In polling and money Pillen leads Blood. But race could be closer than expected

Oct. 13, 2022, 2 p.m. ·

Carol Blood and Jim Pillen headshots
State senator Carol Blood and University of Nebraska regent Jim Pillen are competing to be Nebraska's next governor. (Courtesy photos)

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Republican gubernatorial candidate Jim Pillen has a big lead in campaign funding over Democrat Carol Blood. But new a poll suggests the race could be tighter than some people expect.

Campaign finance reports show between June 15 and October 4, Pillen’s campaign collected just under $1.2 million in contributions. After spending on everything from TV advertising to campaign staff, it had $600,000 in cash on hand. Blood’s campaign, by contrast, collected just under $300,000, and had $75,000 cash on hand.

Meanwhile, a poll taken at the end of September shows Pillen leading Blood, 48-41%.

A memo from polling firm Data Targeting said, “a 7 point lead for a Republican in Nebraska seems a bit tight.” But the memo, sent to Lincoln political consultant Perre Neilan, continued to say that Pillen can gain more support from Republican voters who backed another candidate in the primary and from undecided voters who agree with him on abortion and voter ID.

Pillen Campaign Manager Kenny Zoeller called the survey, which is posted on Neilan's website, a "doctored" poll; adding "we are confident in our position for the general election."

Correction: Neilan says the poll was paid for by his company, Neilan Strategy Group. An earlier version of this story said it was paid for by a Pillen supporter.