Hours ago, Cook Political Report announced a rating change that moves Nebraska’s Second District from “Likely Republican” to “Toss Up,” making this seat one of only five in the entire country that is held by an incumbent Republican running for re-election with this rating. The Cook Political Report is an independent, non-partisan publication that analyzes elections and ranks top congressional races nationwide.
Cook notes that “multiple private surveys taken by both parties now show him [Bacon] tied with or trailing more moderate Democratic state Sen. Tony Vargas.”
An internal polling memo released by the Vargas campaign last month shows Vargas leading Bacon 48-47 in a head-to-head match-up, including a 9 point lead with Independent voters. The memo also highlights Bacon’s weak personal standing with voters, especially with women from across the political spectrum who find his extremist views on abortion rights very problematic.
Cook’s story highlights Bacon’s opposition to abortion without exceptions for abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, and a mother’s life. Bacon is also currently a co-sponsor on a bill that completely bans abortions nationwide, with no exceptions.
Vargas released the following statement:
“This is a major national development in this race, but it only confirms what Nebraska voters already know – that Don Bacon has changed and he’s no longer the right person to represent this district. In the last 6 years, my opponent has completely abandoned his constituents to do the bidding of his party bosses and special interest donors, voting against keeping gas prices affordable and controlling inflation, bipartisan gun safety reform measures, and supporting extreme bans that put the government in the middle of medical decisions that should be left to women and their doctors.
“We are more divided than we have ever been. And we need leaders who will unite us, not people who tear us apart. It’s time for new leadership and I’m ready to get to work for Nebraskans.”
Tony Vargas has served Nebraskans as an elected official for nearly a decade. Tony learned the values of community, hard work, and perseverance from his parents, who, coming from humble beginnings, sacrificed everything to provide their children with an opportunity for a brighter future. No matter how busy the family was, they had dinner together every night, where his parents encouraged Tony to “stay grounded, but reach for the stars.”
Tony devoted his career to public service and improving opportunities for all Nebraskans. He has served our community since 2013, first as a member of the Omaha Public Schools Board and then as a member of the Nebraska Legislature. As a senator, Tony has developed a reputation for civility and working with anyone to get things done for Nebraska workers and small businesses.
He has successfully passed legislation to strengthen our public schools, improve access to health care, encourage technology and innovation, and improve consumer protections.
Tony began his career as a public-school teacher, receiving “Most Outstanding Teacher” and “Teacher of the Year” awards, and has worked in the non-profit and education sectors, striving to improve the quality of life and educational opportunities for thousands of children across the United States.
The first generation of his family to graduate college, Tony earned his Bachelors of Arts degree at the University of Rochester and a Masters in Education at Pace University. Tony and his wife, Lauren, are raising their two young kids, Ava and Luca, in Omaha. They are proud parishioners of St. Frances Cabrini Church, where Tony and Lauren were married.