Cornhusker Proxy Senator drops to 42% approval rating

posted at 12:15 pm on January 18, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

It seems that not every pork-barrel deal buys home-state love for Capitol Hill denizens.  Despite wangling a perpetual federal subsidy for Nebraska’s Medicaid program — and then denying he asked for it — Ben Nelson can’t eat a pizza anywhere in his state these days.  The Omaha World-Herald poll finds that Nelson has now gone underwater on job approval, falling to 42% two years away from his re-election bid:

Nelson, who once enjoyed some of the highest job performance marks in the U.S. Senate, has now seen his approval rating dip below 50 percent in Nebraska, according to The World-Herald Poll. …

In the survey, Nelson’s job approval rating was 42 percent and his disapproval rating was 48 percent. By comparison, Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who voted against the bill, had a 63 percent job-approval rating. …

It’s clear the bulk of Nebraskans’ dissatisfaction with Nelson rests with his health care vote.

More than 60 percent of those surveyed said they opposed the Senate health care bill. A majority said they opposed Nelson’s vote for the bill. About one-third favored his vote.

Nelson has enjoyed broad popularity in red-state Nebraska.  Just four years ago, his approval rating was 73%, and ten years ago it was over 80%.  Now half of the Republicans in the poll who voted for Nelson in the past say they won’t vote for him again after his deal to pass ObamaCare.

Nelson says that most Nebraskans to whom he speaks support his vote on the bill, but to Nebraskans, that makes it sound as though Nelson has stopped listening — at least to them.

Will this continue to be a problem into 2012, when Nelson comes up for re-election?  Any time an incumbent drops below 50% approval, it signals weakness.  Furthermore, Nebraska is mainly a Republican state, which was content to send Nelson to Washington as long as he represented their conservative-populist politics.  A sell-out to Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, and Barack Obama is not what they had in mind, and Obama at least will still be in office when Nelson has to run again for his seat.

The best thing Nelson can do is to stop ObamaCare — assuming he has the chance to do so.  That may mollify Nebraskans who want him out of Washington now, but they’ll never look at Nelson the same way again after his surrender to Reid, and Reid’s payoff to get them to ignore it.


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You are soooo washed up Judas. Go away, go away, go away…

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM

soon to be a lobbyist.

rob verdi on January 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I am surprised his numbers are that high

tommer74 on January 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM

He’s finished. I suspect he’ll “retire” before the 2012 election.

Doughboy on January 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM

“Yeah but I retracted it.”

Bishop on January 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM

The best thing Nelson can do is to stop ObamaCare — assuming he has the chance to do so. That may mollify Nebraskans who want him out of Washington now, but they’ll never look at Nelson the same way again after his surrender to Reid, and Reid’s payoff to get them to ignore it.

Ed, he may think this will help, but he is finished here. We have looooong memories in NE, and hate being betrayed.

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Can’t a guy just eat his pizza?

farright on January 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Too bad no reporter has the guts to ask Nelson how he feels, having fallen on his sword for Barry.

I’m sure the rest of the Democratic Reps and Senators would like to know. Seeing as they’ll soon have that same “loving feeling”.

GarandFan on January 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM

I am surprised his numbers are that high

tommer74 on January 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Some are greedy and want the moeny. Some have principles. And some get there news from the MSM, which probably still hasn’t reported any of the blatant bribery and corruption.

uknowmorethanme on January 18, 2010 at 12:20 PM

O-BA-MA!
O-BA-MA!
O-BA-MA!
O-BA-MA!

…anybody, anybody? Come on, just for old time’s sake.

*crickets*

Laura in Maryland on January 18, 2010 at 12:22 PM

The best thing Nelson can do is to stop ObamaCare — assuming he has the chance to do so. That may mollify Nebraskans who want him out of Washington now, but they’ll never look at Nelson the same way again after his surrender to Reid, and Reid’s payoff to get them to ignore it.

From here on out it doesn’t matter which way Nelson votes on anything. He can’t unring the bell. He’ll be gone in 2012, one way or another.

a capella on January 18, 2010 at 12:23 PM

He will never stop ObamaCare, never, ever.

Besides, who’s going to pay the tip to the pizza delivery dude?

Knucklehead on January 18, 2010 at 12:23 PM

” wangling ”

Do I even want to know what that’s supposed to mean? ;)

Midas on January 18, 2010 at 12:24 PM

He’s gonna quit “his” seat before this year is over.

newton on January 18, 2010 at 12:24 PM

No pizza for Ben!

d1carter on January 18, 2010 at 12:24 PM

His vote on ObamaCare hurt him, but it has been the lies that he has told since then that have really killed him.

MarkTheGreat on January 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM

I am surprised his numbers are that high

tommer74 on January 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM

I can’t believe he’s still that popular either, and I bet events in Massachusetts have his undivided attention this weekend.

cruadin on January 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Nelson’s not going to run for re-election.

(I don’t have any inside information, just a lot of years of following Nebraska politics.)

notropis on January 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM

Omaha World-Herald Sunday headline story.
Rating drops below 50% for Nelson

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Nelson made it very public that his “integrity” has a price. He shouldn’t be surprised when voters think he’s cheap.

AubieJon on January 18, 2010 at 12:29 PM

Yesterday’s Jeff Koterba cartoon in the Omaha World-Herald.

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 12:30 PM

Maybe Zero will send the pizza guy from St. Louis to NE so Nelson can have his pizza without having to go out.

Brat4life on January 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Nelson says that most Nebraskans to whom he speaks support his vote on the bill

Why do I feel safe in saying that this statement is a blatant lie!?!?

capejasmine on January 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

heh I love it! So many good news stories today!

becki51758 on January 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

It isn’t a lie CapeJasmine, he just doesn’t speak to very many Nebraskans…he can’t…for fear of taking a pizza to the face.

andy85719 on January 18, 2010 at 12:36 PM

“Republican Sen. Mike Johanns of Nebraska, who voted against the bill, had a 63 percent job-approval rating.”

My eyes are smiling.

sinsing on January 18, 2010 at 12:36 PM

capejasmine on January 18, 2010 at 12:35 PM

He is a liar, a betrayer, goes against the majority of his constituents, but worst of all, and most unforgivable, he cast us in the limelight in a very negative national spotlight, making us laughingstocks. We don’t cotton to that, nosirree!

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 12:38 PM

They. Don’t. Care.

The fascists are in this for the long haul. Remember this will produce over a 110 new federal bureaucracies and that is the goal, GOVERNMENT CONTROL.

jukin on January 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Poor guy can’t get a Pizza these days.

Pitty.

portlandon on January 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Remember Benji, it’s not the rapid fall that will end your political career – it’s the sudden stop when you reach the bottom.

ya2daup on January 18, 2010 at 12:45 PM

This bum has a value system that is totally incompatible with the good folks of Nebraska. Throw him out!

rplat on January 18, 2010 at 12:47 PM

Nelson says that most Nebraskans to whom he speaks support his vote on the bill

And these Nebraskans are his mom, his wife and kids, his dog and himself since he dares not show his face in public.

ya2daup on January 18, 2010 at 12:47 PM

sinsing on January 18, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Johanns is carrying a bit of baggage from his pre-Sec of Ag days when he was still governor. Go back and see how he handled the ICE raids on illegal immigrants working in Nebraska packing houses. He stopped them, forced early retirement for the enforcement authorities who were arresting the illegals, and dubya rewarded him with a cabinet position.

a capella on January 18, 2010 at 12:51 PM

He knows he won’t be re-elected, even with a no vote on Obamacare. Nelson will vote yes just to appease the party and then retire in a different state.

tommer74 on January 18, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Nelson says that most Nebraskans to whom he speaks support his vote on the bill

He needs to eat out more

tommer74 on January 18, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Considering the sin, his rating is still much too high! Somewhere around 12% approval rating – which would cover his immediate family and both of his friends – is much closer to where it should be.

GoldenEagle4444 on January 18, 2010 at 12:56 PM

Ben-edict Nelson. I trust you can find your own way to the door?

Left Coast Right Mind on January 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Laura in Maryland on January 18, 2010 at 12:22 PM

Oh, now, that was just mean!

;p

ladyingray on January 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM

Every Congressman up for re-election in 2010 should read the tea leaves: If you vote for Obamacare, you are voting yourself out of office.

albill on January 18, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Johanns is carrying a bit of baggage from his pre-Sec of Ag days when he was still governor. Go back and see how he handled the ICE raids on illegal immigrants working in Nebraska packing houses. He stopped them, forced early retirement for the enforcement authorities who were arresting the illegals, and dubya rewarded him with a cabinet position.

a capella on January 18, 2010 at 12:51 PM

Thanks for the heads-up. I don’t know anything about him other than his favorability ratings are now higher than Nelson’s. As Dr. Spock once said, all those years ago, “My passions will be my undoing.”

Thanks again.

sinsing on January 18, 2010 at 1:04 PM

My leg is shaking with the realization that, even though the people of Nebraska got a sweetheart deal which could save them billions over time, they care more about fairness, and the principles upon which this country was founded, than getting a free friggin’ lunch! God has surely blessed the United States of America!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Thank you for realizing that. Most of us Nebraskans posting here at HA have been making that point since Nelson accepted the bribe.

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Good to see so many of my fellow nebraskans are equally fed up with this sellout.

Yakko77 on January 18, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Benny Nelson: Just one of a growing list of casualties and tosses-under-the-bus resulting from the B.O. Adminstration and their merry antics.

And trust me, the list will just keep growing and growing as things digress here.

pilamaye on January 18, 2010 at 1:17 PM

CANBERRA, Australia – Australia is following its second-hottest year on record with extraordinary snow flurries in its southeastern alpine region, where some towns have recorded their first-ever summer snowfalls.

J_Crater on January 18, 2010 at 1:19 PM

The pizza stops here.

Dhuka on January 18, 2010 at 1:24 PM

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Thank you!!! We are working hard to get rid of Nelson and most of us are ashamed when Nebraska and Nelson are mentioned on television and in the newspapers….we did not want this.

yoda on January 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM

Ah, the Art of the Sellout. Comes back to bite you every time.

http://www.sbabg.org/2009/12/19/benedict-arnold-nelson-the-art-of-the-sellout-the-secret-is-to-pretend-you-tried/

SBABG on January 18, 2010 at 1:26 PM

J_Crater on January 18, 2010 at 1:19 PM

And hell is about to freeze over, snow is expected in MA.

Holger on January 18, 2010 at 1:28 PM

Wish Ed had used this pic of Judas instead.

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 1:31 PM

To see how Nebraskans react to political betrayal, one has but to look at the way Nebraskans gave Senator Chuck Hagel the heave-ho, forcing his retirement. I don’t think Chuck will ever move back to Nebraska, and he was a Republican (of sorts).

I’d like to believe that Ben has just been played for a fool than to think he is a traitor. I think his distaste for Hillary Clinton was behind his throwing in with Obama as early in the campaign as he did. That was before many folks realized that Obama was a Marxist radical.

Whatever, Ben Nelson is toast in Nebraska. We don’t forget this sort of thing.

ptg on January 18, 2010 at 1:46 PM

Maybe Nelson confused OBAMA with OMAHA. Ever think about ‘dat?

J.J. Sefton on January 18, 2010 at 1:59 PM

I’d just like to say thank you to all the honorable folks in Nebraska who, by standing up against these kind of politics, have put their country first. It is encouraging to see that honor still exists. The same goes for the good people of MA for supporting Brown.
 
There is still hope.

ClanDerson on January 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM

I’d just like to say thank you to all the honorable folks in Nebraska who, by standing up against these kind of politics, have put their country first. It is encouraging to see that honor still exists. The same goes for the good people of MA for supporting Brown.

There is still hope.

ClanDerson on January 18, 2010 at 2:07 PM

Here, here….

right2bright on January 18, 2010 at 2:19 PM

His vote on ObamaCare hurt him, but it has been the lies that he has told since then that have really killed him.

MarkTheGreat on January 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM

It’s like that old Oscar Wilde joke about the whore — Nebraskans have established what Nelson is, and they also know what price he negotiated for his “services.” Unfortunately for Nelson, Nebraskans don’t happen to respect whores, even the high-priced ones. Good for them.

AZCoyote on January 18, 2010 at 2:25 PM

He ignored the people, he ignored the governor of his state and he kissed the ass of Harry Reid and Hussain Obama.

bluegrass on January 18, 2010 at 2:33 PM

To everyone thanking and praising our NE values and ethics:
We appreciate your accolades, but the folks you should really be thanking are our parents who went before us. We received a good, solid upbringing by decent, hardworking and mostly humble Christian parents who led by example and would never dream have been mortified and scandalized by the taking of bribes or kickbacks. Those are the people you really should be thanking.

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 2:36 PM

I don’t think he’ll ever be a lobbyist. When he gets thrown out in 2012, his buddy Barry O’Bonehead gets thrown out, too. He won’t be successfully lobbying any Republicans, I’ll bet.

Jaibones on January 18, 2010 at 2:41 PM

I don’t think Nelson expected this kind of backlash when he sold his soul, and his vote, to the devil. The only hope for him to backtrack is if he still wants to be a Senator. If he doesn’t care about losing, he will stand by his sellout and kiss the boy-king’s a$$. If he wants to be reelected, he can beg forgiveness and work against Obamacare. People may forgive him, maybe not, but there will be zero chance of forgiveness if he doesn’t.

SKYFOX on January 18, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Nelson claimed to recant but ten bucks says he still votes for it.

Liar.

Sellout.

drjohn on January 18, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Best thing about the Nelson crap is that Obama will NEVER be asked to come to Nebraska to campaign. Can you imagine the heat Nelson, or anyone, would take if they asked Obama to campaign for them?

PappaMac on January 18, 2010 at 3:38 PM

Ben-edict Nelson. I trust you can find your own way to the door?

Left Coast Right Mind on January 18, 2010 at 1:00 PM

And don’t let the door hit your a$$ on the way out!!!!!!

huskerdiva on January 18, 2010 at 5:52 PM

To everyone thanking and praising our NE values and ethics:
We appreciate your accolades, but the folks you should really be thanking are our parents who went before us. We received a good, solid upbringing by decent, hardworking and mostly humble Christian parents who led by example and would never dream have been mortified and scandalized by the taking of bribes or kickbacks. Those are the people you really should be thanking.

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 2:36 PM

The apples in Nebraska don’t fall far from the trees! Well said my friend!

huskerdiva on January 18, 2010 at 5:54 PM

My leg is shaking with the realization that, even though the people of Nebraska got a sweetheart deal which could save them billions over time, they care more about fairness, and the principles upon which this country was founded, than getting a free friggin’ lunch! God has surely blessed the United States of America!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 18, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Gotta love flyover country and personally we who live here prefer those elitists just keep flying over and not have any interest in stopping to try to figure out why we prefer a value system based on hard work instead of a free lunch.

huskerdiva on January 18, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Abortion Barter Ben found out that let’s make a deal only works on the uninformed rubes. That is a lot tougher nowadays with the blogs and talk radio. He will choose to avoid the humiliation of losing his seat by doing the “Dodd” by 2012.

chickasaw42 on January 18, 2010 at 6:27 PM

The apples in Nebraska don’t fall far from the trees! Well said my friend!

huskerdiva on January 18, 2010 at 5:54 PM

Thank you, my sister!

OmahaConservative on January 18, 2010 at 9:34 PM