January 8, 2018

VICE NEWS | Robert Wheel |

The final installment of our preview of battleground districts in the 2018 midterms.


Welcome back to House Party, our column looking at the 2018 House of Representative races as midterms approach.

After the 2008 election you could drive from Niagara Falls along the south shore of the Great Lakes up through Minnesota and North Dakota to the Canadian border without going through a county that Barack Obama lost. In 2016, a lot of those counties in that strip were painted red, as Donald Trump flipped just enough of the Upper MIdwest to score an electoral college victories. When I left you readers before the holidays (welcome back) I focused on districts that Obama won in 2008 in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan, but now I want to turn to the districts in other states—in that belt and elsewhere—where Democrats have been successful as little as ten years ago. With Democrats poised to have their best year since 2008 in the coming midterms, all these places deserve a closer look:

Nebraska’s Second Congressional District (Omaha)

2016: Clinton 46–Trump 48
2012: Obama 46–Romney 53
2008: Obama 50–McCain 49

The Second is another Obama ‘08 district that Trump won only narrowly, but Democrats have reason to be optimistic here because former Representative Brad Ashford is running. He narrowly lost his seat last year, but any Democrat who could beat an incumbent in 2014 (as Ashford did) has the political skill to win in 2018. Already this is being rated as one of next year’s closest races, and if you live in Omaha I hope you’re used to political ads during Huskers games. At least those ads will be more entertaining than anything Mike Riley put on the field