2020 United States Senate election in Nebraska

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Nominee Ben Sasse Chris Janicek
Party Republican Democratic
Popular vote 583,507 227,191
Percentage 62.7% 24.4%

 
Nominee Preston Love Jr.
(write-in)
Gene Siadek
Party Democratic Libertarian
Popular vote 58,411 55,115
Percentage 6.3% 5.9%

County results
Sasse:      50-60%      60-70%      70-80%      80-90%

U.S. senator before election

Ben Sasse
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Ben Sasse
Republican

The 2020 United States Senate election in Nebraska was held on November 3, 2020, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of Nebraska, concurrently with the 2020 U.S. presidential election, as well as other elections to the United States Senate, elections to the United States House of Representatives and various state and local elections.

Incumbent Republican Senator Ben Sasse was challenged by Democratic nominee Chris Janicek, who was disavowed by his party after numerous scandals; by write-in candidate Preston Love Jr., who received the support of the state Democratic Party; and by Libertarian nominee Gene Siadek.

Sasse was reelected to a second term in office with 62.7% of the vote and a 38.3% margin. He outperformed President Donald Trump by almost 27,000 votes, or 8.9%, compared to the concurrent presidential election, the largest overperformance by any Republican Senate candidate in the country that year. In contrast, Janicek was the worst performing Democratic Senate candidate in the country compared to Joe Biden, underperforming him by 13.1%. This was attributed to a sexual misconduct scandal affecting Janicek and split-ticket voting in Omaha suburbs.[1][2]

Republican primary

Candidates

Nominee

Eliminated in primary

Declined

Endorsements

Ben Sasse
Organizations

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Matt
Innis
Ben
Sasse
Undecided
We Ask America February 19–20, 2020 400 (LV) ± 4.9% 17% 65% 18%

Results

Republican primary results by county  Sasse .mw-parser-output .legend{page-break-inside:avoid;break-inside:avoid-column}.mw-parser-output .legend-color{display:inline-block;min-width:1.25em;height:1.25em;line-height:1.25;margin:1px 0;text-align:center;border:1px solid black;background-color:transparent;color:black}.mw-parser-output .legend-text{}  Sasse—80–90%   Sasse—70–80%   Sasse—60–70%   Sasse—50–60%    Innis   Innis—60–70%   Innis—50–60%
Republican primary results by county
Sasse
  •   Sasse—80–90%
  •   Sasse—70–80%
  •   Sasse—60–70%
  •   Sasse—50–60%
Innis
  •   Innis—60–70%
  •   Innis—50–60%
Republican primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Ben Sasse (incumbent) 215,207 75.21%
Republican Matt Innis 70,921 24.79%
Total votes 284,212 100.00%

Democratic primary

Candidates

Nominee

On June 16, 2020, Janicek lost the support of the Nebraska Democratic Party after allegations of sending sexually explicit text messages about a female campaign staff member and allegedly using racist slurs to insult a guest at a party 20 years ago surfaced.[11][12][13] Nonetheless, Janicek refused to drop out of the race and his name remained on the ballot in the general election. In September the state Democratic party supported Preston Love Jr. via a write-in candidacy.[14][15]

Eliminated in primary

Declined

Results

Democratic primary results by county  Janicek   Janicek—60–70%   Janicek—50–60%   Janicek—40–50%   Janicek—30–40%   Janicek—20–30%    Philips   Philips—40–50%   Philips—30–40%   Philips—20–30%    Shelton   Shelton—30–40%   Shelton—20–30%    Tie   Tie
Democratic primary results by county
Janicek
  •   Janicek—60–70%
  •   Janicek—50–60%
  •   Janicek—40–50%
  •   Janicek—30–40%
  •   Janicek—20–30%
Philips
  •   Philips—40–50%
  •   Philips—30–40%
  •   Philips—20–30%
Shelton
  •   Shelton—30–40%
  •   Shelton—20–30%
Tie
  •   Tie
Democratic primary results [9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Chris Janicek 46,247 30.69%
Democratic Angie Philips 35,929 23.84%
Democratic Alisha Shelton 34,284 22.75%
Democratic Andy Stock 17,156 11.38%
Democratic Larry Marvin 6,868 4.56%
Democratic Daniel Wik 5,765 3.83%
Democratic Dennis Macek 4,453 2.95%
Total votes 150,702 100.00%

Other candidates

Libertarian Party

Nominee

Withdrawn

Results

Libertarian primary results[9]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Gene Siadek 2,517 100.00%
Total votes 2,517 100.00%

Democratic write-in

Declared

Withdrawn

General election

Predictions

Source Ranking As of
The Cook Political Report[28] Safe R October 29, 2020
Inside Elections[29] Safe R October 28, 2020
Sabato's Crystal Ball[30] Safe R November 2, 2020
Daily Kos[31] Safe R October 30, 2020
Politico[32] Safe R November 2, 2020
RCP[33] Safe R October 23, 2020
DDHQ[34] Safe R November 3, 2020
538[35] Safe R November 2, 2020
Economist[36] Safe R November 2, 2020

Polling

Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Ben
Sasse (R)
Chris
Janicek (D)
Gene
Siadek (L)
Undecided
Cygnal October 19–21, 2020 625 (LV) ± 3.9% 47% 18% 6% 29%
Hypothetical polling
Poll source Date(s)
administered
Sample
size[a]
Margin
of error
Generic
Republican
Generic
Democrat
Undecided
Cygnal October 19–21, 2020 625 (LV) ± 3.9% 53% 38% 9%

Results

United States Senate election in Nebraska, 2020[37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Ben Sasse (incumbent) 583,507 62.74% -1.60%
Democratic Chris Janicek 227,191 24.43% -7.05%
Democratic Preston Love Jr. (write-in) 58,411 6.28% N/A
Libertarian Gene Siadek 55,115 5.93% N/A
Write-in 5,788 0.62% +0.54%
Total votes 930,012 100.0%
Republican hold
By county
County[38] Ben Sasse

Republican

Chris Janicek

Democratic

Preston Love Jr. (write-in)

Democratic

Gene Siadek
Libertarian
Write-in Total
votes
% # % # % # % # % #
Adams 70.88% 9,995 18.32% 2,583 3.89% 548 6.36% 897 0.56% 79 14,102
Antelope 82.14% 2,828 10.28% 354 0.84% 29 5.34% 184 1.39% 48 3,443
Arthur 84.44% 228 7.78% 21 0.00% 0 7.78% 21 0.00% 0 270
Banner 84.17% 335 9.80% 39 0.50% 2 5.28% 21 0.25% 1 398
Blaine 75.00% 222 11.82% 35 0.68% 2 11.49% 34 1.01% 3 296
Boone 79.51% 2,402 11.62% 351 1.79% 54 5.89% 178 1.19% 36 3,021
Box Butte 75.59% 3,840 16.18% 822 1.34% 68 6.42% 326 0.47% 24 5,080
Boyd 83.62% 883 8.43% 89 0.00% 0 7.10% 75 0.85% 9 1,056
Brown 85.20% 1,387 7.68% 125 0.86% 14 5.71% 93 0.55% 9 1,628
Buffalo 72.45% 16,729 16.68% 3,851 3.38% 780 6.95% 1,605 0.55% 126 23,091
Burt 73.57% 2,639 18.90% 678 1.95% 70 5.21% 187 0.36% 13 3,587
Butler 80.16% 3,512 13.99% 613 1.05% 46 4.52% 198 0.27% 12 4,381
Cass 70.77% 10,493 19.38% 2,874 3.55% 527 5.98% 886 0.31% 46 14,826
Cedar 81.34% 3,902 11.36% 545 0.96% 46 5.67% 272 0.67% 32 4,797
Chase 85.70% 1,666 8.90% 173 0.62% 12 4.06% 79 0.72% 14 1,944
Cherry 78.49% 2,365 9.39% 283 1.16% 35 9.09% 274 1.86% 56 3,013
Cheyenne 75.54% 3,505 15.47% 718 0.45% 21 6.96% 323 1.57% 73 4,640
Clay 77.73% 2,660 12.62% 432 1.55% 53 7.10% 243 0.99% 34 3,422
Colfax 73.24% 2,652 20.63% 747 1.66% 60 4.31% 156 0.17% 6 3,621
Cuming 82.07% 3,566 11.71% 509 1.57% 68 4.56% 198 0.09% 4 4,345
Custer 82.56% 4,824 9.09% 531 0.74% 43 6.18% 361 1.44% 84 5,843
Dakota 60.53% 3,951 34.24% 2,235 1.33% 87 3.68% 240 0.21% 14 6,527
Dawes 71.75% 2,883 19.54% 785 2.17% 87 6.22% 250 0.32% 13 4,018
Dawson 72.31% 6,460 20.48% 1,830 1.42% 127 5.36% 479 0.43% 38 8,934
Deuel 82.71% 837 10.28% 104 0.49% 5 6.13% 62 0.40% 4 1,012
Dixon 74.05% 2,206 16.82% 501 1.58% 47 6.92% 206 0.64% 19 2,979
Dodge 69.07% 11,397 20.65% 3,408 3.47% 572 6.51% 1,074 0.30% 50 16,501
Douglas 50.71% 136,745 32.49% 87,608 10.10% 27,229 5.94% 16,019 0.76% 2,046 269,647
Dundy 85.82% 835 7.91% 77 0.82% 8 4.93% 48 0.51% 5 973
Fillmore 78.46% 2,418 14.11% 435 2.21% 68 5.06% 156 0.16% 5 3,082
Franklin 82.67% 1,398 11.24% 190 1.24% 21 4.20% 71 0.65% 11 1,691
Frontier 84.14% 1,183 9.17% 129 0.92% 13 5.19% 73 0.57% 8 1,406
Furnas 81.43% 2,079 10.85% 277 0.71% 18 6.31% 161 0.71% 18 2,553
Gage 70.44% 7,656 20.61% 2,240 2.83% 308 5.70% 620 0.41% 45 10,869
Garden 82.06% 938 11.11% 127 0.09% 1 6.47% 74 0.26% 3 1,143
Garfield 84.52% 868 8.86% 91 0.78% 8 4.87% 50 0.97% 10 1,027
Gosper 82.42% 900 10.16% 111 1.56% 17 5.40% 59 0.46% 5 1,092
Grant 86.29% 321 3.76% 14 1.08% 4 6.72% 25 2.15% 8 372
Greeley 79.97% 938 14.15% 166 0.85% 10 4.77% 56 0.26% 3 1,173
Hall 68.54% 16,231 21.87% 5,180 2.76% 653 6.29% 1,489 0.54% 129 23,682
Hamilton 77.24% 4,114 12.73% 678 2.23% 119 7.02% 374 0.77% 41 5,326
Harlan 81.37% 1,529 11.07% 208 1.22% 23 5.59% 105 0.75% 14 1,879
Hayes 88.91% 457 5.84% 30 0.39% 2 4.47% 23 0.39% 2 514
Hitchcock 81.65% 1,179 9.97% 144 0.69% 10 7.55% 109 0.14% 2 1,444
Holt 77.98% 4,165 11.29% 603 1.14% 61 6.98% 373 2.60% 139 5,341
Hooker 81.73% 349 11.24% 48 0.94% 4 3.98% 17 2.11% 9 427
Howard 78.86% 2,660 13.22% 446 1.54% 52 6.14% 207 0.24% 8 3,373
Jefferson 75.17% 2,764 18.06% 664 1.25% 46 5.19% 191 0.33% 12 3,677
Johnson 72.93% 1,576 19.30% 417 1.90% 41 5.78% 125 0.09% 2 2,161
Kearney 79.56% 2,790 11.75% 412 2.02% 71 6.27% 220 0.40% 14 3,507
Keith 78.92% 3,355 13.01% 553 1.62% 69 5.98% 254 0.47% 20 4,251
Keya Paha 84.39% 427 8.10% 41 0.20% 1 6.72% 34 0.59% 3 506
Kimball 79.85% 1,458 13.36% 244 0.49% 9 6.13% 112 0.16% 3 1,826
Knox 75.78% 3,376 15.89% 708 0.65% 29 6.46% 288 1.21% 54 4,455
Lancaster 51.74% 79,436 31.75% 48,756 10.41% 15,990 5.47% 8,405 0.62% 954 153,541
Lincoln 75.39% 12,679 15.61% 2,626 1.81% 304 6.62% 1,113 0.57% 96 16,818
Logan 85.22% 369 8.31% 36 0.23% 1 5.08% 22 1.15% 5 433
Loup 84.28% 370 6.38% 28 4.10% 18 4.78% 21 0.46% 2 439
Madison 75.31% 11,552 15.64% 2,399 2.20% 337 6.15% 943 0.71% 109 15,340
McPherson 88.14% 260 4.07% 12 0.68% 2 6.44% 19 0.68% 2 295
Merrick 79.81% 3,242 12.58% 511 1.03% 42 6.57% 267 0.00% 0 4,062
Morrill 76.14% 1,870 13.23% 325 0.53% 13 9.00% 221 1.10% 27 2,456
Nance 78.57% 1,353 14.05% 242 1.63% 28 5.23% 90 0.52% 9 1,722
Nemaha 75.11% 2,511 15.67% 524 2.54% 85 6.16% 206 0.51% 17 3,343
Nuckolls 82.27% 1,856 11.30% 255 1.20% 27 4.74% 107 0.49% 11 2,256
Otoe 73.18% 5,961 18.43% 1,501 2.49% 203 5.59% 455 0.32% 26 8,146
Pawnee 77.46% 1,072 15.68% 217 2.02% 28 4.70% 65 0.14% 2 1,384
Perkins 85.18% 1,270 9.26% 138 0.74% 11 4.63% 69 0.20% 3 1,491
Phelps 80.46% 3,896 10.08% 488 1.18% 57 6.69% 324 1.59% 77 4,842
Pierce 83.85% 3,261 9.08% 353 1.05% 41 5.25% 204 0.77% 30 3,889
Platte 79.26% 12,055 14.35% 2,183 1.40% 213 4.77% 725 0.22% 34 15,210
Polk 80.97% 2,276 12.63% 355 1.39% 39 4.66% 131 0.36% 10 2,811
Red Willow 80.65% 4,290 10.79% 574 1.69% 90 6.39% 340 0.47% 25 5,319
Richardson 76.05% 3,023 17.11% 680 1.06% 42 4.93% 196 0.86% 34 3,975
Rock 86.94% 699 5.35% 43 0.00% 0 5.97% 48 1.74% 14 804
Saline 65.91% 3,675 25.29% 1,410 1.99% 111 6.81% 380 0.00% 0 5,576
Sarpy 61.46% 57,763 25.00% 23,500 6.88% 6,471 6.20% 5,826 0.46% 432 93,992
Saunders 74.06% 9,210 16.06% 1,997 3.22% 400 6.18% 768 0.49% 61 12,436
Scotts Bluff 71.36% 10,820 20.06% 3,042 1.82% 276 6.29% 953 0.47% 71 15,162
Seward 75.04% 6,718 16.35% 1,464 3.21% 287 5.08% 455 0.32% 29 8,953
Sheridan 78.87% 2,042 11.20% 290 0.50% 13 8.07% 209 1.35% 35 2,589
Sherman 75.60% 1,233 15.14% 247 0.98% 16 7.85% 128 0.43% 7 1,631
Sioux 84.92% 597 7.40% 52 0.71% 5 6.69% 47 0.28% 2 703
Stanton 76.80% 2,304 12.47% 374 1.63% 49 8.07% 242 1.03% 31 3,000
Thayer 81.38% 2,356 12.85% 372 1.38% 40 4.25% 123 0.14% 4 2,895
Thomas 82.25% 329 10.00% 40 0.00% 0 5.25% 21 2.50% 10 400
Thurston 53.30% 1,218 38.73% 885 2.36% 54 3.24% 74 2.36% 54 2,285
Valley 80.47% 1,821 12.37% 280 1.33% 30 5.39% 122 0.44% 10 2,263
Washington 72.88% 8,808 16.39% 1,981 4.10% 495 6.30% 761 0.34% 41 12,086
Wayne 73.62% 3,000 15.66% 638 3.26% 133 6.77% 276 0.69% 28 4,075
Webster 80.43% 1,443 12.82% 230 1.78% 32 4.96% 89 0.00% 0 1,794
Wheeler 80.79% 387 10.23% 49 0.63% 3 7.52% 36 0.84% 4 479
York 77.84% 5,406 14.64% 1,017 1.83% 127 5.46% 379 0.23% 16 6,945

Notes

  1. ^ a b c Key:
    A – all adults
    RV – registered voters
    LV – likely voters
    V – unclear

References

  1. ^ Rakich, Nathaniel (December 2, 2020). "There Wasn't That Much Split-Ticket Voting In 2020". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved December 2, 2020.
  2. ^ Beaumont, Thomas (February 12, 2021). "Nebraska Sen. Sasse bets political future on opposing Trump". Associated Press. Retrieved February 13, 2021.
  3. ^ Akin, Stephanie (August 5, 2019). "Ben Sasse, one of the Senate's last remaining Republican Trump critics, to seek reelection". Roll Call. Retrieved August 6, 2019.
  4. ^ Walton, Don (July 21, 2019). "Don Walton: Hateful politics, the moonshot, another ag blow". Lincoln Journal Star. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  5. ^ Walton, Don (August 2, 2019). "Matt Innis will oppose Sasse in 2020 GOP primary". Hastings Tribune.
  6. ^ Cohen, Zach C. (April 1, 2019). "How Sasse Is Prepping for 2020—in Nebraska". National Journal. Retrieved April 2, 2019.
  7. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (July 9, 2018). "Sasse tempts Trump's wrath by refusing to bow". Politico. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  8. ^ "Ben Sasse (NE-SEN)". Club for Growth. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  9. ^ a b c "Primary Election Official Results" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved June 8, 2020.
  10. ^ Sherrod, Brian (September 18, 2019). "Chris Janicek runs for U.S. Senate 2020 seat representing Nebraska". NBC Nebraska Scottsbluff. Archived from the original on September 20, 2019. Retrieved September 19, 2019.
  11. ^ Astor, Maggie. "Nebraska Democrat Urged to Quit Senate Race Over Sexual Texts to Aide". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  12. ^ Astor, Maggie. "Nebraska Senate Candidate Used Racist Slur at a Party, Guests Recall". The New York Times. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  13. ^ Nebraska, Democratic Party. "Nebraska Democratic Party demands that Chris Janicek drop out of Senate race after sexual harassment complaint". nebraskademocrats.org. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  14. ^ Sanderford, Aaron (September 1, 2020). "Chris Janicek won't quit Senate race; Democrats eye write-in candidate". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  15. ^ a b Sanderford, Aaron (September 10, 2020). "Preston Love Jr. announces write-in candidacy against Sen. Ben Sasse". Omaha World-Herald. Archived from the original on September 18, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  16. ^ a b c "Nebraska Secretary of State Statewide Candidate List as of 12/11/2019 8:49:50 AM" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State.
  17. ^ Walton, Don. "Don Walton: Mike Flood, Lady Liberty and Sonny Perdue". JournalStar.com. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  18. ^ Morton, Joseph (July 15, 2019). "Will Sen. Ben Sasse seek another term? Signs point to yes". Omaha World-Herald. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  19. ^ "Alisha Shelton for Senate | Official Site". Retrieved December 2, 2019.
  20. ^ Hicks, Nancy. "Andrew Stock files for Lancaster County treasurer on Democratic ticket". JournalStar.com. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  21. ^ Star, DON WALTON Lincoln Journal. "Don Walton: Mike Flood, Lady Liberty and Sonny Perdue". Hastings Tribune. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  22. ^ Jordan, Joe (November 13, 2018). "Democrat Names for 2020 Starting to Surface". Sandhills Express. Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  23. ^ "13 changes to the candidate list". The Green Papers. December 6, 2019. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  24. ^ Dvorak, Gina (September 10, 2020). "Nebraska Democrats announce Preston Love Jr. as write-in candidate for Senate". 6News. Retrieved September 10, 2020.
  25. ^ "Brad Ashford to Launch Write-In Bid for US Senate". KETV TV. August 24, 2020. Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  26. ^ Wasikowski, Jake (August 25, 2020). "Fmr. Rep. Ashford feels he can beat U.S. Senator Sasse as write-in candidate". 3 News Now. Retrieved August 26, 2020.
  27. ^ "Brad Ashford reverses course, says he will not run for U.S. Senate". KETV. August 27, 2020. Retrieved August 27, 2020.
  28. ^ "2020 Senate Race Ratings for October 29, 2020". The Cook Political Report. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  29. ^ "2020 Senate Ratings". Senate Ratings. The Rothenberg Political Report. Retrieved March 11, 2021.
  30. ^ "2020 Senate race ratings". Sabato's Crystal Ball. Retrieved March 12, 2021.
  31. ^ "2020 Senate Race Ratings". Daily Kos Elections. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  32. ^ "2020 Election Forecast". Politico. November 19, 2019.
  33. ^ "Battle for the Senate 2020". RCP. October 23, 2020.
  34. ^ "2020 Senate Elections Model". Decision Desk HQ. September 2, 2020. Retrieved September 2, 2020.
  35. ^ Silver, Nate (September 18, 2020). "Forecasting the race for the Senate". FiveThirtyEight. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  36. ^ "Forecasting the US elections". The Economist. November 2, 2020. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  37. ^ "General Election Official Results" (PDF). Nebraska Secretary of State. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  38. ^ https://sos.nebraska.gov/sites/sos.nebraska.gov/files/doc/elections/2020/2020-General-Canvass-Book.pdf[bare URL PDF]
Official campaign websites