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A Rasmussen poll earlier last week offered a shocker of a results -- Democrat Scott Kleeb trailed just 55-40. While 15 points sounds like a big margin, it suggested that Kleeb's tough race, in a tough race, against a popular former governor, in a tough year for Republicans, had the potential to close in the coming months.

A new Research 2000 poll for Daily Kos of the Nebraska Senate race isn't as optimistic as Rasmussen.

Research 2000 for Daily Kos. 5/19-21. Likely voters. MoE 4% (11/15/07 results)

Johanns (R) 58 (59)
Kleeb (D) 31 (28)

In the poll, 50 percent of voters still have no idea who Kleeb is, and being a cheap state, the Democrat will be able to get the word out. And with just 65 percent of the Democratic vote right now, Kleeb can close the margin by merely bringing those guys home. After that, it all becomes a battle for the independents.

Full crosstabs below the fold.

NEBRASKA POLL RESULTS - MAY 2008

The Research 2000 Nebraska Poll was conducted from May 19 through May 21, 2008. A total of 600 likely voters who vote regularly in state elections were interviewed statewide by telephone.  

Those interviewed were selected by the random variation of the last four digits of telephone numbers. A cross-section of exchanges was utilized in order to ensure an accurate reflection of the state. Quotas were assigned to reflect the voter registration of distribution by county.

The margin for error, according to standards customarily used by statisticians, is no more than plus or minus 4% percentage points. This means that there is a 95 percent probability that the "true" figure would fall within that range if the entire population were sampled. The margin for error is higher for any subgroup, such as for gender or party affiliation.


SAMPLE FIGURES:

Men                 292   (49%)              
Women               308   (51%)

Democrats           199   (33%)    
Republicans         282   (47%)    
Independents/Other  119   (20%)

18-29                96   (16%)
30-44               174   (29%)
45-59               192   (32%)
60+                 138   (23%)


QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Scott Kleeb? (If favorable or unfavorable, ask if it is very or not):

                    VERY                   VERY
                    FAV    FAV    UNFAV    UNFAV   NO OPINION  

ALL                 14%     19%     10%      6%     51%    

MEN                 13%     17%     12%      8%     50%
WOMEN               15%     21%      8%      4%     52%

DEMOCRATS           22%     31%      5%      2%     40%
REPUBLICANS          8%     10%     15%      9%     58%
INDEPENDENTS        16%     21%      8%      4%     51%

18-29               16%     21%      6%      3%     54%
30-44               12%     17%     12%      8%     51%
45-59               15%     20%     10%      6%     49%
60+                 14%     18%     11%      7%     50%


QUESTION: Do you have a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Mike Johanns? (If favorable or unfavorable, ask if it is very or not):

                    VERY                   VERY
                    FAV    FAV    UNFAV    UNFAV   NO OPINION  

ALL                 21%     40%     17%     10%     12%

MEN                 22%     42%     15%      9%     12%
WOMEN               20%     38%     19%     11%     12%

DEMOCRATS            7%     24%     36%     19%     14%
REPUBLICANS         32%     52%      4%      4%      8%
INDEPENDENTS        19%     39%     17%      9%     16%

18-29               19%     38%     20%     12%     11%
30-44               24%     42%     15%      9%     10%
45-59               20%     40%     17%     10%     13%
60+                 21%     39%     16%      9%     15%


QUESTION: If election for U.S. Senate were held today, would you vote for Scott Kleeb, the Democrat, or Mike Johanns, the Republican?

                  JOHANNS       KLEEB       UNDECIDED        

ALL                 58%          31%          11%

MEN                 61%          30%           9%
WOMEN               55%          32%          13%

DEMOCRATS           19%          65%          16%
REPUBLICANS         86%           7%           7%
INDEPENDENTS        56%          32%          12%

18-29               56%          33%          11%
30-44               61%          28%          11%
45-59               58%          32%          10%
60+                 58%          30%          12%

CD#1                61%          27%          12%
CD#2                59%          30%          11%
CD#3                55%          36%           9%


QUESTION: Do you approve or disapprove of the job George W. Bush is doing as President?

                  APPROVE     DISAPPROVE    NOT SURE      

ALL                 39%          57%           4%

MEN                 43%          54%           3%  
WOMEN               35%          60%           5%

DEMOCRATS           12%          86%           2%
REPUBLICANS         60%          35%           5%
INDEPENDENTS        34%          62%           4%

18-29               36%          59%           5%
30-44               41%          55%           4%
45-59               40%          57%           3%
60+                 40%          56%           4%


QUESTION: If the election for President were held today, who would you vote for if the choice were between Barack Obama, the Democrat, and John McCain, the Republican?

                  MCCAIN       OBAMA       UNDECIDED

ALL                 57%          29%          14%

MEN                 59%          28%          13%
WOMEN               55%          30%          15%

DEMOCRATS           18%          70%          12%
REPUBLICANS         83%           4%          13%
OTHER               60%          21%          19%

18-29               54%          32%          14%
30-44               59%          27%          14%
45-59               58%          30%          12%
60+                 58%          26%          16%

CD#1                60%          25%          15%
CD#2                58%          28%          14%
CD#3                54%          34%          12%


QUESTION: If the election for President were held today, who would you vote for if the choice were between Hillary Clinton, the Democrat, and John McCain, the Republican?

                  MCCAIN      CLINTON     UNDECIDED

ALL                 58%          28%          14%

MEN                 61%          25%          14%
WOMEN               55%          31%          14%

DEMOCRATS           19%          68%          13%
REPUBLICANS         83%           4%          13%
OTHER               63%          18%          19%

18-29               54%          30%          16%
30-44               60%          27%          13%
45-59               59%          29%          12%
60+                 60%          25%          15%

CD#1                61%          25%          14%
CD#2                59%          27%          14%
CD#3                55%          32%          13%

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:20 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wow! 51% don't know who he is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Eman, DClark4129

    That's a huge margin. Hopefully a little cash and effort will rope in those votes.  Seems like a great opportunity there to take another seat.

    Go Scott Kleeb!

    •  when this primary freak show is over (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mconvente, Houston Gardener

      we really need to focus a lot of energy on Scott and other young progressives running. He is facing the same problem as Barack when he was "young" in this race. When will Barack visit the state? An apearance ot two would definately help especially when she is out of the way.

      "allow nothing to be in your life that you cannot walk out of in 30 seconds if you spot the heat around the corner". - movie HEAT

      by HEAT on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:34:41 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  let's hope he will (0+ / 0-)

        One of the advantages of this long primary slog is that Barack has set up operations in every state (I think). Hopefully he'll drop in to offer some support for young candidates like Scott Kleeb. At least he's already set up there and can hit the ground running if he does visit.

        Pardon my unfamilarity with Nebraska, but does it have swing state potential with the Obama electorial demographics? If so, I'd think he'd definitely visit.

      •  Given the numbers (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        jeturek

        a visit from Obama might not help much; even with the huge proportion of people not knowing who Kleeb is, he still does better than Obama, and you gotta figure most people know who Obama is.

    •  Kleeb must be known in the district that he ran (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Houston Gardener

      for two years ago.  Outside of that district he must be completely unknown.  Advertizing will help, but a Senate race with such little name recognition is a major hurdle.

      For every difficult question, there is an answer that is simple, easily understood and wrong.--H.L. Mencken

      by The Totalizer on Sat May 24, 2008 at 11:26:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Kleeb could do worse than to hitch up with Obama (4+ / 0-)

    at the hip...in longshot races, coattails can help. And in turn, it might help Kleeb deliver Obama the 2nd CD electoral vote with a strong showing.

    I actually take solace in Kleeb's lack of recognition. It means 50% of the voters haven't decided against him. Given positive reasons to vote for him, particularly in the light of a national movement, it's doable.

    Call me any ugly name you choose --
    The steel of freedom does not stain.
    -- Langston Hughes

    by TheCrank on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:23:39 AM PDT

  •  Too bad that (0+ / 0-)

    the race isn't being decided based upon who is the most handsome!

    I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public.

    by internationaljock on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:26:55 AM PDT

  •  This is very early, as indicated (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mconvente

    but Kleeb should waste no time in going on the offensive, identifying himself (before Johanns tries to do it) and capatilize on the negatives of his opponent. There's still time, but there's also no time like the present.

    McCain: "I think that clearly my fortunes have a lot to do with what's happening in Iraq" ... Buh-bye!

    by RevJoe on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:27:12 AM PDT

  •  A GREAT candidate with a great team (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Involuntary Exile, Dave Sund

    Scott Kleeb is a candidate I've supported and continue to support.

    Statewide name recognition is what he needs, which means he needs more dollars.  You can help Scott through ActBlue here.

    Financial support for Scott Kleeb obviously does two things:

    It helps him become better known, but just as important, it forces the R's to spend money where they normally wouldn't need to.

    And every dollar does so much more in Nebraska than it might do in larger media markets.

    Give early and give often please.

  •  What kind of Democrate is Kleeb? Clearly we want (0+ / 0-)

    him as long as he's not another Lieberman, but I doubt anyone could be that bad.

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:28:44 AM PDT

  •  Would be nice to have the CD numbers (0+ / 0-)

    for the favorable/unfavorable ratings on Kleeb. He's polling best against Johanns in the most conservative district, which is the one where he's best known.

    © sardonyx; all rights reserved

    by sardonyx on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:33:06 AM PDT

  •  You know, I remember some farmer (0+ / 0-)

    Whom most people didn't know beating a DC insider and then somehow becoming Senator in a red state.  I think his name was John Tester and he's from Montana. :-) If you can do it in MT, it is certainly possible in NE.

    "Polls are like crack, political activists know they're bad for them but they read them anyways."-Unknown

    by skywaker9 on Sat May 24, 2008 at 10:56:38 AM PDT

  •  Experience (0+ / 0-)

    I would be shocked if a guy who's never held elective office at any level is able to beat a former governor and ag secretary who appears to be popular and loved in the state.  This and MN will probably be the GOP's two big holds in the Senate.

  •  As a Nebraskan, I can tell you a few things: (0+ / 0-)
    1. Kleeb is a solid progressive, his stances are all basically common sense.
    1. He did well running for Congress two years ago in a district that is 75-80% GOP.
    1. Johanns (his opponent is this election) is vulnerable. Johanns left the governorship in mid-term to become Sec of Agriculture for Bush. He left the state budget in a mess, and his successor is a stooge that's not terribly popular these days.
    1. Johanns left the Sec Ag jog in mid-term to pursue the Senate seat. He left after screwing family farmers with a shitty farm bill, and those are the folks that can turn the election for Kleeb.
    1. Omaha has a decent Dem base, but the rest of the state is pretty red. However, Nebraska will vote for a solid, upstanding guy (Dem or Republicant) if you can make the case effectively. Hit Johanns on his weaknesses of screwing farmers and never finishing the job, and he's toast. Neither are the kind of qualities Nebraskans admire.

    http://theohreallyfactor.org

    by ProfessorX on Sat May 24, 2008 at 12:07:41 PM PDT

    •  Good points there, but (0+ / 0-)

      Scott needs to get out there NOW.  He needs a media blitz.

      TheCrank is correct up thread.  50% of people who don't know him are people that can be brought to the good side.  
      The sooner we do it the better.

      Personally I've been a little disappointed with the lack of issues being discussed in any depth(or at least reported in the major media outlets here).  
      Maybe it wasn't the time to get into details, so I'm willing to give that a pass, but I think the campaigns had better start getting down to nuts and bolts here.

      "It is not depravity that afflicts the human race so much as a general lack of intelligence."--Agnes Repplier

      by faction on Sat May 24, 2008 at 01:17:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  some other ideas for Kleeb (0+ / 0-)
      1. Kleeb is more popular than Johanns among the independents.  Many independents took a Democratic ballot to vote for Kleeb in the primary.  Kleeb's campaign needs to concentrate on these voters. Kleeb can win if gets the independents and the registered Democrats to vote for him. (Republicans are 49% of the registered voters, so he can be beat).
      1. more footwork less phone. Kleeb's campaign needs to get people out on the streets, contacting the indepenents, the young (by and large unregistered)and the elderly.
      1. He needs to be more hardhitting in his adds.  The cowboy image is nice, but he is running for the Senate, not selling cigarettes.

      The Republicans can't hang on forever. Not even in Nebraska!

      by jeturek on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:20:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The presidential numbers... (0+ / 0-)

    Don't strike me as realistic. I just don't think that Obama would be polling higher in CD 3 than the rest of the state. I dunno, but it doesn't jibe with what I'm seeing on the ground, or the caucus results where he won 75-25 in CD 2, and only 52-48 in CD 3.

    I have to wonder about who they sampled for this poll. My guess is that it's very difficult to come up with a representative sample of each individual district in a statewide poll.

    •  That's exactly what I thought ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... it makes sense that Scott does better in CD 3 because, although the most Republican part of the state, he's from there and has name-recognition.

      But there's no way in hell that Obama does better in CD 3 than anywhere else in the state.  I also don't understand why Obama doesn't do much better in a matchup with McCain than Hillary Clinton.  Something very fishy about those numbers.

      All in all, Scott's major liability is that Mike Johanns is popular.  They clearly like the guy.  But on the other hand, Nebraskans don't like George Bush ... and if they start associating Mike Johanns as being part of the Bush Administration, that could change.  Scott will have to run on "changing Washington."

      Regardless, we have a tough road to hoe ... which is why it's great to have people like Dave Sund in Nebraska plugging away for Scott.

    •  Obama did much better than Hillary at the caucus. (0+ / 0-)

      I was surprised on how well he did in Buffalo Co.  Many of my diehard Republican neighbors told me they would never vote for McCain. I wonder if there is a blacklash against him in the Republican base.

      So, I am not surprised with the figures for CD 3. Besides, Omaha, like the Cornhuskers always lets the party down when the rubber hits the road. (Go Lopers!)

      The Republicans can't hang on forever. Not even in Nebraska!

      by jeturek on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:24:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Johanns was Washington's choice (0+ / 0-)

    I hope Kleeb makes an issue of how Johanns was foisted on Nebraska. After Hagel announced his retirement from the Senate (to run for an office in the Obama administration?) several prominent Nebraska pols wanted to jump in but got out as soon as Johanns quit the ag sec position to run. Nebraskans like to think of themselves as independent but Johanns was the inside the belt-way choice.

  •  Nebraska oddity in electoral college (0+ / 0-)

    It would be possible for Obama to receive an electoral vote from Nebraska with the other 4 electoral votes going to McCain. The district electors vote with their district and Lincoln or Omaha could vote for Obama, perhaps.

  •  Are the congressional districts backwards? (0+ / 0-)

    In the last two charts, I think you've got te congressional districts bacward.  Because Lincoln and UNL are 1, Omaha 2, and the rest of the state 3.  I think it's reversed, CD#321.  Too bad, they didn't have the Kleeb Johanns broken out by district.

    -7.3,-7.5 If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.

    by Nebraska Outsider on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:25:42 PM PDT

    •  Sorry, see it up there for Kleeb now (0+ / 0-)

      and once again I don't believe it.  Kleeb needs to really GOTV here in CD1&2.  

      The national numbers do not makes sense based on the caucus results.  These numbers are completely contrary to what we saw regarding Obama and Hillary in the primary.  Look at this map:

      map

      -7.3,-7.5 If I can't dance, I don't want to be part of your revolution.

      by Nebraska Outsider on Sat May 24, 2008 at 05:37:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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