January 18th, 2010
03:02 PM ET
5 years ago

New poll lows for Nelson after health care vote

A new poll puts support for Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson below 50 percent in his home state.
A new poll puts support for Nebraska Sen. Ben Nelson below 50 percent in his home state.

(CNN) – Sen. Ben Nelson's support in his home state of Nebraska has dipped below 50 percent, according to a new poll which finds a majority of voters there disapprove of the Democratic health care bill the two-term senator supports.

According to a new poll conducted by the Omaha World-Herald, Nelson's job approval rating now stands at 42 percent with a 48 percent disapproval rating. Forty-four percent of those polled also said Nelson's support for the health care reform bill would hurt his chances at re-election 2012 should he decide to run.

Nelson was the last Senate Democrat to sign on to his party's health care bill, and has since been criticized for only agreeing to the bill after winning special concessions from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

The poll found that more than 60 percent of Nebraskans questioned oppose the Senate health care bill.

A majority said they opposed Nelson's vote in favor of the bill, while about 1 in 3 approved of it. Three-quarters of the GOP voters surveyed - but only 22 percent of Democrats - opposed the senator's vote.

Nelson, who served as governor of Nebraska from 1991-1999, has long been a popular figure in the state. He was re-elected in 2006 to his second Senate term with 64 percent of the vote.

The same poll out Monday shows fellow Nebraska Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican who voted against the health care measure, with a 63 percent approval rating.

The poll surveyed 500 registered voters in Nebraska between Jan. 8-12. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.


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soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Dave Phillips

    Yes, Anna, people are so selfish. But more importantly they are ignorant and have shorter memories than they do attentions spans. See Steve from NY below.

    We didn't have financial problems "ever since the Dems took over." We got them from Republican de-regulation and the outrageous squandering of our once budget surplus on the *largest expansion of the federal government of all time.* Under Republican leadership.

    Conservatism as an ideology was on trial in the first decade of the 21st century and it failed. Utterly and completely.

    Why would anyone want to let them try again?

    January 18, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  2. Hoot87

    "If I were asked to spend a few hundred dollars a year to guarantee that every one had coverage, of course I would pledge!"

    Unfortunately Anna, its not going to be just a "few hundred dollars", its going to be multiple thousands for everyone that will have to pay.

    January 18, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  3. Bigeasttx

    How can anyone vote for plantation plolitics of the Democratic party.
    The party of slavery, fathered the KKK, invented the poll tax to keep poor whites and blacks from voting, owned the share crops and company store to keep a boot on the throat of the poor.
    Latest atempt to keep slavery alive and well health care to insure more power to the ruling elite.
    The Democrats have sold the masses on we will give you the crumbs
    for the power.

    January 18, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  4. Wow

    "Thank you Sen Nelson for putting the needs of the nation first. Maybe if the GOP would do that once in a while our country would be better off." – Charlie in Maine

    So if 65% of the country does not want this bill..... how is this putting the needs of the nation first??

    This bill has 10 years of taxes with only 5 years of benefits....You will start paying but see nothing for 5 years.... Understand???? There is a better way of doing this.....

    Until this year, no one party had ever had "absolute power" to push their agenda... There would always have to be a compromise. ... But since the Dems have 60 votes.... They don't care to compromise... Its their way or well there way and that is what is pissing off a lot of people.....

    January 18, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  5. The Right Worships at the Altar of Ignorance

    I really wouldn't put too much behind an opinion poll about something that isn't going to happen until 2012! Mayb, just MAYBE we should go about the business of getting the country back on track and wait to get people's opinions until a LITTLE closer to when their opinions actually matter!

    January 18, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. Fitz in Texas

    Sure hope Sen. Nelson is looking forward to retirement because that's where he's headed.

    January 18, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    @wait a minute

    "That is nothing but Universal Health Care, which has been implemented in developed countries around the world."

    If you like "Universal Health Care" so much, move to somewhere that has it–and be prepared for a huge increase in your taxes and, likely, poorer health care and long waits to receive it. If you're willing to tolerate that, fine, it's your business. But a majority of Americans aren't willing to tolerate it.

    January 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  8. Enough

    No backroom deals that cost the rest of us for health care, this should include the backroom deal Obama cut with the Unions. So much for transparency and broadcasting it all on C-Span. Would say business as usual, but this is business at its worst.

    January 18, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  9. Nebraska against corruption

    I'm sure Nelson got worked over by Obama, Pelosi and Reid.

    That said, there never is a good reason to sell your country down the toilet for $100M for your state. The bill is garbage. Hold your ground.

    Actually, I hope Nebraska votes this guy out. He's got no morals (accepting bribes) and can't be trusted.

    January 18, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Marshall in Nebraska!

    Lost my vote. I don't sell out!

    January 18, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. Paul from Phoenix

    Anna @ 12:45 ET,

    Fine, then create a plan to offer health care for those that don't have it.

    BUT DO NOT MESS WITH THOSE THAT ARE HAPPY WITH THEIR PLAN!!!

    That is the big issue here. Leave the rest of us that are happy alone!

    January 18, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. The Right Worships at the Altar of Ignorance

    Hey CNN: I have an idea for your next poll. Why don't you poll ONLY Americans who don't have health insurance and see what they thinK?????? I mean cause all you seem to care about is poll after poll after poll after poll . . . .

    January 18, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  13. Greg, MN

    I read an article that Nelson had to leave an Omaha restaurant after other customers began booing him. Omaha probably houses 75% of the liberals in NE.

    January 18, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  14. t22

    If Brown wins in MA, Nelson can do what he feels in his heart, not what his party wants him to do.

    As for the people who think that 30 million people need insurance (they have health care, just not insurance) – if it's so important, why not just go out and pay for someone else's insurance yourself (or at least a portion like your employer does.) Let me know if you think this is only a good idea if someone else pays for it.

    January 18, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  15. fair

    I am very disappointed at Nelson. I thought he was a decent and honest man with back bone. Now I know he is a selfish and corrupt chicken.

    January 18, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. T

    I agree that Health Care Should be reformed. It is a mess and costly. The Democrat plan is not reform. All you people that are so happy with this passing, I'd like to see you all back here in 10-15 years telling us your opinions on it. Reform Health Care, dont force more government control down our throats.

    January 18, 2010 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  17. James J. Hegedus

    I'm not completely happy with the healthcare bill either, mainly because it does not include a government run program.

    I have several family and friends in countries that have such a plan, Switzerland, Canada and Denmark and in conversations with them they are very satisfied. In fact they have told me several times that the US voters are foolish, and that the tales of waiting excessively or no service when you are really sick in their systems, as published by healrhcare opponents in this country, are all phoney.

    What bothers me most, is the claim that the public option is too costly. My question is for WHOM? We pay for it either way, and for the system run by the insurance companies it will be more costly over time, and many will lose their coverage either by being dropped, or more likely getting priced out of their program by the insurance company.

    It appears that many voters cannot calculate what is in their best interest. By the way I'm a former Republican now an independent who will never vote for a Republican again.

    January 18, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  18. john in texas

    Isnt it a senators job to vote the minds of his electorate? No bribes or kickbacks for that though huh? Thank you Senator for putting the power of the Democratic Party over the voice of your contituents.

    January 18, 2010 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  19. Go Huskers

    Nebraskans won't support a gov. take over of the health care system. but they don't take away the farm subsidies.

    January 18, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  20. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    @Anna January 18th, 2010 12:45 pm ET

    "If I were asked to spend a few hundred dollars a year to guarantee that every one had coverage, of course I would pledge!"

    Anna, it's not mere "hundreds" of dollars, it's thousands. Obamacare will cost every working family in America an average of about $2000 per year, and that's if you believe the CBO estimates. Historically, the CBO has underestimated the costs on such programs by at least a factor of two or three–the actual costs of Obamacare are likely to be, on average, about four to six thousand dollars per year per family.

    January 18, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  21. R.O.B.

    The thing I don't like about the health care bill, if in fact that this is true, is the provision about making it mandatory to buy insurance. I don't like that idea at all. So you're telling me that I have no choice but to buy health insurance and if I don't then I get fined? Then if I don't pay the fine I'm subject to go to jail? Oh no, I'm not for that all. I don't even like the fact that I have to pay for car insurance. In my opinion insurance should be left up to the individual to decide whether or not they see fit to have it. If something happens and you're insured, then you're good, but if something happens and you're not, then that's on you. You reap what you sow. I don't like the idea of the government trying to mandate what I'm supposed to do with the money I earn. The new administration was supposed end this kind of nonsense and make it easier for people to enjoy life with more freedom and liberty. Instead of trying to create mandates, we need to be repealing a lot of these riduculous laws that were made to target a specific group, but is affecting a vast majority of people. Mandating health care isn't going to do anything but make way for law enforcement to put more people in jail, and we definately don't need that. This administration needs to focus on what we elected them for. Things like keeping gas prices down, creating green jobs and renewable energy, repealing marijuana prohibition. These are the things we voted for and until we start to see these things happen, the support for this administration is going to continue to dwindle.

    January 18, 2010 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  22. Dave

    Somehow it appears that the lemmings who voted for "hope and change" have finally come out of their drug-enduced haze. Obama is a marxist with radical friends and radical views. He is an enemy of the free market, capitalism, and our liberty in general. I hope that he crawls back to the political slums of chicago in 2012 after Palin defeats him. Change is a comin' obamabots!

    January 18, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  23. C Spurgeon

    Nelson is a crook and should be voted out. Not because he voted for health car but because he sold his vote and would go to the highest bidder now matter what. Get him out, We don't need democrats like that, Also get rid of your no no republicans at the same time.

    January 18, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  24. AJ

    Nelson deserves to go! He played poker with Amercan' healthcare and seems he may have lost. Will anyone be surprisedif he becomes a lobbiest for the health insurance industry?

    January 18, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. Silence Dogoode

    Those of us who oppose the federal government creating health care is simple:

    1. It is unconsitutional
    2. They have a bad track record of running any business: mediare, medicaid, pot offices, Native American Treaties....
    3.They exempt themselves and unions...if it is so great THEY shoukld be required to have it and give up what they have now.
    4. Obama LIED when he campaigned on transparency...the threat of behind closed door reeks of Chigago old scholl machine politics

    January 18, 2010 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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