Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Polling Nelson

The "Progressive Change Campaign Committee" (at BoldProgressives.org!!!!) released a poll they did regarding opinions from Nebraskans on health care and Ben Nelson.

The group -- who will no doubt change their name once the word "progressive" ceases being vogue -- is associated with the ultra-liberal Daily Kos blog. Basically their goal is to bully Nelson into rubber-stamping ObamaCare. It may work.

First, the sample size of the poll they list:

DISTRICT 1171(34%)
DISTRICT 2176(35%)
DISTRICT 3156(31%)

They asked a series of questions, no info on the order, regarding "health care".

Here is the first listed:

Would you favor or oppose the government offering everyone a government administered health insurance plan -- something like the Medicare coverage that people 65 and older get -- that would compete with private health insurance plans?

DISTRICT 1474112
DISTRICT 3395110

So the real question is, do you support Medicare or not? Right? There's no other way to read the Q.

Then we get into the loaded questions:

QUESTION: What do you believe private health insurance companies care about more: the health of the patients they cover, or making a profit?

DISTRICT 1691912
DISTRICT 2711712
DISTRICT 3662113

(Why those EVIL companies, and their profits!)

So this is supposed to convince Nelson, and to a lesser extent Senator Mike Johanns, that all Nebraskans are for ObamaCare.

Of course, poll these same people with a question like...

QUESTION: Would you favor or oppose the government giving you a big free bag of gold, iPods and hamburgers?

...these same people (especially the 18-29 year olds) would all be like, "Hell yeah!"

And then the next poll question would be...

QUESTION: Would you favor or oppose Ben Nelson if he filibustered the Gold-iPod-Hamburger Fairness Act?

And the next headline you would see on Kos would be, "Nebraskans Oppose Nelson!"

So, in that vein, let's read a few more of the Q's:

QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Ben Nelson?

DISTRICT 1553015
DISTRICT 2622711
DISTRICT 3513316

Looking good for the Benator there, no?

But wait!

QUESTION: If Ben Nelson joined Republican senators in filibustering and killing a health care reform bill because it had a public health insurance option, would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for him in the 2012 general election or would it have no real effect on your vote?

DISTRICT 1192556
DISTRICT 2142858
DISTRICT 3192457

QUESTION: According to OpenSecrets.org, Ben Nelson has taken over $2 million dollars from health and insurance interests. Do you think that money hurts his judgment when voting on health care issues, or not?

DISTRICT 1533017
DISTRICT 2523216
DISTRICT 3543115

If we were really motivated, we'd see who Obama, and Harry Reid and the rest of them get their money from, but is there really a point? Nelson is the former Nebraska Insurance Commissioner. Crazy that the insurance companies give him money, huh?

Anywho, here is the last question that made us laugh out loud:

QUESTION: If Ben Nelson joined Republican senators in filibustering and killing a health care bill because it had a public option, would that make you more likely or less likely to vote for him in the 2012 Democratic primary election or would it have no real affect on your vote?


You got that Nebraskans? Here is a party that can't find a candidate for freaking Nebraska State treasurer, but they're convinced they can find a candidate that can take on Nelson in a Primary? And then what? Beat the Republicans with said imaginary candidate?

In case you're wondering, these are the groups that are leading the Democrats these days. They support Obama and Reid and Pelosi and the super-libs who have dreams of a utopian socialist society where everything is free and the rich are in prison and we're all vegans discussing the art of Michael Moore.

In the mean time, have fun reading the poll. Like we say, more info is good.


Anonymous said...

Nelson might be a Democrat but its Republicans who got him elected to the governorship and the senate. If he wants to go with the dem's this time, id vote for a rock before he ever gets my vote again.

Right Wing Professor said...

Why those EVIL companies, and their profits!

Even dumber than this, the largest health care insurer in Nebraska, which the pro-gummint-option folks say has undue dominance of the market, is Blue Cross Blue Shield, which is not-for-profit. Nebraskans seem to be largely ignorant of this.

Source: the AMA's 'Competition in Health Insurance', 2007.

TKessler said...

Before everyone starts knocking this poll because it was commisioned by DailyKos, keep in mind that they hired a reputable polling outfit, Research 2000, that in a poll a few months ago showed only 39% of Nebraskans supported a public option. And Blue Cross is a non-profit in name only. Blue Cross North Carolina made a profit of $190 million in 2007 and paid their CEO $3.1 million. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 took away their tax-exempt status on the federal level.

Street Sweeper said...


Unlike others (Dems) who discredit a poll based on who took it, note that we posted the Qs. And critiqued them.

As we noted, the "support" of the "public option" is weighted by the "just like Medicare!" aspect of the Q.

"So there" for "your" "reputable" "polling" "outfit".

"-" "SS"

macdaddy said...

If Senator Nelson wants to do the right thing and vote against Obamacare but feels that this could hurt his re-election chances, let me be the first to offer him the opportunity to change parties. If Nelson votes against cap-and-tax, Obamacare, and card check, he might as well become a Republican. We've all seen what happens to those who dare question The One. It's ugly. So, Senator Nelson, when you read this, please do what's right for Nebraskans and vote against Obama's agenda. And always remember that you can cross the aisle. We'll be happy to have you.

Anonymous said...

It'd be nice to see this blog present other polls' questions in full and their crosstabs more frequently. Transparency is a great thing, regardless of who commissions the poll. It's much more useful than just mentioning unsourced internal polls.

Street Sweeper said...

If we had 'em, we'd post 'em.

Of course we've said this time and time and time and time and time and time and time and time again.

But it's always refreshing to hear you keep bitching, b/c that's what makes the blogs go 'round...

Anonymous said...

No elephants or donkeys here. Just one deceptive Democrat fox and thousands of retarded Republican jackasses who keep electing him on the stupid hope that he won't turn out to be a Democrat.

GeosUser said...

Ben Nelson will do absolutely nothing to hurt the health insurance industry. It made him rich, it finances his campaigns and it's on those Boards of Directors he will serve when he leaves office. Unless some other special interest offers him $1 more, then he'll vote how they want.

Anonymous said...

I think what's telling, SS, is that when you get handed an internal poll that favors your position, but provides no information on the questions, how asked, breakdown, etc. like that poll, you don't criticize like you did this one. You just accept it and let the numbers stand without real scrutiny. You have a double standard. The good thing is that this poll provided all the data so that one can review and determine what they would make of it. But some of your criticism is bordering on just plain bitching. While not all questions are good, some were and straight forward, and the results should be seriously considered.

Street Sweeper said...


OK. In last poll we posted -- for the good of humanity -- we posted EVERYTHING we had on it, sans who commissioned it (b/c basically we never got cleared on that from the source). So, just assume if was done by a combo of Newt/Rush/TheDevil, if that makes you feel better.

There. You now have as much info as me. We leveled the main criticisms of the poll at the time.

On this new poll, it too is presented as some sort of unbiased thing, when it has a simple goal: attack Nelson. And we point out how it does that and the significance.

Democrat Primary opponent? Really?

Gimme a freaking break.

Brian T. Osborn said...

I gotta give credit where it's due. Sweeper just ran the dang thing and made a few personal observations about it. It's really nothing different from what I've seen Kyle, KOS, Arianna or Amato do.

The important thing for Ben to remember is that if he doesn't support the NDP on this, since it clearly wants him to - it did vote nearly unanimously for a "robust public option" at its most recent central committee meeting - he will not have the support of many Democrats in 2012. I'm one of 'em.

If Ben would rather go play in the NEGOP sandbox, I'd be OK with that. I think the NDP could then find someone to run against him that would at least stand up for the ideals we Democrats claim to support. Of course he'd have to win in the NEGOP primary, and that might not be as easy as he'd think.

Whoever we'd find to run against him might not stand a chance in 2012, but it would be a good way to start getting our party back on the right track. It might take a few years, but the NDP could actually become relevant again. We could have candidates running for all the open offices if they saw our party as actually having different ideals than our opposition.

Dayton Headlee said...

Well done Street Sweeper. Insightful analysis that undoubtedly appear no where else.

Anonymous said...

BTO - he's to the NDP what Rush is to the RNC. Both are blowhards, self centered and destructive to their parties. Best not to listen to either one of them.

Right Wing Professor said...

The organization of Blue Cross Blue Shield depends on what state you're in. BCBS Nebraska is a mutual insurance company.To say it's 'non-profit in name only' betrays a lack of knowledge of how a mutual insurance company differs from a for-profit.

TKessler said...

RWP, what's your point. Since private individuals can personally benefit from a mutual insurance company's activities, they're generally not treated as non-profit corporations. You're proving my point. In the public mind, non-profits are lean organizations operating on a shoestring budget. Organizations paying out multi-million dollar salaries may technically be "non-profit", but they act more like a for-profit. Which is why Blue Cross is federally taxed (as I mentioned).

Brian T. Osborn said...

Anon 5:02,

What you claim may well be, but it is indisputable that you are just another anonymous asshole, to use one of Sweeper's favorite terms ;-)

Without blowhards like Rush and I, where would politics be? There would be no need for any of us to be here on the blogs because we'd all be mindless lemmings, busily following our "leaders" over the cliff. At least we try to keep it interesting for those who only read, but can think of nothing original to write.

Then there are those like you ... that just whine.

Street Sweeper said...

Hey! An a-hole is an a-hole.
They don't have to be anonymous....

Anonymous said...

Old Pete Ricketts bought a team,
with money there and money here....

Brian T. Osborn said...

No Sweep, they don't have to be. But so many of them are.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who knows anything knows that Adam Green and the Open Left crowd know nothing about Nebraska politics.

I doubt they even know how horribly the Kleeb campaign failed in '08.

macdaddy said...

After tonight's election results, Nelson may want to seriously consider jumping parties. The Dems are out of gas.

Anonymous said...


Right Wing Professor said...

A sure sign someone doesn't know what the heck they're writing about is when they shift to the passive voice. "They're generally not treated as non-profit corporations". By whom? "In the public mind". You got some polling data for the public mind? I didn't think so.

A mutual insurance company exists for the benefit of policyholders, not shareholders. There are no profits. The Dems are beating up even on mutual institutions, because they want state control, even at the expense of not-for-profit corporations.

The taxation of mutuals was instituted simply to make sure that one couldn't organize a corporation as a mutual to evade taxes. If we started taxing churches, would they magically cease to be non-profits? BCBS Nebraska has no shareholders, no dividends, and no stock.

Anonymous said...

I'm all for polling Nelson.

Does that mean him sitting on a pole covered with tar and feathers?

Anonymous said...


Did you hear the exit polls? Those going to vote overwhelmingly had a positive view of Obama. The 2 governors races had nothing to do with Obama. It had to do with Deeds being week (and Virginia having a pattern of never voting for a Gov of the same party as the President for about 40 years - 9th election in a row), and Corzine being a douchebag. But the result that really showed how things are is District 23 in New York.

The 23rd has been solid Republican for decades. Then you had the Republican that was picked by the Republicans start getting trashed by Republicans and then thrown over for the "Conservative" Party, teabagging, Glen Beck-loving worshiper of the religion of hate. They just knew he was the best for their extreme values. They forced out the real Republican - the lifelong Republican.

As a result, for the first time in decades, a Democrat just won the 23rd. So it's been an interesting night. The wingers find out the voters actually like Obama and weren't even thinking about him with their votes, and their radical lost what used to be a solid seat for them. Go figure.

Nate E said...

I for one want to see the republican party to as far and extreme right as possible, as far as Rush the addict and Glenn the idiot want them to go. Please start nominating as many teabagging dimwits and 9/12 jackasses as you can. Lets see how quickly you can fall into that abyss.

DCRP said...

Hey Nate E, did you see the election results last night. Your party lost big!!!! Why is that??? I'll wait for your answer.

Macdaddy said...

Hey anon 11:27, Obama went to new jersey 8 or 9 times for corzine including Sunday night. Corzine actually lost ground since obama's last visit. Deeds tried his best to drape himself with Obama. He also lost ground. In the NY 23, the Republican candidate dropped out, and after receiving almost a million dollars from the party, threw her support behind the democrat. We'll see what happens in that district next November. Obama can't carry these people across the finish line and if he insists on his very liberal agenda that kills jobs and bankrupts us, the dens will lose congress next year.

BTW, you should lay off the homophobic slurs. This blog is classier than that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:27 pm--well then...

If this was a good night for the Dems, you guys will obviously be all pumped up and roll out your candidates now.

Who's gonna ride the new D wave for Gov, LG, AG, Treas and Auditor? Show us something...

Deployed NE said...

Anon 11:27,

Sounds like a lot of excuses to me.

Marc said...

The problem with polls like this is that the topic is more complex than these questions can even ask. The 'public option' isn't even well defined at this point.

The question regarding profits vs. patients is telling. Though people are against a public option they don't feel that the Insurance companies are working with their best interests in mind. Is this simply a case of the devil we know vs. the devil we don't know?

I'm not opposed to a public option necessarily, but I'd rather see the current system 'fixed' so that more people can afford health insurance.

Anonymous said...

Wash Post's Chris Cillizza said that Independents swung yesterday from the D's to the R's--called it an "ominous sign for Democrats."

What's he gonna say when unemployment rates come out this week and hit 10%. Good job on the economy, Dems.

Nate E said...

What happened last night was a republican win in historically republican territory and a republican win against a scandal plagued governor. Gov Corzine insinuating that McDonnell is fat in an attack ad isn't something that will help him with most voters either. But the race with national implications, the one that will have a vote in DC? Yea the conservative candidate lost in a place a dem hasn't won in more than a century.

Julie Schmit-Albin said...

Anon: 11:27 p.m. 11/3 While Scozzafava might be a "lifelong Republican", I don't know how you can describe her as the "real Republican." Go read Michelle Malkin today for a run-down on all the "Republican" values embraced by Dierdre.

Right Wing Professor said...

Two points: I'm about as far away from Julie on social issues as someone who regularly votes R could be, and there is no way I could have voted for Scozzafava either. The MSM played up her positions on abortion/gay-marriage, but what did it for me was her support for the stimulus and for card-check. When you've got the socons and the libertarians both gunning for you, the big tent may just not be big enough.

Second point: if I were a Dem., the thing that would scare me was the failure of major parts of the Obama coalition to turn out yesterday. Young people didn't vote in the same numbers as 2008, and nor did African Americans. And while it was an off-year election, there was tons of money spent, particularly in NJ. There was no way they were unaware there was an election.

The congresscritters who rode Obama's coat tails to victory in 2008 need to find another mode of transportation for 2010. Me, I'd be blue-dogging it as hard and fast as I could.

Right Wing Professor said...

By the way, Corzine isn't scandal plagued. By standards of recent NJ governors, he's a saint. It was his failure to fix NJ's horrible fiscal situation that did him in.

I Crunch Poli Numbers said...

Who needs exit polls. I basically called last night's election with the exception of the 23. I never gave a number on that race.

I said McDonnell by 19...ended 18. Christie I think I either said 4 or 6. Ended 5. I thought 23 would be a close win for Hoffman, but the Lib Repub took a few more points away and Hoffman had virtually zero organized GOTV effort.

How could Obama's presidency and incometence not have played a roll? In 2005 Deeds lost to McDonnell by 323 votes. Closest race in VA history. Flash forward and McDonnell beats him by 17% points (325,794 votes). You have your head in the sand if you do not think the Obama admin and direction of the country figured into this.

Nate E...I know you want to beleive that load of crap but I know you don't. Whereas exits said Obama didn't play a major roll in their decision, the excessive government was. Jobs were. Trust in government was. When you are in the White House, these are tied to the President. Even more surprising is the number of down ticket dem seats Republicans took in NJ, NY and VA.

Anonymous said...


"But perhaps more worrisome for Mr. Obama were exit polls in Virginia and New Jersey suggesting that independent voters, who were crucial to his victories in both states, were now tilting toward the Republican side."

NY Times 11/4 "Corzine's effort heavily aided by Obama"

Anonymous said...

RE: prior post ...

Goodbye Tom White.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of White, did he attend the session in Lincoln today and was his Capitol office open?

Anonymous said...

Any word on how Covalt and Rogers' candidate recruitment effort went today?

Very impressive so far!

Anonymous said...

On the budget deficit, if Mello and Nordquist don't like the Gov's plan--then where's there's? Can't beat something w/nothing.

Looks like they have as many credible alternatives as the Dems have candidates for Gov.

One Out In The Third said...

We had three local Unicameral Nuckleheads in the GI paper this morning that are perfectly fine with whatever our Governor wants to do. Baaaa....Baaaaa. Provide some input Nuckleheads! Form a thought. Don't just sit there and espouse "doom and gloom" and just let Dave do it...Get in the Game!

I read where there are 2100 vacant state jobs that could be eliminated. Did they budget for these vacancies in the last session? How can you save money if you did not budget for these "ghosts" in the first place?

There will likely be a 10 to 15 percent jump in property taxes before it's all said and done.

The reserve was created specifically to cover shortages like this. I am not saying use it all to get us out of this mess...but you can use at least a third. The Governor and his cronies won't hear it though.

Anonymous said...

What we can learn from the results;

Corzine lost because he called his opponent fat in a negative ad. A new low.

Hoffman almost won despite the fact that he had no personality and never really lived in NY-23 and didn't truly know the local issues.

VA Governors race shows that Republicans win if they run on; traditional values, limited government, and strong defense coupled with an decent looking candidate with limited baggage

Sarah Palin can still create a stir (especially when she wears them blue jeans)

Young people, minorities will not turn out. Only once in a lifetime for a historical election with a TV-savvy, media figure with cult-like following

Gay marriage will never win popular majority support in an election but within 10 years, gay marriage will be a reality (no one goes back into the closet)

These results will increase the excitment of the far right but eventually it will backfire on the GOP, the center wins, not the center-right.

Anonymous said...

What we can learn from the results;

Corzine lost because he called his opponent fat in a negative ad. A new low.

Hoffman almost won despite the fact that he had no personality and never really lived in NY-23 and didn't truly know the local issues.

VA Governors race shows that Republicans win if they run on; traditional values, limited government, and strong defense coupled with an decent looking candidate with limited baggage

Sarah Palin can still create a stir (especially when she wears them blue jeans)

Young people, minorities will not turn out. Only once in a lifetime for a historical election with a TV-savvy, media figure with cult-like following

Gay marriage will never win popular majority support in an election but within 10 years, gay marriage will be a reality (no one goes back into the closet)

These results will increase the excitment of the far right but eventually it will backfire on the GOP, the center wins, not the center-right.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't Pete Ricketts and family buy Omaha a team?

Nate E said...

Poli Numbers,
So you admit Obama didn't play into voters choices, and then you cite things that are supposed to be the governments fault and say they are a reflection on Obama?

Corzine received major flak for many things during his tenure as governor. Remember the car accident he got, going 90 miles an hour? The state trooper took the ticket, even though Corzine instructed him to go fast. The ad where he called his opponent fat was a stain, and the fact that he was a former CEO of a Wall Street firm was brought up against him and in this climate that is the kiss of death. His toll road plan was (and rightly so) slammed by the general public. He shut down the state government after the legislature refused to increase the state sales tax, always a popular position for politicians. His romantic flings connected to state contracts was not popular as well. He was unpopular from the get-go, according to wikipedia (i know its not always a reliable source) he had a 35% approval rating 3 months after being elected.

I Crunch Poli Numbers said...


Nice to see you got the DNC Talking Points Memo.

When asked specifically about Obama, the exit polling showed only about an average of 60% didn't say their vote was about Obama. As Obama wasn't on the ballot it still means 40% or so factored the President into their decision. This is NOT insignificant.

NJ and VA went to Obama fairly strongly. It is not surprising the voters still want to give Obama a chance. Especially in very Blue NJ.

His policies took a beating. He wants to jam health care down our throats but health care is very low as a priority in the states voting on Tuesday.

I agree with the stats on Corxine, but Obama went to NJ 9 times in the past several weeks. Obama tried to make it about Obama. It is a VERY blue state that Obama won by 15 +. Christie was severely outspent.

Obama won on Independents. Across the board Independents went overwhelmingly to Republicans in VA and NJ. It trickled down the ballot.

I know you want to spin it, but this was a huge blow to Obama.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nate E--thanks for posting.

Suggestion...maybe you should spend as much time trying to help Covalt, Rogers and Samp recruit Dem candidates as you do rehashing Tuesday's results. How about that?

Anonymous said...

I can't believe how foolish and incompetent the NDP looks right now. No candidates for Gov, LG, AG, Treas and Auditor. lol

The Three Stooges-----> Covalt, Rogers and Samp

Anonymous said...

"We got walloped."

US Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) on Tuesday's election results.

Marc said...

I Crunch Poli Numbers, I don't disagree that these elections may be a hit to Obama, but I sincerely hope that the voters, especially the independents, were voting for the candidate that they felt could best represent them rather than as a means of punishing Obama or because a candidate belongs to a particular party.

Anonymous said...

From CQ:

"Voters most worried about the economy voted for GOP candidates in heavy numbers."

"While Tuesday may not have been a direct referendum on President Obama, the results nonetheless reflected growing voter discontent that's working against Democrats. That has implications for 2010 and beyond. Democrats would be foolish to ignore this reality."

Anonymous said...

And so what's the first thing the Democrats now do? Ram a $1 trillion takeover of the healthcare system through the House on Saturday. They are fools...

Anonymous said...


You left some of the exit poll numbers. You're right that 60% said the President had no part in their vote. But 19% also said they voted to show their support for Obama. Only 19% said they voted against the Democrat because of Obama. In any poll, there will almost always be around 20% that go a different direction than the other 80%. Even Dick Cheney, one of the most hated VPs in history, never went below that average of 20% approval. Probably the same people in the recent poll.

So if you crunch poll numbers, another way to put it is that 79% who voted said their view of the President had either no impact or actually caused them to vote in a way to support him.

But 2 governors races - specific to those states - went to Republicans (remember Ari Fleicher speaking for President Bush and reminding people that those off year elections are more local than reflective of a national party?). But the special elections that were sending people to Washington? In California and in New York, Democrats won. So the House is actually adding to it's number of Dems.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what the result in NE23 would be if the just-released unemployment figures--10.2%--highest in 26 years, had been out on Monday...

The Dem economic plan ain't workin...

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Rumor is Mark "JonBenet" Fahleson held yet another press conference today that no one attended.

Anonymous said...

I'd take a chairman whose out swinging away for the cause(Fahleson) over an incompetent who can't get anyone to run on his party's ticket (Covalt) any day.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of "swinging away" what is Shane Osborn going to do after his term of State Treasurer is up?