January 18th, 2010
03:02 PM ET
4 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.


Filed under: Ben Nelson • Popular Posts
soundoff (237 Responses)
  1. Chipster

    Nelson and Lieberman both would be impeached if selfishness and egotism were crimes. They may have managed to deny healthcare options to tens of millions of Americans who cannot afford the huge and ever-increasing premiums that insurance companies are extorting from us. I hope voters kick them both out at the very first opportunity.

    And as for those who don't care about healthcare because they have coverage through their employers, I'd like to remind you that it is temporary. If you lose your job, you'll have no coverage. If insurance premiums keep increasing (ours was 84% last year), your company may stop offering it to you.

    One serious illness and you could be as homeless and desperate as those you ridicule right now!

    January 18, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  2. Get Real

    Other elected officials better take note!!!!!

    January 18, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  3. AvgJoe

    I think the people of Nebraska are embarassed by the thug tactics and shakedowns of Ben Nelson and that is reflected in their disapproval.

    January 18, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  4. Houff

    Anna, the proposed bill leaves 23 million uninsured. Do you still favor it? I can't, and most Americans cannot.

    I recall in 2000 after Bush/Gore how many liberals talked about the will of the people. In 2010 liberals seem to have changed....

    January 18, 2010 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  5. normajean

    If this health care plan goes down to defeat, hundreds of thousands of U .S. citizens will be without any kind of medical care. Don't try to send them to the emergency wards. If you've been in one in the last few years, you would know they are packed from wall to wall with people who have no insurance. Republicans, you too will be hurt unless you, your family and friends are already covered. A vote for a Repub. at this time is a vote against medical care. This is more than the "Party of No" refusing to help. Their lack of any support will hurt not just the Democratic voters, but a lot of Republicans that need help too. This is more than a political party fight, This is a serious flaw in what we need as humans and what we can provide for ourselves. This is bigger than politics, HELP.

    January 18, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  6. Andrej770

    I am confused as to how surveying 500 Nebraskans means anything. There are an estimated 1.7 Million Nebraskans, and the polling company asked 500 of them and I should really give it any credibility. Polls mean nothing and should be banned unless you can get at least 50% of the electorate to paricipate (which we all know won't ever happen). If McDonalds came out and said that 500 out of 1.7 Million meals would be free, would you honestly believe you could go to a McDonalds and get a meal free? NO! So why believe in polls! Polsters want to be able to predict the future. They might do a better job if they took a simple astrology class.

    January 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  7. Chipster

    Johnny DC:

    It IS what the constituents want – or did you miss the last election when the vast majority of Americans voted for Obama and his healthcare initiative! Democrats took the majority for a reason.

    We've had enough of Wall Street Republicans taking care of themselves and telling American workers to eat cake.

    January 18, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  8. UseYourBrain

    Thank God Anna isn't in the Senate as she obviously forms her opinions based solely on emotion. Let's not bother to use our brains, let's just do what sounds great! Yes Anna, feed the world, give everyone a nice home, provide cars to those who can't afford them, provide full wardrobes to all and make minimum wage $125 an hour. Nice thoughts, but we have to live in the real world. It's not a matter of selfishness, it's a matter of reality. Americans ARE generous people and the truth is that no American is denied healthcare. If you want to put a finer point on it, even those who aren't citizens of this country aren't denied healthcare. You can continue to spit venom at those companies that turn a profit, but sorry, profit isn't a nasty word. It's what makes our economy work. It's what provides jobs and progress. Wake up Anna! Open your eyes and see what's REAL in the world.

    January 18, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  9. unemployed by Obama

    selling your vote is like selling america and the dems havr done that. look at nelson

    January 18, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  10. John

    I've been telling people to vote Republican anyway since we all remember how well George W Bush worked out for us. It's the only way to get rid of the Republican party once and for all. Put them back in power to show once again what failures they are. Because they will FAIL as always.

    January 18, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  11. Dave

    Just 96 hours ago, B.O. issued a proclamation to his Democratic caucus stating they have nothing to fear in the upcoming November midterm elections...der fuehrer appears to be whistling through the graveyard.

    January 18, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  12. REG in AZ

    If we are once again swayed by the aggressive and deceptive appeals to our biases, prejudices and self-focused concerns, in the near future we are very likely to be here again, only then the circumstances will be even more dire as the costs of the new self-serving irresponsibility will then be added on top of the current drastic problems. To now repeat our blind acceptance of the deceptive rhetoric offered to rationalize as 'conservative' their bold total concentration on benefiting Special Interests and a select few while giving the majority only apathy, the costs and an abundance of subterfuge can only result in more significant loss for the vast majority. Failing to be objective and responsibly rational in recognizing the control and manipulation executed over their 'puppet' representatives by the influential, powerful and wealthy few is simply to be self-flagellant. Should we allow ourselves to be influenced by their appeals to our self-interests regarding concern over the costs to straighten things out now and support them in further neglecting reform, we will have only ourselves to fault. We need our representatives to be honestly responsible to us and not just loyal to Special Interests and a select few who overtly and covertly strongly support and control them. We really need to be diligent in holding them responsible to do so and stubbornly firm in rejecting them when they seek to do otherwise. Otherwise don't blame them.

    January 18, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  13. Stop being distracted by the unimportant

    A poll of 500 people hardly reflects the will of an entire state first all.
    Secondly when 75% of the Republicans disapprove while 22% of Democrats disapprove it further proves this poll is meaningless. He was obviously elected by a democratic electorate so he's fine.
    This is simply a story designed to elicit a controversy but in the end the health care bill will pass, the Senate and the House will still be a Dem majority, maybe not a super majority after 2010 but a majority none the less. What people, us the American people need to start worrying about is Congress that is so polarized that government grinds to a halt. When that happens the losers are the citizens of this great country.

    January 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. normajean

    It is pretty apparent that you Republicans are ALL well covered with health insurance and don't need any help. You are all a bunch of self indulgent jerks that don't want to help your fellow man unless your arms are twisted. You had better hope that when you need help }and you will}, that there is someone still around that is willing to help you. This is not a politic game. This is serious. This is a matter of life and death, so stop your nasty political blubbering.So you don't like the president, so what. We didn't like yours but we didn't fight to defeat everything he did.Why don't you just grow up and realize this is a problem for people who care. The rest of you should just butt out.

    January 18, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. aproudmemberoftheunpatrioticmob

    I had no idea that two Masters degrees from WWU (where ever that is) gave you the right to degrade and demean hard working people for having an opinion. I guess that must stand for West Warsaw University and you received those degrees for Communist Theory and Dope Smoking.

    January 18, 2010 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. freddie

    Why do these senators vote the way Obama wants them to vote? They should vote the way the people in their states want them to vote. Why is Obama putting them in jeopardy of loosing their seats in congress????????????

    January 18, 2010 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  17. Gerry NH

    We are going to vote our senator Shaheen out to for supporting this bill. We do not want this health insurance bill in New Hampshire. Mayvbe Nelson can get together in a few years and have a big looser party.

    January 18, 2010 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  18. JEC

    It would be a misstake to see the opposition to the current Health bill as favorable to Republicans. This bill fails on every count yet the GOP has even less to offer. I and many of my fellow Americans have come to realize that neither party has a future. It's truly time for something new. Let the States solve their own.

    January 18, 2010 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  19. LacrosseMom

    At the Seattle Airport, all the TV's are on CNN. There was a commercial for CNN, that basically pandered to the Right-Wing, saying "that CNN wont let the Left get away with their twisting the facts....." or something like this.

    CNN, we, Liberals have noticed your swing to the Right, but you always defend CNN as being unbiased. Well, with that commercial we now know that you are indeed pandering to the Right.

    Is it any wonder why CNN is losing viewership?

    TO THE GOP DON'T COUNT YOUR CHICKENS UNTIL THE HATCH.

    January 18, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  20. Doesn't matter

    If I recall, they already passed senate with the 60 needed. That would mean that merging it only requires a simple majority, 51, to pass healthcare. All this hype and excitement is really a smoke and mirrors diversion to the situation.

    January 18, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  21. GI Joe

    Guess the ungrateful folks in that state just don't appreciate all the freebies he got for them.

    Vote him out – he's a DINO anyway.

    January 18, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  22. Nelson and Reid are out...

    Nelson took a bribe, he should be feeling the heat.

    January 18, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  23. lefty loosy

    As ye sow so shall ye reap.
    Nelson will get what he deserves for his vote.
    Change we can believe in

    January 18, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  24. Ignorant Liberal

    This RINO is done!!!!

    He sold is soul to the devil (Obama), and now, he will suffer the consequences.

    I hear he can't even go out for dinner in Nebraska anymore :-)

    January 18, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  25. VCrace

    It amazes me that people are still buying into the "universal health-care" scam. Have you all had your heads stuck in the sand? It doesn't work in Great Britain or Canada or Germany or any other country. If it did work they would not be coming to America for health care. I guess you people who support universal health don't mind waiting 16 hours in an ER to see a doctor. Oh by the way, I am self-employed, I do not have health care. I believe it is my responsibility to pay may own way. I don't want or need the government telling me I have to have health insurance.

    I think we need to "reform" health care, Obama, Pelosi and Reid don't want reform they want socialized medicine, as in Socialism aka Communism.

    January 18, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
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