Nebraska Democrat, Senator Ben Nelson, says he plans to seek re-election in 2012. The Nebraska Republican Party Tuesday released a poll suggesting it could be a tough race for the Senator.
Senator Nelson is the lone Democrat in Nebraska's congressional delegation. Through a spokesman, Jake Thompson, Nelson says while he's interested in running in 2012, in 2011 he's focused on jobs and getting the economy back on track.
Thompson said Nelson will make his final decision on whether to run "when it's time to focus on 2012."
Nelson came under withering criticism when he became the 60th and final vote needed to move the highly controversial health care law through the senate. Polls as late as this fall suggest well over 50% of Americans want the law repealed.
Tuesday the Nebraska Republican Party released a poll it commissioned.
When respondents were asked if Senator Nelson deserved to be re-elected or if it was time to give someone else a chance to do better 36% said he deserved re-election. Fifty-five percent answered it was time to give someone else a chance.
When contacted about the poll, Senator Nelson's spokeman Jake Thompson released the following statement: “Even after they spent millions of dollars in attack ads against health care, their own partisan polling shows Sen. Nelson with strong approval ratings. Nevertheless, Sen. Nelson is going to stay focused on jobs, economic recovery, energy independence and deficit reduction in 2011, and will make his decision when it gets closer to the 2012 election.”
While Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman has already taken himself out of any 2012 Senate race, the poll also showed The Governor leading the Senator by a margin of 59 to 31.
In a similar match-up the poll showed Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning leading Senator Nelson by a margin of 50 to 35.