A poll conducted for Republican Rep. Don Bacon found he leads by 9 points in a House race Democrats have pegged as their best pick-up opportunity in Nebraska.
Bacon led Democrat Kara Eastman 49 percent to 40 percent, with 9 percent undecided, according to a telephone survey of 400 registered voters conducted by Rob Autry and Kayla Dunlap.
Republicans have held the 2nd District, which encompasses Omaha and contains some of Nebraska’s few pockets of Democratic strength for the better part of the last quarter century — barring two years Democrat Brad Ashford was in office from 2014 to 2016. President Trump carried the district by 3 points in 2016.
Eastman, the founder of a public health non-profit, is part of the Democratic Congressional Committee’s Red to Blue Program, which funnels support to candidates it considers capable of flipping Republican seats.
Bacon’s poll found the retired Air Force brigadier general and first-term House member had a 52 percent to 32 percent favorable image rating, compared to Eastman’s 36 percent favorable and 32 percent unfavorable.
Respondents reported similar levels of familiarity with both campaigns, with 72 percent saying they recalled seeing, hearing or reading something about Bacon’s campaign, versus 73 percent for Eastman.
Voters reported remembering more positive things about Bacon. Respondents reported hearing 32 percent more favorable to 21 percent less favorable things about the incumbent Congressman, versus 30 percent more favorable to 32 percent less favorable for Eastman.
Interviews were conducted Oct. 1 and 2. The poll had a margin of error of +/-4.9 percentage points, putting Bacon’s lead within reach for Eastman.
A poll released last week by Eastman’s campaign also found she was within striking distance. That poll, of 400 likely voters conducted by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, found Eastman had 45 percent of the vote compared to 49 percent for Bacon. Bacon’s lead fell within the poll’s +/- 4.9 percentage point margin of error. Six percent of voters were undecided.
Nathan Gonzales with Inside Elections rates the race Lean Republican.