Will 2020 come to Omaha?
A map from “270 to Win”, a projection model aggregator.
In the ever-changing and behind-the-scenes wizardry of political projection, there is a new space to watch for deciding on the 2020 election.
Nebraska’s second congressional district.
The district, which comprises all of Douglas County and parts of Sarpy, was named Nate Silver, founder and publisher of Thirty-five, tweeted that 2020 could come to the district.
It will all boil down to the recount in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District.
– Nate Silver (@ NateSilver538) September 2, 2020
The blood pressure of the politically inclined Nebraskans rose as some across the country, at least the part that closely follows these kinds of things, turned their attention to the state.
Nebraska and Maine are the only two states that have split their votes. The decision was narrowly passed by lawmakers 25-23 in 1992 before Governor Ben Nelson signed it into law.
The idea was that the change would pay more attention to the presidential election, even though a district in Nebraska barely got close to a determining factor. In fact, the only time NE-2 has split from the rest of the state in a presidential election was in 2008 when Barack Obama targeted the area in his race against John McCain. It always went reliably Republican.
Some used specific explanations to describe where Silver pulled this scenario out. And it wouldn’t be wrong to doubt. The stakes in Nebraska are relatively small.
The price of winning NE-2 is one in five votes in the state and 538 across the country. Larger trophy swing states like Arizona, Pennsylvania and Florida with 60 votes, which Silver pointed out, will no doubt play a much bigger role.
But in NE-2 the tides are changing. Kara Eastman, a progressive Democratic candidate who advocates health care reform, continues to beat centrists in the primaries, narrowly losing to Rep. Don Bacon in 2016.
Currently, many projection models lean heavily towards Democratic candidate Joe Biden over President Donald Trump. The latter, however, defied predictions for the 2016 election victory – Silver’s own website gained credibility after predicting a Clinton victory. Both campaigns are present in the community and candidates for representatives of Congress have closely linked the race with national movements in progressive politics.
But when it comes to the wire, who knows, NE-2 and its paltry one voice could play a big part in tipping the scales one way or another for that choice.