“There’s a slogan‘ Nebraska nice, ’” Bacon said, noting that Republicans have not attempted to smash the city of Omaha in a way that would have ruined Democrats competing in the district.
“You look at the map of Illinois, you look at the map of New York, you look at the map of New Jersey – I’ll leave it at that,” Bacon said, referring to redistricting proposals in Democratic states. “The maps they come out, they’re hardcore.”
Republicans control Nebraska’s unicameral legislature and the governor’s mansion but are somewhat limited because they lack the votes to break a Democratic filatuster. Democrats are in a similar situation in Maine, where they control all the levers of government but ashamed of a two-thirds majority to pass new congressional maps together. Maine also has a bipartisan redistricting commission.
The result: The two most consequential congressional districts in the country are relatively insulated from partisan gerrymandering. They will remain among the most controversial areas in the battle for the House next year – and Omaha and rural Maine will still remain on the travel schedule for presidential candidates in 2024.
On the new map, Bacon’s 2nd District still includes all of Omaha Douglas County, but this traded some parts of suburban Sarpy County for a ruby-red rural province to the west. Biden would have won the new seat by almost the same margin as he did in 2020. Bacon won by 5 points, despite Trump’s struggle in his district.
In an interview, Bacon said he knew the legislature got the best compromise it could, given the Democrats mounted a filibuster. But, he added, he was disappointed that his spot remained very competitive even though he proved adept at winning tough races.
“When you’re fighting your life every two years, it’s hard to focus on trying to get in leadership because they’ll get someone who can easily win, “Bacon said.” If you’re fighting to save that district, it’s really hard to say, ‘Hey, I want to be conference chairman or whip,’ because you’ve become a bigger target. “
Nebraska GOP Governor Pete Ricketts signed the new Nebraska law into law on Thursday.
A day earlier, Democratic Governor Janet Mills approved a new map of Maine that makes moderate transitions between the state’s two districts. Golden met the state capital, Augusta, but Democrats expect to drop Waterville, home of liberal arts school Colby College, to the district. However, both towns have small populations and do not make much difference.
“It’s kind of a wash of whatever you do,” Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), Golden’s neighbor. “For Republicans who want to keep the district more Republican, either one of the towns is not a good move. But it didn’t make Berkeley, it didn’t make San Francisco.”
Trump won northern Maine Golden’s seat by 7 points in 2020. Under the new map, his margin is slightly smaller.
Maine has only two districts. In 2020, Biden won nearly 60 percent of the vote in the Pingree district, which includes the state’s largest city, Portland. He envisioned delivering enough voters to Golden to make his district more desirable – even if it would be a top GOP target regardless.
The former Rep. Bruce Poliquin, the Republican who lost to Golden by ranking voting option in 2018, is launching a rematch. Golden could easily overtake Trump in 2020 thanks to an unfunded Republican opponent; Poliquin will definitely be a more productive fundraiser.
If Trump chooses to run again in 2024, he will still be the favorite to win Maine’s 2nd District, which gave him an electoral vote in both 2016 and 2020. But it’s unclear if other GOP candidates will have the same appeal. The seat voted twice for Barack Obama, with one of the biggest luck right between 2012 and 2016.
“The Trump thing is a political anomaly because it brings out more than,‘ I’m the little guy, and I hate the big guy. ’” Pingree said. “That’s something he’s successfully messaged.”
During the presidency premiere, he said he met with Sen. supporters. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) Who planned to vote for Trump if Sanders did not win the Democratic nomination.
“We’re a weird state,” he said. “Our Republicans don’t tend to be Christian conservatives. They tend to be more libertarians, just kind of aggressive – ‘Don’t take away my guns. Don’t take away my marijuana.'”