• Schuyler Beltrami

2022 Midterms Preview –Nebraska


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The Millennial Agora continues our complete preview of the upcoming midterm elections for Congress with the state of Nebraska. A state of just under 2 million people, Nebraska highly agricultural state in the Great Plains of the central United States. With a large amount of its population located in the Omaha metropolitan area, the state of Nebraska is, like many of its neighbors in the Great Plains, overwhelmingly conservative, but the Omaha area has become more liberal over recent election cycles. In 2020, former President Trump won the state with 59% of the vote and the last Democrat to win the state was Lyndon Johnson in 1964. In 2022, there will be elections in Nebraska for the House of Representatives and Governor. Nebraska is allocated three seats in the House, a number which remained unchanged after redistricting. Currently, all seats are occupied by Republicans.


House of Representatives

Nebraska receives three seats in the House of Representatives, and all seats will be up for election in November. The overall CVPI for the entire state is R+13, making Nebraska’s House races (taken as a whole) to be heavily favored for Republicans. (The CPVI, or Cook Partisan Voting Index, is the main metric to measure the strength of a political party for a particular House district or Senate seat. The measure was created and managed by the non-partisan Cook Political Report and uses historical data, as well as polling, to create the “partisan lean” of each district or state. A CPVI rating of R+15 would mean that on average, Republican candidates win elections in that district or state by an average of 15%, while a rating of D+15 would mean the same thing, but for the Democratic candidate. A district or state with a CPVI with double digits is considered to be non-competitive).


I. NE-01:

A. Current Representative: Mike Flood (R)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Rural, Some Urban and Suburban Areas

C. Demographics: 78% White, 11% Hispanic, 5% African American

D. Cook PVI: R+9 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: Nebraska’s first district includes parts of the eastern quarter of the state, with the state capital of Lincoln and well as the southern suburbs of Omaha along the border with Iowa included in the district. Incumbent Rep. Flood has represented the district since winning a special election in June 2022. The special election took place only four days after the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v Wade and Democratic turnout was high in the largely rural district, but Rep. Flood was still able to capture victory as a Republican by a little over 5% with 53% of the vote. That was the first election under the new district, which was drawn after redistricting. This election in November will once again have now incumbent Rep. Flood taking on Democratic nominee Patty Pansing Brooks, a member of the Nebraska State Senate. Although the first district did become more competitive due to redistricting, the fact that a Republican was able to win during the height of Democratic momentum shows that Rep. Flood should have an easier time in this election, since Republican momentum has once again picked up over the past couple of weeks. Most major news outlets have now labeled this race as “Solid Republican”.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


II. NE-02:

A. Current Representative: Don Bacon (R)

B. Population Distribution: Majority Urban and Suburban, Some Urban Areas

C. Demographics: 68% White, 13% Hispanic, 12% African American, 6% Asian

D. Cook PVI: EVEN (Toss-up)

E. Outlook: The Nebraska second district is by far the more competitive district in the state, as it includes a large part of the downtown Omaha, as well as many of the suburban areas around Omaha. Incumbent Rep. Bacon has represented the district since 2016 and was reelected in 2020 with 51% of the vote, despite President Joe Biden winning the same district with 52% of the vote. Current State Senator and Democratic nominee Tony Vargas is looking to add some blue to the Nebraska House map, but it seems like the statistics are firmly on the side of Rep. Bacon. Not only did Republicans have a much better showing in the primaries, earning around 23,000 more votes than Democrats, but Rep. Bacon has consistently led in polls and has an 8% lead in the aggregate polling data. The fact that he was able to outperform President Biden in a strong Democratic year is a very good sign for a Republican incumbent in a red state in a Republican-favored year.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


III. NE-03:

A. Current Representative: Adrian Smith (R)

B. Population Distribution: Overwhelmingly Rural

C. Demographics: 81% White, 12% Hispanic

D. Cook PVI: R+29 (Strong Republican)

E. Outlook: One of the most conservative districts in the country, the Nebraska 3rd district is a massive district which covers around 75% of the state’s area. The district is extremely rural, with the largest city in the district being the small city of Grand Island and the district borders Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, Iowa, and Missouri, owing to its very large size. Incumbent Rep. Smith has represented the district since 2006 and was reelected in 2020 with 79% of the vote in this deep-red district.

F. Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Governor

The only other race in Nebraska is for Governor. Republican incumbent Governor Pete Ricketts is term-limited and cannot seek a third term in office. The overwhelming favorite to replace him is Republican nominee Jim Pillen, the former chair of the University of Nebraska Regents. He won a crowded Republican primary with 34% of the vote. His Democratic challenger will be current State Senator Carol Blood, who won the Democratic primary with 87% of the vote. Republicans earned around 2.5x more votes than Democrats in the state’s closed primaries, and Mr. Pillen has a 17% lead in the aggregate polling data.

Millennial Agora Prediction: Republican Victory (HOLD)


Analysis

The Millennial Agora is predicting that the House races in Nebraska will lead to no changes. The Governorship will also remain in Republicans’ hands.


Thank you for reading our preview of the midterm elections in Nebraska. Check back tomorrow as we look at the races in Nevada, the home of Las Vegas, and a state which has become a battleground state for both parties looking to capture the very large Hispanic vote in the state.



The state of the House after our predictions. Made at 270towin.com

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