Might Ben Nelson Switch Parties for 2012?
by Nathan Empsall, Tue Feb 09, 2010 at 10:58:38 AM EST
Although he gets a reprieve for 2010, his 2012 re-election bid will be Nebraska's next Senate race, and as his and his party's approval ratings dip and his race grows closer, he's started to tack even harder hard to the right than usual. He supported his party's top priority, health care reform, but only after he won major conservative and parochial concessions on abortion and Medicaid. He watered down the stimulus. He's not likely to support one of the next major initiatives, clean energy reform (although thankfully he is still open to negotiation and consideration). And now he will oppose one of the President's appointees to the National Labor Relations Board because the man is pro-labor, never mind that a pro-labor Democrat won the White House with 53% of the popular vote. Politico's Manu Raju:
Nelson, a conservative Democrat up for reelection in 2012, has seen his approval ratings drop sharply since he lent his support for Obama's health care bill in December and secured deals for Nebraska's Medicaid payments.
His latest decision could help him tout his independent credentials back home, but will likely generate anger from the left, which says Becker is a well-qualified nominee who has been denigrated by his opponents.