A new Public Policy Polling survey of the Nebraska Governor’s race finds that it’s very competitive. Republican nominee Pete Ricketts has emerged from a divisive primary with a negative favorability rating and leads the race by only 4 points, putting Democratic foe Chuck Hassebrook within range to pull an upset.
Key findings from the survey include:
-Ricketts is polling at only 42% to 38% for Hassebrook and 8% for Libertarian Mark Elworth. Hassebrook is leading the race among independents with 34% to 26% for Ricketts and he’s also benefiting from a more unified party, getting 69% of Democrats while just 64% of Republicans are committed to Ricketts.
-Hassebrook has a net favorability rating 16 points better than that of Ricketts. 32% of Nebraskans see Hassebrook favorably to just 21% with an unfavorable opinion, for a net rating of +11. Meanwhile Ricketts is under water with just 36% giving him a positive rating to 41% who see him negatively for a net rating of -5.
-Hassebrook has room to grow as he becomes better known to voters. Right now he has 53% name recognition, compared to 77% for Ricketts who was advertising all over the state as part of his primary campaign. Among voters who are familiar with Hassebrook, whether their opinion is positive or negative, he leads Ricketts 52/37. When voters know Hassebrook they like him. By contrast Ricketts actually does slightly worse among voters familiar with him than he does overall, leading Hassebrook 44/41.
The Nebraska Governor’s race looks like it could provide Democrats with an unexpected opportunity. Pete Ricketts is a below average candidate on the Republican side, while Chuck Hassebrook is an above average candidate on the Democratic side. It’s one to keep an eye on.
PPP surveyed 902 registered voters on June 11th and 12th on behalf of Chuck Hassebrook for Governor. The survey’s margin of error is +/-3.3%.