-Dave Heineman remains one of the most popular Governors in the country with 57% of voters approving of him to 29% who disapprove. PPP has polled on 42 sitting Governors and the only ones with a better net approval are Mike Beebe of Arkansas and John Hickenlooper of Colorado. In addition to being pretty universally popular with Republicans, Heineman has stellar numbers with independents (55/35) and an unusually high amount of crossover support with 37% approval from Democrats.
Although Heineman's numbers would be the envy of most any Governor in the country, they're down quite a bit from January when PPP found him at 67/23. It's hard to pinpoint Heineman's fall to any one particular group of voters- he's down with Democrats, Republicans, and independents alike.
-It's a similar story with Senator Mike Johanns' numbers. He's popular, with 52% of voters approving of him and 32% disapproving. That puts him firmly in the 80th percentile for the 87 sitting Senators PPP has done approval polls on. But it's down from an even more stellar 59/28 spread on our other Nebraska poll this year. The state may just be in a generally anti-politician mood- in addition to these falls for Republicans Heineman and Johanns, PPP also found Democrats Barack Obama and Ben Nelson in much worse shape in the state now than they were earlier this year.
-If you're looking for a future Senator or Governor from the state's House delegation, Jeff Fortenberry might be your man. He has the best favorability statewide of Nebraska's 3 Congressmen at 33/26. Adrian Smith is not far behind at 30/26, and Lee Terry is clearly the wakest of the trio at 32/33.
Fortenberry might be the strongest statewide, but Smith is the most popular within his own district. His favorability in the current 3rd is 56/29 and it doesn't drop too far in the new 3rd to 52/28. Fortenberry is also popular on the home front- he stands at 50/30 in the current 1st District and a still solid 45/31 in the new one. If any House member from Nebraska's in trouble for reelection next year it continues to be Terry- he's at only 41/45 in the current 2nd District but rebounds to 43/42 in the new one. Those numbers still aren't impressive but they show that the redistricting does hurt Democratic chances of picking off that seat.
-Finally we looked at two of Nebraska's politicians who have shone in the national spotlight: former Senators Chuck Hagel and Bob Kerrey. Hagel remains a pretty popular figure with 44% of voters rating him favorably to 30% with a negative opinion. In an unusual but not surprising twist for the Republican politician Democrats (54/22) and independents (44/26) like him a whole lot better than his fellow GOP voters (38/37).
Nebraskans are closely divided in their feelings about Kerrey. 39% give him good marks with 34% holding an unfavorable opinion. Democrats (59/19) and independents (47/24) are very positive toward him. But he hasn't maintained much crossover popularity with Republicans, only 23% of whom like him to 47% with a negative view.
Full results here