocking I tell you, just shocking!

      • Anonymous says:

        What’s really shocking is all those property tax de-valuations and business subsidies don’t produce much income from rural Nebraska. Just sayin’

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