U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry’s re-election bid has a path to victory despite his indictment for lying to the FBI about foreign funds raised for a previous campaign.
That’s the upshot from his team’s most recent poll, which reached 405 likely GOP primary voters in Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District. The Nebraska Examiner obtained a copy of the poll, including the questions that were asked.
The poll shows nine-term incumbent Fortenberry leading former Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood by 10 points, head-to-head, which is outside of the margin of error. The margin of error was plus or minus 4.5%, per the campaign. The poll was conducted Wednesday via calls to landlines and cell phones
Fortenberry’s negative advertising against Flood appears to be having an impact, his polling firm, Moore Information Group found. The new poll shows more voters are reacting unfavorably to Flood since the advertisements started airing. The ads were still running this week, during the polling.
The Fortenberry ads have attacked Flood’s record on immigration. Flood has aired ads that defend his record on immigration. Other Flood ads have highlighted his record in the Legislature.
In January, the same pollster found the two candidates closer, within the margin of error.
“This poll reflects what voters throughout Nebraska’s First District already know, the momentum in this race is with Jeff Fortenberry,” a campaign spokesman said.
Flood joined the race in mid-January and secured the endorsements of Nebraska’s last two governors, Republicans Pete Ricketts and Dave Heineman. Much of the state’s GOP leadership is behind him.
Fortenberry faces a wild card: three felony charges saying he lied to or misled federal investigators about his campaign’s fundraising. His trial is scheduled to begin March 15.
Fortenberry received $30,000 at a California fundraiser in 2016 that originated from a foreign national. Investigators say the congressman repeatedly lied about the donations. Fortenberry’s lawyers argue he was “set up.”
The primary is May 10.
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