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Nebraska Senate: Johanns is Dominant in One of Few States Where Republicans Can Breathe Easy

Republican Mike Johanns has lengthened his lead in the race to become Nebraska’s next United States senator. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey shows Johanns leading Democrat Scott Kleeb 60% to 33%.

Last month, Johanns led 55% to 40%. Johanns, a former governor of the state, and Kleeb, a professor and rancher, are seeking to replace Republican Senator Chuck Hagel, who decided not to run for re-election this year.

Johanns leads 59% to 33% among men in Nebraska and 61% to 33% among women. He earns support from 84% of Republicans in the state, 21% of Democrats, and 57% of unaffiliated voters. Kleeb’s support comes from just 69% of Democrats, 12% of Republicans, and 33% of unaffiliated voters.

Opinions of the Republican candidate have improved over the past month. Johanns is viewed favorably by 73%, up from 65% last month. He is viewed unfavorably by 23%, down from 27% last month. For Kleeb, those numbers are 50% favorable, 35% unfavorable. His favorability number is down from 56% last month.

Nebraska is one of the few seats the Republican Party can count on to maintain in this year’s senate elections. Republican seats in Virginia, Alaska, North Carolina, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Colorado, Oregon, Minnesota, Kentucky and Maine are all potentially vulnerable.

Johanns was elected Governor of Nebraska in 1998. Four years later, he was re-elected by a 69% to 27% margin. Before completing his second term, he went to Washington and served as Secretary of Agriculture.

Kleeb, just 32 years old, ran for Congress from Nebraska’s 3rd Congressional District in 2006. He lost that race by ten percentage points but easily won the Democratic Primary last week to represent his party in this year’s Senate race.

Republican Governor Dave Heineman could be an asset to Johanns in the election. His approval ratings, though usually high, have improved even more over the past month. He now earns good or excellent ratings from 70% of voters in Nebraska, up from 64% last month. Just 6% say he is doing a poor job as governor.

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Nebraska Safe Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll A vg.

RR Mkts.

In Trade

2002 Results

Johanns (R)

52%

56%

83%

Kleeb (D)

38%

34%

14%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 23, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology


Nebraska Trends: Johanns vs. Kleeb

Date

Johanns

Kleeb

09/30/2008

52%

38%

07/28/2008

56%

31%

06/23/2008

60%

33%

05/15/2008

55%

44%

Favorable Ratings for Senate Candidates in Nebraska

 

Johanns

Kleeb

Very Favorable

27%

17%

Somewhat Favorable

32%

35%

Somewhat Unfavorable

19%

22%

Very Unfavorable

15%

10%

Not Sure

8%

16%


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.