Skip to main content

Unbiased. Straight Facts.TM

Politics

Nebraska’s 2nd District could be political bellwether for US

Oct 11, 2022

Share

Time to shake hands

The midterms are just weeks away, and polling indicates it’s likely that the GOP will take the U.S. House of Representatives. However, for those running in swing districts, like Nebraska’s 2nd, nothing can be taken for granted. 

Congressman Don Bacon is the Republican incumbent in the district. He took office after defeating a one-term Democratic Congressman in 2016.  

“[2nd District voters] want someone that can collaborate,” Bacon said. “[Someone] that can find consensus after the election. Where you can shake hands and say, ‘Okay, what can we get done?’ and I think that’s the personality of the district.”

How it shakes out

Bacon represents what’s arguably one of the most evenly split districts in the country. 

“I think it generally supports more conservative policies,” he said. “But also, it wants when you win an election, you shake hands, and you’ve tried to work across the aisle to get things done.”

Finding ways to compromise and work with political opponents is vital to his success, according to Bacon. Out of the 405,000 registered voters in the 2nd District, 38% are Republican, 36% are Democrat and the remaining 26% are either non-partisan or fall into other parties.

Nebraska has three electoral votes, but is one of the rare states that splits those votes.

The 2nd district’s lone electoral vote went for Obama in 2012 and Trump in 2016.

In 2020, even though the district went for President Biden, it was Bacon, a Republican, who won the house seat. Bacon thinks his district is a good litmus test for where many Americans stand politically.

Bucking the party

Since winning the seat, Bacon authored 13 bills that were signed into law. It’s an accomplishment, he said, that required compromise.

Unlike many other Republicans, he voted in favor of the infrastructure plan. During his interview with Straight Arrow News, Bacon was quick to point out the infrastructure plan for which President Biden received credit originally started as a larger bill under President Trump.  

“[The infrastructure bill passing] is a victory for America,” Bacon said. “Republicans stand for infrastructure. We should have claimed the mantle of this bill.”

Bacon said after the infrastructure plan was politicized, many in his party didn’t want to vote for it.

Congressman Bacon, a former Brigadier General in the U.S. Air Force, has also split from many in the GOP when it comes to President Trump.

Bacon was one of a handful of Republicans to vote in favor of a bipartisan commission to investigate the attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. While he said the House panel looking into Jan. 6 is now too partisan, the Congressman is on record several times saying he will not cast his ballot for Donald Trump if the former president runs again.

When asked if that position helps or hurts his reelection efforts, Bacon said, “I’m just being honest, I couldn’t even tell if it helps or hurts. I want to, first of all, we gotta get through 2022. That is my focus.”

Find a focus

The incumbent Congressman thinks if Republicans want to win big in November, they can’t take anything for granted in the weeks leading up to Nov. 8.

“For the Republicans, worst case scenario [is] we pick up like 10 seats. We have the possibility of picking up 20 or 30,” Bacon explained. “The way the districts are distributed, right now, if you’re in a minus two, it’s about a break even for Republicans. We were sitting at plus one or zero for early August and early September, which still means we pick up seats, frankly.”

Polls show reproductive rights and the economy are two of the top issues for voters in 2022. Bacon is pro-life, but he’s not a hardliner against abortions.

“I think we should have a 15-week ban,” he said. “I just think that’s the middle ground. If you go right, you lose votes. You go left, you lose votes.”

But Bacon said the best way he, and the GOP, can win in November is by focusing on the economy.

“People could connect the dots: high inflation due to reckless spending, leading to higher interest rates to slow the economy down, which leads to a recession, which then hits the stock market, people can connect these dots,” Bacon said. “And you know, they’re smart, and they see what’s going on here.”

According to Bacon, “what’s going on” is the Biden administration should bear the blame for inflation in the U.S. economy.

Inflation started to increase under President Trump, as the government spent billions during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The recent rapid increase in inflation, however, began after President Biden was in office.  

Back to center

With the election now under a month away, Bacon said he knows some people will vote by straight party lines, but to the Independents and folks on the fence, he made an appeal for centrality.

“If you want to have a check and balance, and bring Joe Biden back to the middle, the way he campaigned, then keep me in there. Let’s get a Republican majority in the House,” Bacon said. “What we have found [is] that after the election, Biden went to the Left. We need to pull him more in the Center, just like we did with Bill Clinton in 1994.”

Editor’s note: Straight Arrow News made several attempts to interview Mr. Bacon’s Democratic challenger, Nebraska State Senator Tony Vargas. Neither Mr. Vargas nor his campaign have returned those messages.

Tags: , , , , , , ,

THE MIDTERMS ARE JUST WEEKS AWAY,  AND POLLING INDICATES IT’S LIKELY THE GOP WILL TAKE THE HOUSE.

BUT FOR THOSE RUNNING IN SWING DISTRICTS, LIKE NEBRASKA’S SECOND, NOTHING CAN BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED.

Bacon: They want someone that can collaborate, that can find consensus after the election. Where you can shake hands and say, ‘Okay, what can we get done?’ And I think that’s the personality of the district.

CONGRESSMAN DON BACON REPRESENTS WHAT’S ARGUABLY ONE OF THE MOST EVENLY SPLIT DISTRICTS IN THE COUNTRY.

Bacon: I think it generally supports more conservative policies. But also, it wants when you win an election, you shake hands, and you’ve tried to work across the aisle to get things done.

OUT OF THE 405 THOUSAND REGISTERED VOTERS, 38% ARE REPUBLICAN, 36% DEMOCRAT, AND 26% ARE EITHER NON -PARTISAN OR FALL INTO OTHER PARTIES.

THE DISTRICT WENT FOR OBAMA IN 2012 AND TRUMP IN 2016.

IN 2020, EVEN THOUGH THE DISTRICT WENT FOR BIDEN, IT WAS BACON, A REPUBLICAN, WHO WON THE HOUSE SEAT.

BACON THINKS HIS DISTRICT IS A GOOD LITMUS TEST FOR WHERE MANY AMERICANS STAND POLITICALLY.

SINCE WINNING THE SEAT IN 2016, 13 BILLS BACON AUTHORED WERE SIGNED INTO LAW, SOMETHING HE SAYS REQUIRED COMPROMISE.

UNLIKE MANY OTHER REPUBLICANS, HE VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN

Bacon: This is a victory for America, and Republicans stand for infrastructure. We should have claimed the mantle of this bill.

AND HE SAID HE WON’T VOTE FOR TRUMP IF THE FORMER PRESIDENT RUNS IN 2024

(Ryan off camera) Does that position help you or hurt you?

Bacon: I’m just being honest, I couldn’t even tell if it helps or hurts. I want to, first of all, we got to get through 2022. That is my focus.

THE INCUMBENT CONGRESSMAN THINKS IF REPUBLICANS WANT TO WIN BIG IN NOVEMBER, THEY CAN’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED IN THE COMING WEEKS.

Bacon: I think, for the Republicans, worst case scenario we pick up like 10 seats. We have the possibility of picking up 20 or 30. The way the districts are distributed, right now, if you’re in a minus two, it’s about a break even for Republicans. We were sitting at plus one or zero for early August, early September, which still means we pick up seats, frankly.

POLLS SHOW REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS AND THE ECONOMY ARE TWO OF THE TOP ISSUES FOR VOTERS IN 2022. BACON IS PRO-LIFE, BUT HE’S NOT A HARDLINER AGAINST ABORTIONS.

Bacon: I think we should have a 15 week ban. I just think that’s the middle ground. If you go right, you lose votes. You go left, you lose votes.

BUT BACON SAYS THE BEST WAY HE, AND THE GOP, CAN WIN IN NOVEMBER IS BY FOCUSING ON THE ECONOMY.

Bacon: People could connect the dots: High inflation due to reckless spending, leading to higher interest rates to slow the economy down, which leads to a recession, which then hits the stock market, people can connect these dots. And you know, they’re, they’re smart, and they see what’s going on here.

BACON SAID HE KNOWS SOME PEOPLE WILL VOTE BY STRAIGHT PARTY LINES IN NOVEMBER, BUT TO THE INDEPENDENTS AND FOLKS ON THE FENCE, HE SAYS:

Bacon: If you want to have a check and balance, and bring Joe Biden back to the middle, the way he campaigned, then keep me in there. Let’s get a Republican majority in the House. What we have found that after the election, Biden went to the left. We need to pull him more in the center, just like we did with Bill Clinton in 1994.