Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The first Senate poll of 2008?


Don Walton reports today in the Lincoln Journal Star about a poll which shows Attorney General Jon Bruning in the lead for the 2008 GOP Senate nomination (Bruning leads poll if Hagel doesn’t run – LJS – 1/10/07).

But, as Don notes, who is the one 500 pound gorilla, not mentioned in the poll, that could really stop Bruning in his tracks? Mike Johanns. (And we hear whispers that the Ag Secretary is interested.)

A few things about the poll:

1) It was paid for by Omaha Poobah and chairman and CEO of MidAmerican Energy Holdings, David Sokol, who was Bruning’s 2002 campaign finance chairman.
2) The polls questions are unknown, so one never knows what sort of road the poll-ee was led down.
3) It seems that the poll questioned voters about head-to-head match-ups between Bruning and other considered nominees (see below). An interesting way of framing the race, and probably an interesting way to potentially get the highest numbers for Bruning. (Do you think this poll would have seen the light of day if it wasn’t positive for Bruning?)

Now note that, of course, this poll is assuming that Chuck Hagel does not run for re-election in 2008 (as reported by KMTV’s Joe Jordan). But note that Bruning says:
"I think he’s a fantastic senator," Bruning said Tuesday. "If he does want to seek re-election, I want to be among the first to endorse and support him."
This would seem like Bruning is saying he would not make a primary challenge to Hagel, right? But we’re guessing that when Bruning says he wants to be among the first to support him, an out (if Hagel does run) will be to say, “I wanted to support him, but – darn it – I just can’t.”

Another interesting note was that Don Walton threw Kermit Brashear in as another interested in running in 2008. But heck, why stop there? Let’s throw in Nancy Hoch and Jan Stoney as well.

Here is the breakdown of the poll, from Don’s article (and once again, if you want to know what’s going on in Nebraska politics, Don’s your man):

Bruning - 52%
Daub - 20%

Bruning - 54 %
Ricketts - 24%

Bruning – 38%
Terry – 22%

Bruning – 40%
Fortenberry – 20%

Bruning – 36%
Ricketts - 21%
Daub – 16% (in a three-way)

We’ll assume that in each of these cases, the question was asked about a two-man race, and the balance was “undecided”. Interesting that Lee Terry and Jeff Fortenberry both dramatically dropped Bruning’s numbers (as opposed to Ricketts or Daub). And we also may be close to adding Fortenberry to our list of potential 2008 candidates. You can guarantee that he would be a formidable opponent to Bruning. (And we also may be looking to subtract Terry from the 2008 Senate race, as he seems to be successfully climbing up the GOP hierarchy in the House.)

Polls like this keep our political juices flowing during the winter doldrums…


Anonymous said...

what were the #s for Kramer?

OmaSteak said...

Fortenberry giving Bruning a serious challenge in a NE Republican primary??? You've got to be kidding. The real question is Hagel going to run again? After he gives the democrat response to the President's speech tonight, Bruning would even beat Chuck "the virginian" Hagel. BTW, Hal is going to run for Mayor of Omaha...he's already running...and doing well.

Street Sweeper said...

My knowledge of the poll (as of now) is only what Don Walton has printed. Ergo, no info on Kramer.

OmaSteak, ignore Fortenberry at your peril.

And can you contribute anything to show that Daub is "doing well" in his run for Mayor?

Anonymous said...

Just let Bruning run.....He's never ran a statewide race against someone. I'm gonna bet there are some skeletons in this guy's closet that will knock him out.

OmaSteak said...

Street Sweeper,
IMHO Hal is already staking out the "big ideas" ground for his mayoral run. He's been in/on local media talking about several big development-related issues and shows himself well prepared to do so. That also positions him well to wrest the deep pockets support away from the Landow/Fahey team.

splog2 said...

Gads, Daub? Well, you have a few of his cronies in various places of power, Gov, Judge etc. But isn't it time to say to Hal....a little Daub will do ya?

NE Voter said...


I agree that Hal would like to return to the Mayor's office. However, he won't attempt to unseat Fahey if Mike chooses to seek a third term. In that regard, there is no way that the OW-H and the Hoop-Dee-Doo money men of Omaha will throw Fahey under the bus.

Finally, regarding Hal's "big ideas," these are the same ideas he's been talking about on-and-off for a decade (lightrail; streetcars; Lake Nebraska; gondolas ad nauseum). Heck, I kind of like the Lake Nebraska idea as it's fun to dream big. But the city's movers and shakers got what they wanted from Daub and now they need Fahey to sell the City.

My personal opinion is that Hal would like to finish his public carerr with a victory lap in Washington, D.C. I think he knows that he would have trouble winning a statewide election, so he will have to find another way in.

Although it would stun Nebraskans,
I see a very remote possibility that Chuck Hagel will resign before the end of his term, allowing Gov. Heineman to appoint his longtime mentor and benefactor Daub to the vacancy.

Why would the Governor do this? It's no secret that Bruning is not in the Governor's good graces due to the AG's support for Tom Osborne in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Payback is a b---h.

Appointing Daub would give Hal the advantage of "incumbency," and would present Bruning with a difficult decision: (1) challenge Daub in an expensive and brutal primary or (2) keep his powder dry. As otehrs have noted, Bruning has never been tested in any of his prior campaigns.

I'm just an observer of the scene, and have no insider information. I just call 'em as I see 'em.

One Out In The Third said...

The bigger question is who will Bruning's Democratic victim be?

I'll be so bold as to say we should expect that handsome faux cowboy...victimized and wounded in the Great RoboCall Shootout of ' be blowing the dust of his Tony Llamas and seen headed east in his rusty Ford pickup on a mission to woo the easterners of Nebraska.

Sounds too like Flip Hagel is still fishing around to see if he has a chance at the Presidency with his "biggest blunder" statement today. Poor Flip...he's fishing in an alkali lake.

Anonymous said...

David Kramer run again for the Senate? Ha! Dave has as good of a chance at winning a statewide race as Seinfeld's Kramer has of winning the NAACP's Person of the Year.

Fortenberry a serious contender?? Only if using Harmony hairspray and Just For Men scores you points on the Nebraska campaign trail. (They don't, do they Scott Kleeb?)

This seat is Hagel's as long as he wants it. If he doesn't, it can be had by Farmer Mike. Jon can have sloppy thirds.

Street Sweeper said...

We officially do not have a dog in the 2008 race. That being said, I'd agree that Kramer's chances at this point would be slim.

However, I think if Fortenberry had an interest, he would prove to be an attractive candidate. All you have to do is look at how successful he has been in his 1st D races to see what his potential statewide could be.

We're still a long way out kids...

'Sker said...

Interesting take on Fortenberry. He has won all of his races convincingly...even when he beat Speaker Curt Bromm. Recall Bromm had the endorsement of the incumbent, Doug Bereuter, who served with Moses. Fortenberry would take much of the base Bruning would be after. It would be the same dynamic which cost Bromm the seat.

Anonymous said...

Ha! He's the one who voted WITH Pelosi for the first of the Democrat tax increases.

Don't think so.