According to a new Omaha World-Herald poll, Democrat Bob Kerrey is now within striking distance of his Republican opponent Deb Fischer in the race for Nebraska’s open Senate seat.
The poll shows Fischer leading Kerrey by a 48 to 45 percent margin, within the plus or minus 3.5 percent margin of error. This represents a startling comeback for Kerrey; in the World-Herald‘s previous poll, conducted from September 17th to September 20th, Fischer was ahead by 10 points.
Among likely voters, Fischer leads Kerrey 49 percent to 46 percent, significantly down from her 16 percent lead in the September poll.
The poll, which was conducted by Wiese Research Associates of Omaha on October 23rd through October 25th, sampled 800 registered voters across the state.
This is the second recent survey to suggest that Kerrey has significantly cut into Fischer’s lead; a recent Pharos Research Group survey showed Fischer ahead of Kerrey by just 2.5 percent.
Kerrey, who served as Governor of Nebraska from 1983 to 1987 and as a United States Senator from 1989 to 2001, attracted a good deal of media attention when he entered the race in February. Since then he has failed to gain traction in conservative Nebraska; Fischer has held consistent double digit leads in most polls, and most observers considered Nebraska’s open Senate seat — which is currently held by retiring Democrat Ben Nelson — as a safe Republican pickup. These new polls call that outcome into question.
If Kerrey is able to complete his comeback, it will have huge national implications; without Nebraska, it would be virtually impossible for the Republican Party to claim a majority in the Senate.
Photo credit: AP/Nati Harnik, File