Nelson’s political right-to-life threatened by a Cornhusker Rebellion …

Everybody in earth orbit knows that Sen Ben Nelson of Nebraska sold his right-to-life principles for a couple of hundred million dollars and cast the deciding vote for ObamaCare.  Apparently, he expected Nebraskans to savor the Medicaid bribe he took on their behalf.  Oops.

It looks like the Nebraska senator’s health-care vote may have killed him politically.

A new Rasmussen Reports poll — the first state-wide poll since the controversial deal he cut in exchange for his deciding vote on the Senate health care bill –shows that if he were running for re-election today, Mr. Nelson would lose to Nebraska’s GOP Governor David Heineman by a stunning 61% to 30%.

Only three years ago, Mr. Nelson won his current term with a solid 64% of the vote.

Clearly, the senator’s fall in public esteem is a direct reaction to his having voted for the health care bill as part of a deal in which Nebraska was exempted from the costs of new federal Medicaid mandates.

The ObamaCare bill was already unpopular enough in Nebraska but became even more so when state residents discovered they would be saddled with it anyway, plus exposed to national ridicule over Mr. Nelson’s sweetheart deal.

Now 53% strongly oppose the bill, while another 11% somewhat oppose it.

Only 17% favor the deal that Mr. Nelson struck in order to vote for the bill.

But the poll also shows a path to redemption.

Asked how they would vote in the 2012 election if Senator Nelson changed his vote and prevented the health care bill from becoming law, Nebraska voters give Governor Heineman a lead of only 47% to 37% … that simply reversing his health-care vote immediately reduces Mr. Nelson’s deficit by two-thirds.

“The poll suggests the anger of Nebraska voters is deep and unusually intense, and not likely to dissipate quickly.”

No doubt it was precisely his concern about the unpopularity of the bill back home that prompted Mr. Nelson to hedge his bets when he announced he would support it — he made clear at the time he might not vote for it again if the final compromise between House and Senate versions tilts too far to the left.

Given the shocking slump in his standing back home, Mr. Nelson might like to keep those remarks handy during the coming weeks as the two bills are hammered together.

Source: WSJ, Ben Nelson’s Purgatory, Dec. 30, 2009

Ken’s Bet: Nebraska voters are just teasing Nelson with the ray of hope if he changes his vote.  The voters seem more principled than the Senator and smart enough to know that if he betrayed their trust once, he’ll do it again.  In 2013, Nelson will be a high paid lobbyist or Obama’s Ag Secretary.

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