Nebraska House race seen as barometer of abortion rights | Regional government
Nebraska’s 1st Congressional District battle between Republican Rep. Mike Flood of Norfolk and State Senator Patty Pansing Brooks of Lincoln is gaining national attention due to the narrow outcome of their first meeting in June, a few days after the United States Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade abortion rights.
Flood defeated Pansing Brooks, the Democratic nominee, by a margin of 6,234 votes in a June 28 special election that was called to fill the remaining six months of former Republican Representative Jeff Fortenberry’s term.
Fortenberry resigned from the House following his conviction for lying to federal officials about an illegal foreign contribution to his 2016 re-election campaign.
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Nate Silver, a nationally recognized observer of election trends and political analyst who writes on his website FiveThirtyEight, pointed to Flood’s narrow victory in a district that Donald Trump carried by 15 percentage points in 2020 as evidence of the Democratic energy ignited by the abortion decision.
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In a later clarification, Silver noted that redistricting by the Nebraska Legislative Assembly in 2021 reduced the built-in registration advantage of Republican voters in the 1st District, which includes Lincoln, and that Trump’s margin in the newly built district would have been 11 points.
Nebraska’s special election came just days after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Silver pointed out by suggesting that abortion rights could help Democrats in the upcoming election.
A “limited but growing national pattern of Democratic outperformance (in terms of election expectations) began with the June 28 special election in Nebraska’s 1st District,” he wrote.
Chuck Todd, speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, also pointed out that Nebraska’s special election was one of three in the country since the court ruling that topped President Biden’s election results. in 2020.
Flood’s margin of victory over Pansing Brooks in the special election was 5.4 percentage points.
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