OMAHA, Neb. (Nebraska Examiner) — New polls from competing GOP campaigns for governor show three contenders and enough undecided voters to swing the race three ways, one month before early ballots go in the mail.
A poll for Conklin Co. CEO Charles Herbster’s campaign indicated he led University of Nebraska Regent Jim Pillen by 9%: 27% to 18%. The poll, conducted March 8-10, had a margin of error of plus or minus 4%. It was conducted by landline and cell phones.
A March 7-9 poll conducted for State Sen. Brett Lindstrom indicated Herbster was leading Pillen by 7%: 30% to 23%.
“Charles is thriving on the campaign trail,” Herbster campaign adviser Kellyanne Conway said Saturday.
“Together, we will put Nebraska families first, and it starts by standing up to these government bureaucrats and career politicians,” Herbster said in a campaign statement.
Both polls indicated Lindstrom was in a virtual tie with Pillen for second place.
Herbster’s poll showed Pillen with 18% support and Lindstrom 17%. Lindstrom’s poll indicated Pillen was leading Lindstrom 23% to 20%. Results of both polls fall within the 4% margin of error.
Pillen’s campaign offered no immediate comment.
Former State Sen. Theresa Thibodeau polled at 3% in both surveys.
“Brett Lindstrom is surging. Despite being outspent 8 to 1, he’s made this a three-way race,” Lindstrom campaign spokesman Pat Trueman said Saturday, referring to ad spending by the campaigns.
Herbster, who is largely self-funding his bid for the GOP nomination, is the top spender so far in the race. Herbster and Pillen each raised about $5 million in 2021. Lindstrom, who raised $1.6 million, has spent the least of the top three GOP candidates.
Herbster’s poll indicated that more than a third of likely GOP primary voters remained undecided. Lindstrom’s poll indicated that 18% of those surveyed were undecided. A Lindstrom poll in September found 30% undecided. Those who said they have decided since then chose Lindstrom more often than Herbster or Pillen.
One interesting tidbit from Lindstrom’s poll: Voters who said they had seen, read or heard about the top three GOP candidates favored Lindstrom (31%) over Herbster (25%) and Pillen (25%).
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