FR: Fritz Wenzel, President, Wenzel Strategies
RE: Survey Results of Race for the Republican Nomination for U.S. Senate in Nebraska
Wenzel Strategies conducted a telephone survey of likely Republican Primary Election voters statewide in Nebraska regarding
the race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate. The survey was commissioned by the Ending Spending Action Fund and was
conducted May 13, 2012. It included 560 respondents who were selected at random from a pool of voters with a consistent
primary election voting history and who self-identified in the survey their intention to participate in Tuesday’s Republican
election. The survey carries a confidence interval of 95% and a margin of error of +/- 4.12 percentage points.
The Wenzel Strategies survey of likely Republican Primary Election voters shows the
race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate has developed into a tight two-way contest between
Jon Bruning and Deb Fischer. Bruning leads Fischer by a 38% to 35% margin, which is within
the survey’s margin of error.
The results reflect a significant upside move by Fischer, who in other surveys has trailed
Bruning by larger margins. It appears Fischer is benefiting tremendously from a very favorable
rating among Republican voters, while both Bruning and Don Stenberg - who at 16% is in a
distant third place in the poll - have much higher unfavorable ratings. Fischer is seen favorably
by 65% of the electorate, while just 10% hold an unfavorable view of her – giving her a
favorable-to-unfavorable ratio of more than 6 to 1. Meanwhile, Bruning, while seen favorably
by 60% of the electorate, is seen unfavorably by 31%, a favorable-to-unfavorable ratio of about
2 to 1.
Stenberg is in a situation similar to that of Bruning in that 59% hold a favorable opinion
of him, but 31% hold an unfavorable opinion of him.
Another factor to consider: Fischer is yet unknown by 25% of the primary election voters,
compared to just 9% who said they don’t know enough about Bruning to have formed an opinion
about him. This means Fischer has more room to grow – or to shrink – as late deciders in the
race draw their final conclusions. Her recent move up shows a bias towards growth in support.
The survey shows that 8% of likely voters remain undecided in the race, and that 36% are
still somewhat or very open to changing their minds before they vote. This finding in the survey
shows this race remains remarkably fluid, just two days before the election.
Bruning leads by 9% among moderate voters, but the two are neck-and-neck among
conservatives. Bruning leads among voters under age 50, but Fischer holds a solid edge among
those over age 50, which make up the majority of voters in a Republican primary election.
If the election for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate was today, and the candidates were Jon Bruning, Deb Fischer,
Don Stenberg, Pat Flynn, Spencer Zimmerman, and Sharyn Elander, for whom would you vote?
Frequency Percent Valid Percent Cumulative Percent
BRUNING 211 37.7 37.7 37.7
FISCHER 197 35.2 35.2 72.9
STENBERG 88 15.7 15.7 88.6
OTHERS 17 3.0 3.0 91.6
NOT SURE 47 8.4 8.4 100.0
Total 560 100.0 100.0