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Election 2018: Both parties say they're confident heading into Nov. 6

Posted at 6:01 PM, Oct 26, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-26 19:44:33-04

After registering to vote for the first time in a long time, Tim Ogard decided to take his ballot home so he can research the candidates.  

"Well it's been a number of years since I voted, and trying to be responsible," Ogard said.

He wasn't alone, the Douglas County Election Commission says more than 14,000 new voters have registered since the May primary.

Early ballot requests in Douglas County

2018 requests: 64,992

2014 requests: 41,565

SOURCE: Douglas County Election Commission

That includes James Key, who said he last cast a ballot for Obama 10 years ago.

"The way things have been going in the country, a lot of things I don't like you know? So I was trying to hopefully make a small change on my part," Key said.

Continuing coverage: Election 2018

Douglas County Democrat chair Crystal Rhoades is very confident. Why such optimism? She says it's because the party recruited strong candidates. 

"We have really progressive, young, enthusiastic candidates with a lot of fire in their belly, who have been really, really aggressive doing direct voter outreach. They're not mailing it in," Rhoades said. 

Those feelings are shared in North Omaha, head of Black Votes Matter Preston Love Jr. said the community has not been as engaged in the past two elections. But with the power of the House, Senate and the governor's mansion up for grabs, he thinks North Omaha is fired up to vote.

"The emotion is not centered around a candidate, but the issues and what's at stake," says Love. 

But Republicans say they're just as fired up to go to the polls. In fact, the Don Bacon campaign says their voters are just as enthusiastic as they were when he was elected in 2016.

"Most people that we talk to support Don, really want to get involved, want to support him in any way possible whether that's putting out yard signs, coming in to canvass, volunteer, whatever they can do," says Makenzie Cartwright, intern director of the Bacon campaign.

Both parties say they'll be door-knocking all weekend.