Tagincumbent

Former incumbent Ashford (D) endorses Bacon (R) in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District

Brad Ashford (D), the former representative of Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District, endorsed incumbent Don Bacon (R) on October 7. Bacon defeated Ashford for the seat in 2016. Ashford said Bacon “demonstrated time and again … that he will put people above party to find bipartisan solutions.”

Ashford ran again in 2018, losing to Kara Eastman in the Democratic primary. Ashford previously ran for the district in the 1994 Republican primary. He was elected in 2014 as a Democrat. Ashford served in the nonpartisan Nebraska Unicameral legislature from 1987 to 1995 and again from 2007 to 2015. In 2011, he announced having changed his registration from Republican to independent.

Bacon, Eastman, and Tyler Schaeffer (L) are running for the 2nd District this year. Eastman defeated Ann Ashford, wife of Brad, in the 2020 Democratic primary.

State Sen. John McCollister (R) endorsed Eastman on October 9. McCollister has been critical of President Donald Trump and said Bacon had voted in favor of the president’s policies more than 90% of the time. He said Bacon was not independent and that Eastman wouldn’t “buckle under any pressure from the Democrat Party.”

On October 7, Roll Call named Bacon the most vulnerable House member of the 2020 election cycle, citing Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s 7-point lead among district voters in a recent poll and spending by national Democrats. As of October 8, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the National Republican Campaign Committee had each spent $1.2 million in the 2nd District.

Biden endorsed Eastman in the race.

In 2018, Bacon defeated Eastman 51% to 49%. Bacon won the 2016 election against Ashford 49% to 48%.

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Share of incumbents defeated in contested primaries grows for third even-year cycle in a row

Ballotpedia’s annual state legislative competitiveness study shows that for the third even-year election cycle in a row, the share of incumbents defeated in contested primaries has grown. In the 44 states that held state legislative elections this year, 153 incumbents—61 Democrats and 93 Republicans—were defeated by primary challengers.

Overall, 15.2% of the 1,016 major-party incumbents who faced primary challengers in 2020 lost, the third consecutive increase compared to 2018 (13.8%) and 2016 (12.3%). The loss rate in 2020 also exceeded that of 13.0% in 2014.

Highlights:

  1. 18% of Republicans who faced challenges in 2020 were defeated—the highest since at least 2014.
  2. 12% of Democrats who faced challenges were defeated, lower than the 14% rate in 2018.
  3. More Democrats were defeated in states with Democratic trifectas, as was the case for Republicans in Republican trifectas.
  4. The loss rate for incumbents in states with divided governments exceeds the national average altogether and by party.
  5. Democratic incumbents were defeated at the highest rate in states with Democratic trifectas and at the lowest in those with Republican trifectas. In states with divided governments, the rate exceeded the national average for Democrats.
  6. Republican incumbents facing contested primaries were more likely to be defeated in states with divided governments than in states with trifectas.

To read more about the state legislative incumbents defeated in primaries this year, click here: https://ballotpedia.org/Incuhttps://www.pexels.com/photo/stickers-with-i-voted-inscription-and-flag-of-usa-1550339/mbents_defeated_in_2020%27s_state_legislative_elections



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