Wednesday, December 16, 2009

What makes Ben nervous? A new poll.

Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is getting heat from all sides these days.

But who really has the most influence on The Benator?

President Obama and his tanking personal ratings?
Harry Reid and his tanking Health Care re-form bill?
Or is it Nebraska voters (and their Pro-Life tendencies)?

Well, pollsters The Tarrance Group asked 500 "likely" Nebraska voters these and other questions recently.

The results?


Here are Nelson's Favorable ratings:
Ben Nelson

Compare that to:
Dave Heineman:
(ya hear that Mike Boyle?)
Mike Johanns
Favorable: 66% (yow!)
Unfavorable: 24%
And that doesn't even seem so bad until you hear a couple of other questions:
Approve or disapprove of the way Ben Nelson is handling his job as Senator?

Then there's this:
"In general, do you favor or oppose President Obama’s plan to expand health care coverage to most Americans even if this plan increases the role of the federal government in health care and increases the cost of the deficit?"

Favor: 26%
Oppose: 67%
A bit of a loaded question, maybe, but look at this follow-up:
"If Senator Ben Nelson votes in favor of this plan, would that make you more likely or less likely to support Senator Nelson when he runs for re-election?"

More likely: 26%
Less Likely: 61%
Sixty-one percent?!
Now THAT will give Nelson some pause.

(See more about the survey results in a story here and a fuller and downloadable version of the poll at a new-ish link here.)


So what do we take from this, and Nelson's recent back-tracking on his commitments to a filibuster of the Senate Health Care re-form bill?

Well, first, it would seem that Nelson has pretty much married himself to the Stupak version of the anti-abortion amendment. Anything less, and he's going to vote against the bill (and cloture). At least that's the way he has pushed it.

But what if the pro-Choice forces give in, and allow Stupak language to stay in?

Would Nelson then vote for the bill?

We think...yes.

Why, after all else he's said?

Well, he's received serious pressure from pretty much every Democrat to push it through. He won't be crazy about being THE Democrat pariah in the USA.

Our thought is that if Nelson can get the abortion language he wants, he can claim victory, then try to sell the rest to Nebraskans.

And if he can't sell it? And the writing is on the wall from likely voters?

Well, he'll be 71 years old in 2012. And maybe he can kick back on the turkey ranch and watch the Platte go by, with frequent visits to his old Hill haunts. Life could be worse, right?

But with his very recent hedging on the bill with "gosh, people are going bankrupt if I don't do SOMETHING", it leads us to believe he is planning a turn.

Could Nelson recover from voting for a bill that Nebraskans seem to hate?

Well, the polls seem to say, no.

But then, 2012 is a LONNNNGGGG way off. Lots can happen.

And Nelson may be willing to roll the dice.


Btw, Senator McConnell sums up our feelings on the process of the bill here.


Anonymous said...

Heineman's numbers are soft, the vast majority of Nebraskans can't name anything of significance he has done, he is just kind of there, no one gives him much thought. He's certainly not a leader. He's actually very boring and some people nod off when he makes a speech.

Nelson will vote to allow health care reform to be debated and voted on but once there is enough Democratic support to win passage Nelson will vote No. He will be rewarded for his help by Obama's White House --- a little more stimulus money, a new Veteran's building, etc...

A kinder, gentler Mike did that work for Hal Daub last time? I think Boyle has done a good job with the Douglas County Board though and has worked well with Republicans there.

Anonymous said...

Name 1 person that nodded off in the presence of the Governor-that doesn't wear diapers and isn't over the age of 80.

Omaha will not vote for Boyle (they all remember how he screwed up before). If he doesn't win Omaha, he won't win the state. He is no Ben Nelson or Bob Kerrey.

Boyle gets caught in his lies to the Voters.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should poll and ask people this question about Heineman "If the governor is so ineffective that say, 10 people die in a state facility, do you think that person deserves to be reelected?" He can't even manage state finances, what a failure.

Anonymous said...

Senator Ben and Senator Schumer are best buds. He even brought him to the NU/OSU football game and made a Republican box holder host him.

Does Ben treat women the same way Chucky does? Why the Hell did Kristen Gillibrand lie for him? What is up with all these Dems that are suppose to care about women?

Oh, wait, it was actually REPUBLICANS that were the first freedom fighters for women's suffrage. Dems don't give a rat's ass about anyone but themselves.

Right Wing Professor said...

According to Malkin this morning, Nelson's staffers ran the proposed Casey/Nelson/Boxer abortion compromise past Nebraska Right to Life, who aren't buying.

It doesn't look like Stupak is going to be on the table.

Thr Pip said...

Why wouldn't Johanns have great numbers? He hasn't done a damn thing in a year. Even his attack on ACORN was recently thrown out by a federal judge. Unlike the Nebraska Ernie Chambers term limit law, the Feds decided you can't legislate to go after one person or one specific group.

I'm guessing Iron Mike has taken lessons from Adriana Smith. Don't ever, ever sponsor a bill, (in three years), attach amendments only to bills that will be popular back home, and stand in the back row during press conferences and make it look like you have done something.

Never in the history of Nebraska politics have we had two elected officials who have done nothing but preach to the choir back home.

I'm sure the Republican party has told them to do nothing, and hope the country fails so they can get their power back. Doing nothing is not doing something. Step up and be leaders, for once. If my employees were as productive as these two, they would be my ex-employees.

Anonymous said...

Where are the crosstabs? Where are the crosstabs? Where are the crosstabs? Where are the crosstabs? Where are the crosstabs? Where are the crosstabs?

How many times did we hear that in the last election cycle?

"A bit of a loaded question"? Why didn't they just ask 'The health care reform bill will lead to the end of the world. Do you support it?'

Anonymous said...

Not only a loaded question but a bad, misleading one too since the last CBO score I saw was net positive on the deficit.

Anonymous said...

Here's the deal. Yes, loaded question. However, the loaded question is exactly the type of issue ad that will be run against the Senator in '12.

Therefore, very relevant to Ben Nelson. If the issue is frying him now, packaged that way, then he knows it will fry him then, packaged even better.

Right Wing Professor said...

Why does the Pip think making someone's name feminine is an insult? Is he a misogynist?

Anonymous said...

Does anybody really think Nelson gives a large rodents rear how Nebraskan's feel about the Health Care Bill?

He wanted to be in the spot light, now lets seem him dance.

macdaddy said...

The Pip: the federal judge's ruling will be thrown out. If you want a good laugh, or perhaps to cry for our judiciary, you should read the opinion. It's long on opinion and very, very short on understanding Constitutional law. In fact, you could even say that it's judicial malpractice when it comes to understanding the Constitution, you know, the one from the U.S., that's, like, written down. Not the one on Law and Order or The West Wing or that exists in the fevered minds of ACORN. I predict that this judge and her ruling will feature prominently in Republican attack ads in 2010, 2012, 2014, 2016. It's just that outrageous. Of course, that means she will probably be nominated to the SCOTUS by Obama.

macdaddy said...

Oh, and before the first comment gets too far up the chain: "Heineman's numbers are soft." ROTFLOL. That one's going to have me chuckling all day. Smoke another one, bra'.

Right Wing Professor said...

Nelson on KLIN this morning rejected the Reid/Casey compromise.

This baby ain't moving before Christmas.

Anonymous said...

Macdaddy, nice try attempting to defend Johanns', but you must not know the Constitution. Article 1, Section 9 state: "No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

What is a Bill of Attainder? It's "A legislative act that singles out an individual or group for punishment without a trial."

There were no hearings, no attempt to adhere to the concept of innocent unless proven guilty, no chance to give voice to the organization being targeted, and the bill was a Attainder bill. It targeted only ACORN and cut off funding without these rights first being addressed. You can't do that. You can pass a bill that targets certain criteria expected of any group getting federal funds, but Republicans wouldn't want that. Why? Because a lot of Republican-friendly organizations would fall under them and also lose funding. The ruling will stand. And Mikey Nohanns only piece of work that he has done in the first year, outside of saying "No" like a parrot, has been proven to be complete crap.

The Pip said...

RWP, I'm no misogynist. If I insulted anyone, it would be those of the feminine nature. (Either by birth or choice)

Maybe you have overreacted to just a spelling error? Easy, Unk.

Right Wing Professor said...

ROFL! Yeah, right. Spelling error. Why wouldn't one think Adrian had a terminal unvoiced 'a'?

Don't sweat it, Pip. You're a leftist. It's OK for you to be as sexist and racist as you want. It's only conservatives that get taken to task for such things.

GeosUser said...

EBN will vote yes for cloture and the final bill. He will be watching Spring 2013 arrive from his "farm" and acting as a corporate board member and/or highly paid consultant to major health insurance an ex-Senator.

Numbers guy said...

Defenders of Acorn on Leavenworth Street...Must be the White campaign looking for "walking around money" for election day. White will lose by 12 points!!! More if Obama goes below 40% approval.

macdaddy said...

So now if you don't get money from the federal government you are being punished? Are you f'in serious? Where are the cops? I'm being punished and I didn't have a trial! Congress did not punish ACORN. They didn't fine ACORN. They didn't throw ACORN in jail. They cut off funding. It ain't the same except perhaps in ACORN's bizarro world. Were they inconvenienced? Sure. Put out? Sure. Maddened? Yes. Annoyed? I bet. But punished? You have got. to. be. kidding. me. This single judge way overstepped her bounds and intruded on both the Legislative Branch and the Executive Branch. The only question is whether Mr. Constituional Law teacher Obama is going to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

It was a poll of 500 people conducted by "Americans for Prosperity".

Hillarious said...

This was on Drudge Report. Watch the video.

Drunk 4-Year-Old Steals Christmas Presents

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WTVC-TV) - A 4-year-old boy, beer in hand, is accused of stealing Christmas presents from his neighbors. It's a strange story, but also a sad one.

Anonymous said...

You can't distract us with your YouTube videos Senator Nelson!

E. Ben said...

Dan it foiled again by those Medelling kids from L. Street

The Pot calling the Kettle said...

"Governor Heineman has been too Partisan"

- Mike Boyle today!!!

Anonymous said...

Admit it are against the Constitution. You wanted ACORN targeted. 'Nuf said.

Anonymous said...

Its not unrealistic for The Pip to make typing errors. Look at the first post by 'The Pip'. You'll notice that it starts out 'Thr Pip'. To all right wing blowhards, not everything is a conspiracy.

Anonymous said...

ACORN is such a hot topic issue that really affects Nebraskans RIGHT! Do they even have an office in this state?

ACORN is a group, mostly of volunteers and highly committed staff, who work to help people get back on their feet. The Republicans have tried to paint them into something they're not because part of the services they provide underprivileged people and communities is voter registration drives and they don't like the way underprivileged people vote. That's it, that's the whole beef.

Right Wing Professor said...

'r' is next to 'e' on the keyboard. It's a common typo.

'Adriana' is the feminine form of 'Adrian'. On the other hand, when typing 'n', why would you also hit 'a', on the opposite side of the keyboard?

The most parsimonious hypothesis is that the 'Adriana' was deliberate. Sorry.

Right Wing Professor said...

ACORN is a group, mostly of volunteers and highly committed staff, who work to help people get back on their feet.

From the Breitbart videos, it looked like they were more interested in getting people on their backs. Particularly underaged girls.

If people want to help the underprivileged, may I suggest, particularly in this holiday season, the People's City Mission in Lincoln. They do amazing work helping literally thousands of people each year. And they don't get involved in politics.

Brian T. Osborn said...


In the future, will you please police all improper occurrences of they're, there and their? The keys for those words are certainly not in close proximity to one another but many have never understood the proper usage for them and could benefit from your superior intellect.

While you are at it, could you also please stand guard against those that insist on spelling my name "Brain" rather than the name my momma gave me? I must admit, however, that I find that particular tort amusing.

Has it ever occurred to you that "Pip" might have a daughter, or other friend or relative, that goes by the name "Adriana?" If that were the case, the error could be ascribed to a mental, rather than typographic, slip.

Shall we just shoot Pip and be done with it?

Brian T. Osborn said...

"From the Breitbart videos, it looked like they were more interested in getting people on their backs. Particularly underaged girls.

Oh hell yes! Let's ascribe the behavior of a few people to an entire organization. In that case I would have to assume all atheist, libertarian-conservatives are pedophiles since there has been at least one convicted of such a crime. I guess we'd have to assume that includes you RWP, since you are a self-described "atheist, libertarian-conservative."

Anonymous said...

The ACORN video is a farce. I guarantee you if I pulled the same stunt, went around to hundreds of military recruiters, illegally videotaped them, and told them I wanted to join the military because I wanted to kill and torture Arabs I guarantee you I could find one that'd laugh along and try to sign me up.

Your beef with ACORN is because they register voters and you don't like how they vote. Get over it.

Right Wing Professor said...

Seemed like there were a lot of people at ACORN anxious to help with the prostitution business, BTO. There was a whole series of videos.

By all means find yourself an atheist libertarian-conservative pedophile, by the way, and then we can get the discussion started. Of course, you won't. We atheist libertarian-conservatives are paragons of propriety, and will not so much as look at a member of the opposite sex without checking their long-form birth certificate.

I'm upset, though, that you misunderstood my intentions towards The Pip. Far better he/she be corrected in the friendly confines of L Street, than slip up in a misogynist way in the precincts of the Left. I just spent a very enjoyable 15 minutes reading one of the scienceblogs, where a white male, no less a white male than PZ Myers, made the mistake of deploring how another white male was detained by TSA, and was promptly and verbally disembowelled for not mentioning that women and minorities are oppressed far far worse.
The inability to find empaƱada dough in Mexican groceries came into it too, but I confess I missed the connection.

Speaking of blogs, on the NYTimes prescriptions blog, you can read seven pages of incoherent rage from the trans-Hudson crowd that a mere Nebraska hick could stand in the way of the glorious march of the proletariat. Made me quite proud. One guy said they should nuke our beloved state. He seemed to forget who controls the entire strategic nuclear force of the US -- for the present, at least.

Brian T. Osborn said...


How do you find the time to pen all this fiction?

Right Wing Professor said...


I had time because Fringe was kinda slow tonight. I'm still wondering whether UNL would object to a cow in my lab.. Maybe if I was on East Campus...

(If you don't watch Fringe, never mind.)

Anonymous said...

@Right Wing Professor
Funny you mention the People's City Mission, that's where Rebecca Weber used to be chief fundraiser, now she's chief fundraiser for the Nebraska Republican Party.

It's fascinating how someone could go from serving the poorest 1% of Americans and the next day go off to serve the richest 1%.

Shoe Salesman said...

RWP - lets use your logic -
If all ACORN volunteers are pimps because of what is on a doctored video then what are all Nebraska Republicans because one party official was caught on camera and admitted to groping an underage girls in a bird costume at a theme restaurant?

Get serious Prof. By the way - the independent investigation into the incidents found that in nearly every case, the videotaped was doctored - sometimes with a voice over, sometimes with creative editing. Don't let the facts get in the way. Go with the talking points, Winger.

I'd link, but we all know Sweeper's policy on that. But hey, you're a professor, I bet you could look it up. Hell, I bet you could get Lee Terry's lobbyist/speechwriter to look it up for you.

Anonymous said...

The best thing Mike Boyle ever did was cuss out then Congressman Jon Christensen (dimmest bulk in Congress) at the Holy Name fish fry.

This one act itself may be enough to win my vote even years later.

Go get 'em Mike!

Anonymous said...

as one national publication rated Jon Christensen was the "dimmest bulb in Congress"

Nathan said...

Now now children, insulting Jon Christensen is like insulting us, because we elected him. Wait, we elected him?!? Multiple times?!? Perhaps we aint that bright after all.

One Out In The Third said...

Thought I might as well throw my too sense worth in...There are sum that feel Pip should be shat at.

Just kidding Pip...Christmas is a stressful time of year. Crowds...low inventories...high prices...etc...

Merry Christmas all...'ceptin Ben Nelson...who may have a lump of coal coming.

Right Wing Professor said...

Yeah Shoe Salesman, who am I going to believe: you, or my own lying eyes?

The Pip said...

Thanks, One Out. I was hoping if BTO and RWP were gonna let me have it, they would at least be decent enough to do it before I started my Christmas shopping. I would have really missed my Tom and Jerry on Christmas Eve.

Has there ever been a threat of shooting a poster on Leavenworth before?

Street Sweeper said...

No, no threats here on L. St.
I took OOitT's 5:20 comment to be the past-tense of "sh*t", not "shot". While neither is good, I'm not clear how one accomplishes the former.
If I'm incorrect, or you think these comments should be deleted, I'll do so.

The Pip said...

Leave it up, I've got thicker skin than that. Have a good week, Sweeper. I would have wished you a Merry Christmas, but I didn't want any threats from the non- Christian groups.

Brian T. Osborn said...


I know it's hard to read, but my sign says "Sarcasm is just another free service I offer." But don't ever misspell anything again or RWP and I will be rounding up the lynch mob. We can't have any misspellings here!

jane fleming kleeb said...

This "poll" was a push poll and robo call poll...i cant believe you of all people would give it print, but then again, you are a coward who cant even sign their name to the blog, so i guess this does not surprise me.

Street Sweeper said...


You know (though you're pretending not to) that we here at L. St. publish ALL polls that we get.
And we explain, as best we can, who's behind it and any slant.

Now, you and the readers saw (though you're pretending that you didn't) our note regarding the "loaded-ness" of the Health Care question.
We noted the same thing on the Democrat poll -- that we published -- a few weeks ago.

But readers can look at the rest of the questions and make up their own minds regarding how Nebraska voters feel about Ben Nelson and his vote on the Health Care re-form bill in the Senate.

Of course, YOU are clearly only jumping into this forum because you are a publicity...hound (in substitution for a better word) and have seen that this post has received a number of links by other national blogs.

Congratulations for showing up to the party Jane. We're see you here.

Now don't you have a meeting to go to that you will also protest..or something?

Thanks (as always) for reading!

Tired of Fakes said...

Jane Fleming Kleeb, how are my Butch SEIU protestors doing. I have not seen them for a while. It's probably because no one in this state is buying your ACORN/Socialist based BS on health care and Card Check. What are you making these days? I bet your SEIU hourly workers would like to know what that amount is??? I bet its 10 times more that most of the service workers you represent. Why don't you and the Faux cowboy spread your wealth and leave me and my family alone.

Richard S. said...

Jane: For all that is holy, can you please stop tucking in the legs of your jeans into your Ugg Boots? Please?

I would ask that you do it as a Christmas present to me, but since liberal-Marxists like you take offense to any and all references to the December holiday, how about you just do it as a personal favor? Or, at the very least, just promise that your SEIU members will take a holiday from beating up African-American conservatives who disagree with Socialized medicine. Ok?

Richard S. said...

Oh, and Jane, I can't find a copy of Saul Alinsky's "Rules for Radicals" at any of the Nebraska bookstores, and since it's required reading for all SEIU/ACORN employees, would it be ok if I borrowed your copy?

Mr. Blackwell said...

Tucking ones jeans into their boots is such a fashion mistake, My advise dear Jane is to get off the streets so no one will see you and gome home and bake a cake!!!!

WALMART said...

Jane, if you need Christmas presents for the people at the SEIU office, we are having a sale on stretch pants for $12.

Anonymous said...

Good thing for Ben he's not up in 2010. Cook Report predicts a Repub gain of 20--30 seats. If the Dems pass healthcare reform and unemployment is still above 10%next fall (very likely) look for 'em to win over 40 seats.

Anonymous said...

Speaking of polls, almost all of them are now showing heavy majorities AGAINST what is working its way through Congress. The Dems couldn't be more tone deaf...

Anonymous said...

Hilarious about the tone of posts from the liberal trolls here... they are erupting in anger over the collapse of their health plan and loss--lol. As far as 1:28, please save some of those items for Lisa Hannah and Toys for Kyle and Matt Samp. The next few days will be very interesting on the health care front.

Anonymous said...

Just read Tom White's op-ed in the OWH. How many words does it take to say absolutely nothing...

2008 said...

Here is my number that Shows how ALL of Nebraska feels about Jane Kleeb and her ideas

57.6% to 40.0%

Jane do those numbers ring a bell???

Right Wing Professor said...


I'd like to apologize for my churlish colleagues here, and take the opportunity to welcome you, albeit belatedly, to our state.

Since you are a comparative newbie, maybe I'll also point out something that's maybe a bit obvious to most of the regulars here; that while we may criticize EBN's ethics, principles or lack thereof, choice of political party, and particularly hairstyle, few of us doubt for a moment his political acumen. No Democrat could have had as successful a career as the Benator without a keen sense of the political pulse of Nebraska. Ben's holding out on the health care bill because he knows his political future depends on doing that, and I'm sure he trusts his judgement far more than any poll, push- or otherwise. So shoot the messenger, if you wish; Nelson already knows the bad news.

Notice particularly that in his KLIN interview he was careful to make it clear that even if his demands on abortion were met, that still wouldn't resolve his problems with the bill. Personally, I doubt Reid can satisfy him on abortion anyway, but Nelson's still left himself an out even if Reid does satisfy him.

Anonymous said...

“Don’t think we’re not keeping score, brother,” Obama told DeFazio during a closed-door meeting of the House Democratic Caucus, according to members afterward.

HMMM...No threats to Nelson on Offutt. Ask Conressman DeFazio about Chicago Thuggary from the annointed one.

One Out In The Third said...


I was just trying to inject a little of my sick humor.

For the record...I wish no harm to anyone. Well...I did have this passing thought about BTO and a thousand fleas.

One Out In The Third said...

I gotta lean a little toward Jane's direction...she and her honey are experts when it comes to robocalls.

What surprised me was that the numbers against were so low...Adrian Smith's call-in's have yielded much higher percentages against Obamacare out in the Third...away from the eastern "swamplands." Must be the pure prairie air we breath out here.

Brian T. Osborn said...


Thanks for the thought, but you can keep your fleas. I'm sure they're quite toasty, nestled in for the winter on you, as they are.

One Out In The Third said...


Only the best for my Navy friends.

Anonymous said...

Why should I as a Missouri resident pay for Medicaid and the residents of Nebraska don't have to?

Anonymous said...

The reason the CBO gave a favorable score is that the taxes and increased fees start now and the pay out is not until 2014!

Wake up America and realize that this is a scam!