|Poll||Date||Sample||Johanns (R)||Kleeb (D)||Spread|
|Rasmussen||9/30 - 9/30||500 LV||52||38||Johanns +14|
|Rasmussen||7/28 - 7/28||500 LV||60||34||Johanns +26|
|Rasmussen||6/23 - 6/23||500 LV||60||33||Johanns +27|
|Research 2000||5/19 - 5/21||600 LV||58||31||Johanns +27|
|Rasmussen||5/15 - 5/15||500 LV||55||40||Johanns +15|
|Research 2000||11/12 - 11/14||600 LV||59||28||Johanns +31|
GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel is retiring after two terms in office. Hagel, whose opposition to the Iraq war would have brought on a primary challenge, eventually announced in September 2007 that he would not run for re-election or for president.
Following his announcement, former Gov. Mike Johanns resigned as U.S. Agriculture Secretary and returned home to run for the seat. Those considering challenging Hagel dropped their bids after Johanns announced he was running.
Johanns was elected governor twice, in 1998 and 2002, but resigned after the 2004 elections to accept a position in Pres. Bush\'s cabinet. His Democratic opponent, Scott Kleeb, a cattle rancher with three post-graduate degrees from Yale, lost the 2006 race for Nebraska\'s open 3rd District. Despite long odds in a heavily-GOP district, he lost to Adrian Smith by just 10 points.
Johanns, with two statewide victories and two terms as mayor of Lincoln, is heavily favored to keep this seat in the Republican column.
2006: Nelson (D) 64, Ricketts (R) 36
2002: Hagel (R) 83, Matulka (D) 15
2000: Nelson (D) 51, Stenberg (R) 51
1996: Hagel (R) 56, Nelson (D) 42
2004: Bush (R) 66, Kerry (D) 33
2000: Bush (R) 62, Gore (D) 33
1996: Dole (R) 54, Clinton (D) 35