Race for Congress in Omaha - Don Bacon vs. Kara Eastman

Posted at 9:02 AM, Oct 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-31 10:02:01-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Congressman Don Bacon is one of the most vulnerable members of the United States House of Representatives and finds himself again, in the fight of his political career against the woman he beat last time, Kara Eastman. Eastman believes she can beat him this time around.

Both candidates are cautiously optimistic.

"This race has turned a little bit from 2018, because he's in jeopardy,” says Eastman.

"Best data I have, I'm up within the margin of error,” Bacon says. “I'm just being candid. I wish I was up 10...I’m an air force guy, I don't want close fights."

Whether he likes it or not, it's a close fight and one that will likely be decided on what independents and moderate democrats do.

Eastman points to endorsements from Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren. Plus, her opponent's record as the reason that she win over undecideds.

"He is so far to the right, and we need an independent voice in congress,” says Eastman. “One of the reasons why I don't take corporate PAC money is to show voters that I’m going to represent them over special interests."

Bacon is flaunting bi-partisan bills introduced in Congress. Plus, an endorsement from the last democrat to have the seat, in Brad Ashford.

"It moved the dial,” says Bacon. “In the last two weeks, more independents have been moved by Brad Ashford’s endorsement than anything else."

He's changed his tune slightly since his initial run in 2016.

In the 3 News Now/Omaha World-Herald debate earlier this month, he said he realized voters no longer want to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, instead, they want to improve on it.

"The voters have changed over the last, I’d say, three years, and I react to that," says Bacon. "I think in the end what the voters have now said, ‘We would like incremental change.’"

Eastman ran her primary on a Medicare for all healthcare system.

If he wins, Vice President Joe Biden will likely not pursue that, instead opting for a public option...something Eastman was skeptical of in the spring.

She now says she'd work with Biden, if both are elected, on expanding healthcare.

"I will absolutely work with Joe Biden,” says Eastman. “I will work with Congress to make sure we expand healthcare, and that people are no longer forced to choose between taking medications that they need and putting food on the table."

Unlike many congressional races, the two have been constantly battling on social media for months now….retweeting and commenting on each other's posts.

Eastman says she does it when she believes bacon isn't telling the truth.

"What we are doing is showing voters in the district, showing people who live in the district, when he is lying," she says.

Bacon says he reflects on if the battles and if they go too far, but wants to defend himself on policy.

"I don't personally like it,” he says. “I don't enjoy it, I don't care for it but if you continually get hit in the jaw, you got to fight back."

The only public poll of the race from the New York Times, from four weeks ago, shows Bacon leading by two points.