Lee Terry — 3:2
Jim Esch — 2:3
Lee Terry over / under: 53%
The “polling” numbers in this race have been flying hot and heavy over the past few weeks. Except that we haven’t seen the crosstabs for a single one. We asked a local reporter about the polls that everyone has been citing, and it was admitted that no one has seen the details.
With that in mind, we still understand that this race is likely close. Both sides are pouring money into it which gives the indication each thinks it is winnable, or close. Volunteers are trekking around for their GOTV efforts and the interest is high.
Except for one thing:
The real enthusiasm for Dems in the 2nd District is for Barack Obama. Jim Esch is an afterthought. Esch didn’t even get into the race until Obama looked likely to take the nomination. He was gunning for 2010. And even in today’s OWH, Esch, while talking about GOTV efforts says,
“It’s clear Nebraskans want change in Congress and Barack Obama in the White House.”
But that doesn’t mean they want Esch there.
And that brings us back to the Terry campaign’s secret weapon: Jim Esch.
Against a candidate with a stronger record, in this Democrat year, Terry could be having an even more difficult time. (Though hitting an opponent who has an actual record can be easier sometimes as well.)
Instead, Terry has had the opportunity to frame Esch: Unemployed, trust-fund baby who has no work experience to speak of in the past three years who wants to raise taxes.
But Esch says he’s never SAID he want to raise taxes. But he wants to get rid of the tax cuts. (You do the math.)
And Esch had said that all energy resources were “on the table”. Except just last week he changed his mind and said no drilling for American oil in ANWR.
And today? Esch proclaims to be “pro-Life”. But then in an article on MSNBC.com, Esch said he would “probably” vote against Barack Obama’s Freedom of Choice Act. “Probably”?!!! The bill that would wipe out state restrictions on abortions? Esch says that he “calls himself pro-Life”. Probem is, that’s not what others would call him.
So in the end, we think that the flaws that Esch has, and the generally positive outlook that Terry has with voters will win out for Terry. People want to like their Congressman, and Terry has given people the ability to do that. He has been an effective legislator and has the bills to prove it. He has been outstanding at constituent services, and people respond to that.
In 2004 Terry garnered 1% more of the vote — 61% — than President Bush.
We think this year he will similarly best McCain by 1%, and go 2 and 0 against Esch.