Polling From GOP Held Territory Shows Big Gain For Democrats

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Across the nation, previously easy primary wins for the Republicans have run into a dramatic wall of Democratic resistance. In the long-held Nebraska Republican 1st District, voters turned out in “the tightest race in decades,” according to the Associated Press (AP). The vote has come down to supporting a woman’s right, not the government’s right, to choose how to manage her own body.

Of course, the Republicans took that district in the special election vote. However, the tightness of the race surprised many, including the Dems.

With only 7,200  total votes separating the contenders, Republican Mike Flood (R) won over Patty Pansing Brooks (D) 53 percent to 46.8 percent. That was the closest win “in decades.” Keep in mind, this district has not gone Democratic in the House since 1964.

Former Lincoln Democratic state legislator Lincoln Danielle Conrad said:

‘It was a thrilling result. Patty far outpaced the conventional wisdom. I don’t think anybody expected her to perform this well in such a tough district.’

The special election happened after the Republican U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry (R) was convicted of lying to FBI agents regarding campaign donations. He typically took a minimum of 60 percent of the vote.

In the final days of the campaign, Pansing Brooks emphasized her support for abortion rights in response to the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. After 50 years, SCOTUS felled the landmark 1973 case that had prevented states from banning the procedure.

Pansing Brooks ran her campaign with a “Honk for Choice” bumper sticker. In a speech she said:

‘[This was] the first day in the entire country where we can fight back at the ballot box.’

Brooks’ campaign manager Chris Triebsch said:

‘We’re ecstatic to be where we’re at. Obviously this gives us a really good roadmap into November, to see the areas where we can invest and improve on.’

Democratic political strategist at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, Adrienne Elrod, had this to say about Pansing Brooks:

‘[She is A] really strong candidate and she really capitalized on the moment. ‘I think they’re going to look at this as a bellwether, in a very positive way.’

Executive Director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Tim Persico called the race “extremely unusual:”

‘I think she deserves a lot of credit. And I also just think that it’s a data point that maybe the environment is shifting.’

Persico added:

‘I think that we’re pretty focused on the map that we have right now. But when people are actually voting, especially post-Roe, this is a pretty interesting data point.’

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Flood continued:

‘I recognize that I have work to do.’

In November, Pansing and Flood will have to do their race all over again. Elrod said this race was a “sign of energy among Democrats following the Supreme Court anti-choice ruling.”

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In neighboring Kansas, the secretary of state reported that voter numbers have been running extraordinarily high for the 2022 primary, as a nod to the success of Democrats’ pro-choice get-out-the-vote efforts. Kansas is another traditionally red state, but this issue may change that, according to NARAL, which supports pro-reproductive rights candidates.


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