Nebraska’s congressional delegation has been majority Republican, with one brief exception, since the 1930s, and has only sent two Democrats to Congress in the past 30 years. But both of those Democrats represented the 2nd District, anchored in Omaha, which is the “swingiest” of the state’s three districts (Barack Obama famously won the 2nd in 2008, snagging one of the state’s electoral votes).
Republican Lee Terry first won election to the seat in 1998, and won his races handily at first. But beginning in the mid-2000s, Terry’s margins began to shrink. He won by 10 points in 2006, four in 2008, and just two in 2012.
This year, Terry has a credible opponent in Democratic state Sen. Brad Ashford. Given the environment, Ashford would seem like a long shot, but former state Sen. Chip Maxwell is also waging a campaign to Terry’s right as an independent. The incumbent would probably win a majority in a two-way race, but in a three-way contest, Ashford could squeak through with a plurality.