It’s a case study of his collapse in the suburbs, an example of how costly the president’s alienation from a traditional Republican constituency is to his re-election campaign – and how his increasingly desperate last-minute appeals to suburbanites go unnoticed.
“If you look at the fight Trump was waging in the suburbs, it’s just super consistent,” said Ryan Horn, a Republican media strategist based in Omaha. “What you see in Nebraska 2, you see in Dallas, Texas, in Charlotte, North Carolina, in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in Orange County, California … It’s great, super consistent. “
The Omaha World-Herald, which had not endorsed the Democrat since 1932 until she supported Hillary Clinton in 2016, advocated Joe Biden he recently called for a break from Trump’s “ruthlessness”. And Don Bacon, the district’s Republican congressman, had to remind voters that he is not in step with Trump.
“Kara Eastman says a lot on television and on the radio that I have sworn an oath of allegiance to the President,” Bacon complained recently in a recent debate with Eastman, his Democratic challenger. “And it’s a lie.”
Not long ago, the Nebraska Republicans could not have fathomed such a problem in their state, which gives one vote and two votes to the statewide winner in each of its three congressional districts. But in 2008, Barack Obama, who carried the 2nd district, took one of the votes, making it the first time in 44 years that a Democrat had accomplished this feat.
Amazed, the Republicans in the state legislature redrawn the 2nd District lines to make them safer for the GOP, adding the more conservative western suburbs of Sarpy County to the city of Omaha. Obama lost the redesigned district to Mitt Romney in 2012, and Trump barely carried it four years later.
Despite the advantage of a cheap card, Trump is now on the verge of reversing the entire scheme. ONE New York Times / Siena College poll Last month, Trump was 7 percentage points behind Biden in the district, losing women 11 percentage points and independent voters 28 percentage points. Although Trump stayed in Sarpy County ahead of Biden, there wasn’t enough margin to make up for his shortcomings in Omaha and the surrounding Douglas County’s communities.
It’s the same story that unfolded in the country’s metropolitan areas when Trump’s support in the suburbs waned. In 2016, Trump won suburban voters by about 4 percentage points. Two years later they revolted. Democrats built their house majority in the suburbs, and Trump has stalled there since then.
In one recently Washington Post-ABC News poll, Trump lost the suburbs to Biden by 9 percentage points, a 13-point swing from 2016. This erosion in the suburbs where Trump drew the majority The biggest reason for his support four years ago is that he is so far behind in critical swing states and across the country.
Bacon, the 2nd District Congressman facing a rematch with Eastman, a progressive Democrat, said competition in urban and suburban areas can be a “challenge” for any Republican. What Trump did for him, Bacon said, is “one thing in Nebraska where we’re a little more conservative.”
The unemployment rate in Nebraska is lowest in the nationand Bacon said, “I tell people,” Who do you trust to bring the economy back? “
However, Bacon said, “We’re nice in Nebraska too … and we want more diplomacy and decency, and I think that hurts the president.”