Ratings Change: Nebraska’s 2nd District

Democrats think Terry is vulnerable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Democrats think Terry is vulnerable. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Posted November 14, 2013 at 4:08pm

After seven unsuccessful attempts, Democrats believe 2014 will finally be the year they knock off Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb.

The congressman does have a knack for making his re-election races in the 2nd District more difficult than they need to be. And Democrats are ecstatic about their recruit, Omaha City Council President Pete Festersen. But it remains to be seen whether Democrats missed their window of opportunity.

Terry garnered just 51.2 and 51.9 percent in his last two re-elections in presidential years. In 2008, he narrowly won as Barack Obama carried the Omaha-based district and earned an electoral vote because of the state’s allocation system. But Terry’s lowest winning percentage in a midterm election was 54.7 percent in 2006 — a great Democratic year.

Festersen looks like he will develop into Terry’s toughest opponent to date. But the Democrat’s hardest challenges could be the national political environment (including President Obama’s slumping job ratings) and a district that was made a few points more Republican during redistricting before the last election. You can read a full analysis of the race in the recent Nov. 7 edition ($) of The Rothenberg Political Report.

Based on the probability that Terry underperforms and the potential that Festersen overperforms, this race deserves a closer eye going into next year. Nebraska’s 2nd District is now rated Lean Republican from Republican Favored according to Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call.