For members of Congress who find themselves in politically unfriendly districts, the decennial redistricting process can be an opportunity to shore up their position, either by adding new, more favorable voters, or removing less favorable ones.
But not for GOP Rep. Don Bacon of Nebraska.
The retired Air Force brigadier general has represented the Omaha-anchored 2nd District since he was first elected in 2016, and is one of just nine Republicans to hold a district carried by President Joe Biden in the 2020 election.
Despite Republicans controlling both the Nebraska unicameral legislature and the governor’s mansion, Bacon’s 2nd District won’t be shored up for the incumbent, but will rather remain evenly divided with a slight Democratic partisan advantage in statewide races. That’s because the Nebraska unicameral’s filibuster rules — uncommon in state legislatures — allowed Democrats to block a map that would have radically altered the 2nd.
The end result is a map, passed Sept. 30, that largely maintains each district’s status quo partisanship. Republicans need a net gain of just five seats to reclaim the House of Representatives, and while the GOP has pickup opportunities across the map to focus on, the party won’t have a free pass in Nebraska.
For a brief moment in 2020, it looked as if GOP Rep. Jeff Fortenberry might have a competitive race on his hands. A July poll from the DCCC showed Biden within two points of then-President Donald Trump in the…