Joe Jordan | Nebraska Watchdog
OMAHA—One look at the city’s latest voter registration numbers speaks volumes.
There are 15,000 more Democrats than Republicans, meaning Democrat Mayor Jim Suttle—the only Democrat in the five-way race— has a built-in reelection edge.
In addition according to Nebraska Watchdog’s analysis (see video special here) of several recent campaigns and interviews with top officials in both parties this is Suttle’s race to lose.
Just take a look at the top three races from last November, beginning with the White House.
President Obama lost the 2nd Congressional District to Mitt Romney 52-48 that’s 11,000 votes.
But in the city of Omaha it was Obama winning by 3,000 votes, 51-49.
In the Senate race Democrat Bob Kerrey lost the 2nd District by 3,000 votes, 51-49, to Republican Deb Fischer.
But Kerrey won the city of Omaha 55-45, that’s a 10,000 vote margin.
And in the Omaha House race Congressman Lee Terry was just re-elected to his 2nd District seat by two points.
No thanks though to Omaha where voters overwhelmingly backed Democrat John Ewing 55-45, an 11,000 vote edge.
Yes, Terry knows the Omaha vote inside out.
Nebraska Watchdog: This is still a Democratic town. If you’re the Democratic mayor that’s got to make you feel good right?
Lee Terry: Yea. If you’re a Democratic mayor looking at the city of Omaha it works to the Democratic mayor or candidate advantage. Democrats—that’s why Suttle’s there—Democratic city.
Nebraska Watchdog: So it’s still in some respects a Democrat’s world to lose in the city of Omaha.
Lee Terry: Yes.
Good news for the mayor with one major exception: traditionally Democratic South Omaha.
In 2009 Suttle routed Hal Daub in South Omaha 60-40, that’s 1,082 votes.
But during the 2011 recall South Omaha turned on Suttle and he lost 54-46, lost by 512 votes.
Many Democrats find it unlikely Suttle can win re-election without South Omaha. During his recent State of the City Address, Suttle noted one new South Omaha perk.
“We will be reallocating existing resources and using grant money to add a gang specialist in South Omaha,” said Suttle.
The Suttle campaign believes its turning things around down here, but at the same time sources close to the mayor tell Nebraska Watchdog they are “concerned.”
Nebraska Watchdog: During the recall vote South Omaha, a traditional Democratic area, did not vote in your favor. How do you get that vote back?
Mayor Jim Suttle: Well I think we already have things in place but you know I’m no different that Bo Pelini. He’s not going to tell you his offensive plan on Saturday or his defensive plan. You’ll have to wait and see the results of our effort come Election Day.
If Suttle’s strategy backfires, he’ll be the first Democrat to lose the mayor’s race in 16 years.
Contact Joe Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org
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