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Internal Poll Shows Ben Nelson Besting GOP Foes

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo

Updated: 10:08 a.m.

After months of public polling that showed Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) trailing his opponents, the Senator released his own internal survey today that shows him with a slight lead over his GOP challengers.

Nelson leads Attorney General Jon Bruning 47 percent to 45 percent according to the Hickman Analytics survey paid for by the Senator's campaign. Nelson held a larger lead over Treasurer Don Stenberg, 49 percent to 43 percent, and polled higher than state Sen. Deb Fischer, 50 percent to 37 percent, in the same poll.

Nelson has long been viewed as one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senators up for re-election this cycle. Democrats have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising this year to boost his campaign.

Now the Senator's team argues that he's turned a corner, even though the slight poll advantage has him within the margin of error over Bruning, the GOP frontrunner. The campaign's polling memo claims Nelson trailed Bruning and Stenberg by 9 points and 5 points, respectively, in a similar survey taken in February.

Hickman Analytics surveyed 1,300 likely Nebraska voters from Nov. 5 to Nov. 10. The poll has a margin of error of 2.7 points.

Nelson's campaign released its survey just hours after Magellan Strategies, a GOP firm, released a poll showing the Senator trailing his opponents. In that poll, Bruning leads Nelson 45 percent to 39 percent and Stenberg is in a statistical tie with Nelson, 41 percent to 40 percent. The Magellan Strategies automated survey interviewed 645 likely voters in Nebraska on Nov. 20 and 21.

Roll Call Politics rates this race a Tossup.

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