It's volatile. That's the only word for it.
Two different polls conducted Sunday show that the Nebraska Senate race as a two-way fight between Attorney General Jon Bruning and State Sen. Deb Fischer.
One poll shows Bruning ahead. The other gives Fischer the edge.
It's a horse race. A dead heat. Too close to call. (Pick your cliche.)
The first poll was done by We Ask America, an Illinois firm.
It was automated. A lot of pollsters have problems with automated polls because — the argument goes — they're not as reliable as a live interviewer screening the voter and they typically don't include cellphone users.
In addition, the poll did not allow voters to declare themselves as undecided.
Here are the results:
Deb Fischer, 39 percent.
Jon Bruning, 34 percent.
Don Stenberg, 18 percent.
Sharyn Elander, 4 percent.
Pat Flynn, 3 percent.
Spencer Zimmerman, 2 percent.
The poll of “likely” Republican voters included a sample of 1,109. It has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.
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The second poll was commissioned by Joe Ricketts, the former Omaha businessman and the man behind the race's late third-party advertising blitz.
Ricketts is the founder of the Super PAC known as Ending Spending. He pumped $200,000 into two television advertisements Saturday that hammer Bruning on ethics and character, while touting Fischer as the best alternative.
Without further ado, here are the results from Wenzel Strategies:
Bruning, 38 percent.
Fischer, 35 percent.
Stenberg, 16 percent.
Undecided, 8 percent.
Others, 3 percent.
Some other poll highlights: Bruning and Stenberg have high negatives, with 31 percent of likely Republicans holding unfavorable opinions of each, while 10 percent hold an unfavorable view of Fischer.
It appears Fischer has been helped by the food fight between Bruning and Stenberg, who have been trading verbal barbs throughout the race.
Another highlight, directly from Wenzel Strategies: “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 Wenzel poll has a margin of error of 4 percentage points and included a survey of 560 likely Republicans.
We'll say it again: This race is VOLATILE.