A recent public opinion poll indicates Nebraska voters would consider voting for an independent candidate for United States Senate.
Independent candidate Jim Jenkins commissioned the poll and says its results are encouraging.
“Well, I think it reflects that Nebraskans have historically been pretty independent and open-minded. I think we’re political pragmatists,” Jenkins tells Nebraska Radio Network. “And so, I don’t think it’s surprising that Nebraskans would look toward a viable independent who has a good Nebraska resume, which I think I do.”
Jenkins commissioned the poll by the MSR Group of Omaha that surveyed 618 registered Nebraska voters between May 27th and the 29th. It indicates that about 56% of Nebraska voters would consider an independent candidate for United States Senate.
A willingness to consider an independent candidate and a negative attitude toward both Republicans and Democrats highlight the poll’s results.
Both parties carry high unfavorable numbers into the November elections. Democrats received an unfavorable reaction from 49% of the voters. Republicans don’t fare much better, receiving an unfavorable score from 47% of those polled.
Jenkins is fighting an uphill battle against perceived front-runner, Republican Ben Sasse, and Democrat Dave Domina. But Jenkins says Nebraska voters are looking beyond the traditional party candidates.
“We think, based on our polling, that 60-65% of Nebraskans are not hard-right or hard-left and there seems to be, as I’m out on the campaign trail, almost a sense of relief from people that they actually have somebody to vote for that reflects, is closer to, their actual values and approach in how we go out and solve problems,” according to Jenkins.
There is another independent in the race. Todd Watson also qualified for the November ballot.
All are running to succeed Sen. Mike Johanns, a Republican who is retiring from public office.