As the last Democrat left in Nebraska’s congressional delegation and with a potential 2012 reelection bid hanging in the balance, Sen. Ben Nelson is expected to be one of the primary targets for Republicans seeking piece-by-piece reform of President Barack Obama’s health care bill. Nelson enraged Republicans with his decision last December to support the measure. Now the GOP may need him as they move to chip away at the bill. The Republicans will control the House in January, but still lack a majority in the Senate, meaning a full-scale repeal of the law is unlikely. Instead, they’ll try to woo moderate Democrats and those in traditionally red states for help. Nelson spokesman Jake Thompson told Politico that the senator is willing to listen. “Sen. Nelson would support some changes to the health care law and certain improvements that might be identified down the road,” Thompson says. “But in terms of repealing, that would not be his interest.” Nelson hinted last week that he is planning to seek reelection in 2012. Nebraska Attorney General John Bruning announced Nov. 5 that he plans to run against Nelson in 2012. A poll commissioned by the Nebraska Republican Party and released Nov. 9 shows Nelson trailing Bruning by 15 percent. Republicans represented 56 percent of those polled, while about 48 percent of registered voters in the state are registered Republicans.


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