One year out from the 2012 elections, Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) has yet to decide whether he will run for reelection.

Nelson told the Lincoln Journal Star he would decide during the Christmas period, and acknowledged he had no guaranteed path to victory if he does run.

"I do not have to have assurance I would win," Nelson said. "I'm a risk-taker. That would not be the deciding factor by a wide margin."

Nelson said he wasn't trying to drag out a decision, but didn't want to be a candidate any longer than he had to be, and was continuing to consult with his family.

Nelson won his 2006 reelection by almost 30 points over Republican Pete Ricketts, but his 2012 fate is less certain, and Republicans see a major opportunity to unseat him.

A poll released Oct. 5 by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling showed the Republican front-runner, Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, four points ahead of Nelson in a general-election match-up.

Nebraska Republicans have accused Democrats of violating election rules by spending more than the legal limit to shore up Nelson's reelection — even though he is not yet a declared candidate.