Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The More Pete Ricketts Spends, The Less Nebraska Likes Him

by Kyle Michaelis
The unofficial Pete Ricketts campaign theme song remains "Can't Buy Me Love" a month after polls first demonstrated that the people of Nebraska just don't like the guy, with 50% of respondents then reporting an unfavorable opinion of him.

One month later, with Ricketts having thrown in another $2 million into his challenge to Senator Ben Nelson, and - believe it or not - he's actually more unpopular than ever.

According to August's Rasmussen Reports update:
Ricketts...has spent millions of his own money on the campaign, and succeeded in making himself known to voters. Right now, 45% view him favorably, 52% view him unfavorably. Twice as many (25%) view him "very" unfavorably as view him "very" favorably (12%).....

Meanwhile, 74% have a favorable view of Senator Nelson.

Ricketts has certainly "succeeded in making himself known to voters," all right. But, with success like this - having spent more than $7 million to achieve it - failure has never sounded so good.

I'm not one to put too much faith in polling and am too cautious to take anything for granted in politics. But, the simple truth is that people don't vote for candidates they don't like.

At this point, Nelson leads Ricketts 55% to 32% in their head-to-head match-up. With his proven record and continued popularity, Nelson is even within the margin of error to beat Ricketts amongst registered Republicans. That is, quite simply, amazing.

Numbers such as these stand dangerously close to being campaign-killers. With the Ricketts campaign never having shown much life beyond its extravagant spending and negative attacks, that shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Still, it's early - not even Labor Day yet. If recent history is any guide, that gives Ricketts plenty of time to spend millions of more dollars on his mindless and insulting campaign's partisan rhetoric and rancor. In other words, he's got all the time in the world to sink even further - both on the campaign trail and in the eyes of Nebraska's voters.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Mallomar said...

Before we start selecting floral arrangements for the Pete Ricketts campaign funeral, I think we need to be mindful of the past. In August 1996 Ben Nelson was ahead of Chuck Hagel 55% to 34%; and by the time we were all carving our Thanksgiving turkey that year, Ben Nelson had been humiliated by Chuck Hagel 57% to 42%. The moral: Anything can happen in a campaign...just ask Tom Osborne.

8/23/2006  

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