Rasmussen: Ben Nelson down 30 points to Heineman after health-care reversal

posted at 10:55 am on December 29, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Ah, the wages of pork:

The good news for Senator Ben Nelson is that he doesn’t have to face Nebraska voters until 2012.

If Governor Dave Heineman challenges Nelson for the Senate job, a new Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows that Heineman would get 61% of the vote while Nelson would get just 30%.

The health care vote is clearly dragging Nelson’s numbers down. Just 17% of Nebrasaka voters approve of the deal their Senator made on Medicaid in exchange for his vote. Overall, 64% oppose the health care legislation, including 53% who are Strongly Opposed. Fifty-six percent (56%) believe that passage of the legislation will hurt the quality of care and 62% believe it will raise costs.

If Nelson votes to block final passage of the health care plan, he would still trail Heineman but be in a much more competitive situation.

When survey respondents were asked how they would vote in Nelson blocks health care reform, 47% still pick Heneman while 37% would vote to keep Nelson in office.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer flip-flopper.  Most Nebraskans appear to agree.  Despite getting hundreds of millions of dollars for his home state in a grubby deal with Harry Reid for his vote on ObamaCare, 55% of Nebraskans disapprove of Nelson’s performance, with only 40% approving.  Interestingly, that number remains exactly the same among men and women.  It’s almost as bad with independents (54%), and every age demographic has a majority disapproving of Nelson.

Here’s an interesting internal: among those uninsured, 62% disapprove of Nelson after his vote on ObamaCare.  In fact, fewer uninsured approve of Nelson (37%) than insured (39%).

Heineman, on the other hand, is a mirror of Nelson’s discontent.  Disapproval doesn’t get above 34% in any age bracket, and remarkably is at 0% among 18-29 year old voters, and only 4% among thirtysomethings.  Even Democrats like him, 44%/40%, while independents approve of Heineman 67%/26%.

Such are the wages of pork, and of selling out.  Nelson won’t have to answer for it until 2012, but he may want to rethink that vote on its next pass through the Senate.

Update: Reader AJF dropped me a note to inform me that I had misspelled the tagline on this post, and that it should read “just deserts.”  I almost sent a message arguing the point but decided to check it out first.  I would have thought that an etymology buff like myself would have heard this one before now:

The noun “desert” (accent on the first syllable) is generally used to refer to an arid, barren expanse of land; the noun “dessert” (accent on the second syllable) is a sweet course or dish usually served at the end of a meal. However, the word “desert” — when spelled like the former but pronounced like the latter — also refers to a deserved reward or punishment. Therefore, someone who does wrong and is punished in a suitable manner has received his “just deserts.”

Many people, unfamiliar with the “reward or punishment” meaning of the word “desert,” mistakenly assume that the phrase “just deserts” is properly spelled “just desserts” because of its pronunciation. (The usual reasoning is that a dessert is a type of reward one is given at the end of a meal, so someone who receives suitable rewards or punishments for his actions has gotten his “just desserts.”)

When one gets what one deserves, good or bad, one is getting one’s “just deserts,” accent on the second syllable but spelled like the arid, barren lands.

Thanks for the tip, AJ! I’ve fixed the tagline.

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Maybe these numbers will scare some sense into the likes of Jim Webb…

parteagirl on December 29, 2009 at 11:15 AM

There is no hope for Jim Webb or Mark Warner. They have both shown their true colors. Recall is the only answer. Unfortunately in VA that involves a judge. Couldn’t hurt to start now and keep him tied up legally until 2012. These two are as arrogant as ever. Same with Nelson. I sure would love to know how it can be done. Waiting for November seems way too long for retribtution. I am not a patient person.

BetseyRoss on December 29, 2009 at 3:53 PM

JetBlast on December 29, 2009 at 1:10 PM

And they never asked me either.

justincase on December 29, 2009 at 3:54 PM

Heh. Learn something new every day on the “deserts” thing…I didn’t know that.

Hawkins1701 on December 29, 2009 at 4:18 PM

You can’t recall a senator or congressman. It would violate the 17th amendment.

TTheoLogan on December 29, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Well, this story was nothing more then a cheap trick.
I would like to see him held accountable in 2010.

mmcnamer1 on December 29, 2009 at 6:43 PM

You can’t recall a senator or congressman. It would violate the 17th amendment.

TTheoLogan on December 29, 2009 at 5:37 PM

That’s my understanding as well. I believe some state constitutions allow for the recall of ‘elected officials’ but this is generally interpreted as those elected to state offices. There was an attempt earlier this year by some clergy in New Orleans to start a recall effort against Congressman Nao (sp?) and I remember reading an ariticle that said as much.
However, I don’t see how the 17th Amendment is applicable. It determines the method of the election of Senators. Does it mention recall?

Red State State of Mind on December 29, 2009 at 10:35 PM

Nebraska can’t recall Nelson. The recall process must go through the State Senate first and then be put on the ballot for recalls in the future.
Nelson knows he’s toast here in Nebraska and will vote against the healthcare scam when the final bill comes back to the Senate. Sorry Ben, you could have been a hero, but instead, you’re a zero.

yoda on December 30, 2009 at 7:25 AM