Author: Locke

Locke is a contributing writer on Leavenworth St.

Poll? What poll?

Breaking news?

A new poll was released this week showing Don Bacon down by 9 points to Brad Ashford, among other things.

Don’t fret – the sky isn’t falling. The Democrat-aligned pollster, Public Policy Polling, has earned a reputation… and not a good one. This particular poll was an automated 20-question survey of 535 voters in NE-02 over November 8-9. Oh, did I mention the poll was commissioned by Nancy Pelosi’s PAC? Yes, the same Nancy Pelosi who gave Brad Ashford’s campaign thousands of dollars last quarter. PPP didn’t even release the list of questions or demographics of who was polled. Furthering their reputation, apparently.

Did you get polled for this? If so, leave a comment.

meanwhile…

National publications such as Roll Call are releasing their lists of vulnerable House incumbents for 2018. Fewer and fewer are mentioning Don Bacon. You might think they know something the Democrats haven’t figured out yet, but Democrats are well-aware that Bacon has strong support. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has released their “Red to Blue” list of their top 11 target districts, and NE-02’s Bacon isn’t on it. National Democrats are still supporting their chosen one, Brad Ashford. But it doesn’t look like he should expect the cavalry to come riding in to save him, either.

Where’s Kara?

In all of the hubbub about the polling and targeted districts/candidates, one thing is clear: The national Democrats aren’t even considering Kara Eastman as a factor in this race. Maybe she doesn’t need them. After all, she has this guy on her side, and he REALLY doesn’t like Brad Ashford. He gets bonus points for a great list of Brad’s flip-flops.

tax problems

Somehow, Brad Ashford is upset with the new GOP tax plan because Nebraska has such high taxes. So, Brad served in the Legislature for 16 years and allowed our state taxes to climb this high, yet now he complains they’re too high? Certainly one of you fine readers can explain this reasoning. Probably not, though.

One Year Away

NE-02 Leaning Republican

It is widely known that General Don Bacon was the only Republican challenger to defeat an incumbent Democrat in a House race last year. This was no small feat.

Now, despite organized “resistance” movements on the left claiming NE-02 will be moving into the blue column in 2018, Roll Call has released their Top 10 Most Vulnerable list… and Rep Bacon isn’t on it. In fact, Roll Call and other national publications now have this district as “leaning Republican.”

The 2016 race, characterized as a toss-up by most pollsters, was clear evidence of how Brad Ashford’s constituents felt about him.  If that lesson wasn’t clear enough after the loss, it should be now based on Ashford’s dismal fundraising efforts – when your fundraising is compared to Omaha’s panhandling, you know there’s a problem.

Now, voters are starting to get a realistic view of the 2018 race, and it does not bode well for Democrats: Ashford’s constant pandering and flip-flopping on positions, his inability to raise money, and the result of the Mayor’s race earlier this year mean the Democrat Establishment’s favored candidate is going to have a rough time. As a former member of Congress, Brad should have easily been able to reach $225k in Q3, and coming in at a paltry $125k says more about his support and chances than he likely realizes.

Other issues from Ashford’s past are in the news again lately… The streetcar project that forced out Ashford now seems to be gaining momentum; Brad’s past support of cutting corporate tax rates and eliminating the estate tax are a stark contrast to the views of many Democrats; and for his 68th birthday (Nov 10), his devoted wife Ann has been running a social media blitz in an apparent attempt to “humanize” him to the district and ask for money.

One possible bright spot for the Democrats this cycle is Kara Eastman, who has done relatively well with grassroots support thus far. While the national party has seemingly abandoned her in favor of Ashford (Bernie all over again), she claims to have the backing of local Democrats, unions, and other groups that could propel her past Ashford’s PAC money. It remains unknown whether she is truly ready for a Congressional campaign, but by remaining true to her principles she offers Democrats something Ashford seemingly does not.

Regardless, Rep Bacon’s “energizer bunny” style of governing is earning him strong support in the community, especially among veterans and college-aged political newcomers. With one year to go until election day, it is becoming abundantly clear why national publications are removing Bacon and NE02 from their list of vulnerable incumbents.