Internal poll shows Osborn leading Nebraska Senate GOP primary

A new internal survey from former Nebraska state Treasurer Shane Osborn shows him leading the Republican primary for the state's open Senate seat.

The survey, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies for Osborn's campaign, gives him 39 percent of the vote, while the other three candidates take single-digit support.

Midland University President Ben Sasse, a Tea Party favorite who last week received the endorsement of the Senate Conservatives Fund, ties banker Sid Dinsdale with 7 percent support. Attorney Bart McLeay takes 1 percent support.

Osborn takes an early lead because he has significant name recognition in the state, with 83 percent of GOP primary voters saying they've heard of him, and a majority, 55 percent, having a favorable impression of him.

Osborn led an earlier poll of the GOP primary with a similar margin. It's early still in the race, with the primary scheduled in May, so the numbers are likely to shift as voters become better acquainted with the candidates. Whoever wins the GOP primary is expected to win retiring Sen. Mike Johanns's (R-Neb.) seat.

The survey was conducted from Oct. 27-28 among 400 likely GOP primary voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.