'Can't Buy Me Love' - 50% of Nebraskans Don't Like Pete Rickettsby Kyle Michaelis
Such seems to be the case with Pete Ricketts, who - for all the money in the world and all the advertising that money can buy - has so far completely failed to to get Nebraskans to like him, let alone vote for him over a popular incumbent like Ben Nelson.
The latest polling by the highly-respected and non-partisan Rasmussen Reports, released yesterday, shows Ricketts with a near-fatal disapproval rating of 50%. 27% of Nebraskans claimed to have a "very unfavorable" impression of Ricketts, with another 23% claiming a "somewhat unfavorable" impression.
Ouch! It's one thing, at this stage in an election, when a lot of voters haven't made up their mind about you. These summer months generally promise plenty of time to get your name out there and win the people over. But, when half the state has already made up their mind that they don't like you, that's a heck of a blow right out of the gate.
Ricketts has to be asking himself where he's gone wrong with numbers like this. After spending almost $6 million of his own money on the race and running TV ads since November of last year, it's got to be quite the shock to see such a huge personal rejection as his only pay-off.
And, what's saddest, is that things are only getting worse for Ricketts. In a head-to-head match-up with incumbent Sen. Ben Nelson, Nelson now leads 57-31%. That's a 3% swing in votes for Nelson over his already impressive 54% showing the previous two months. What has to be even more disheartening for Ricketts, however, is the fact that his anemic 31% shows a drop-off in support of 5% since April.
How's that for money well spent? That's really not the direction any campaign wants to be heading.
Of course, when Nelson has a 78% approval rating with Nebraska voters - including 79% favorability with Nebraska Republicans, more than 20% higher than that for their party's own candidate - it's pretty easy to see why things stand as they do.
Nebraskans know Ben Nelson. They trust Ben Nelson. Most importantly, they like Ben Nelson.
After millions of dollars spent, the same can't be said of Pete Ricketts. People know who he is - they know what kind of campaign he's running - and a lot of them clearly don't like what they've seen.
From what's transpired these last two months - the false advertising, the scare tactics, Ricketts' proposed tax hike on 95% of Nebraskans - who, honestly, can blame them?