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Poll shows Biden leading Trump, tight House race in key Nebraska district

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A new Democratic poll shows presidential nominee Joe Biden with a hefty lead over President Trump in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, and Democrat Kara Eastman holding a slim advantage there over Rep. Don Bacon (R). 

A poll conducted for the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) PAC and obtained exclusively by The Hill shows Biden getting the support of 53 percent of likely voters surveyed, compared with 42 percent for Trump. Another 5 percent are undecided, will vote for another candidate or refused to answer. Biden has a heftier 58 percent to 33 percent advantage among voters who have already cast ballots. 

In the House race, Eastman narrowly leads Bacon by a 47 percent-45 percent margin, while Libertarian candidate Tyler Schaeffer gets 6 percent. Eastman also grows her lead over Bacon among those who have already voted, holding a 59 percent-36 percent edge. 

“Kara Eastman has continued to earn the support of Nebraskans by running a grassroots campaign that puts the needs of working families in her district first,” said CPC PAC co-chairpersons Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.). “She is in a strong position to win this election because voters know that Kara will fight to lower the cost of prescription drugs, make sure that workers have access to paid family leave and paid sick leave, and stand up to corporate special interests in Washington.” 

The district, which encompasses Omaha, is a top presidential and House battleground. The Cornhusker State is just one of two in the nation that splits up its electoral votes based on the presidential candidates’ performances both statewide and in each congressional district. 

In Nebraska, the statewide popular vote winner gets two electoral votes, and each of the state’s three congressional districts grants one electoral vote.

The state as a whole, and its 1st and 3rd districts, are heavily Republican. The 2nd district has been the only competitive area in the state in recent cycles.

Trump won the district by just 2 points in 2016 and Mitt Romney won it by 7 points in 2012 over President Obama. Obama was the last Democrat to win the district when he took it by just 1 point over Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008.

Polling has consistently shown Biden with a lead in the district, with a Siena College-The New York Times Upshot poll released in September showing Biden with a 7-point edge. Election observers have floated the idea that the district could play a critical role in a presidential contest that could be decided by a razor-thin Electoral College margin.

The House race there is also anticipated to be among the most competitive in the nation as Eastman, the founder of a nonprofit, and Bacon face off in a rematch of the 2018 race.

Eastman narrowly lost her challenge against Bacon by 2 points in 2018, and progressives have come out in force to try to push her over the finish line this year. Polls have consistently shown a tight race this year, with either candidate typically leading by low to mid-single digits.

Bacon’s campaign maintained that it holds a lead in “non-partisan” polling and said it is confident the incumbent will come out on top next month. 

“This is going to be a tight race, but we have the momentum and we’re confident that Nebraska will not support Eastman’s radical and risky policies,” said Kyle Clark, the Bacon campaign’s political director. 

The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan election handicapper, rates the race as a “toss up.” 

FM3 Research conducted the poll for the CPC PAC and surveyed 450 likely voters from Oct. 1-4. The survey has a margin of error of 4.6 percentage points.

Tags Barack Obama Donald Trump Jamie Raskin Joe Biden Joe Biden 2020 presidential campaign John McCain Kara Eastman Mark Pocan Mitt Romney NE-02 Nebraska nebraska second district Pramila Jayapal

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