“People don’t like the name calling and the elbow throwing,” Mr. Bacon said in an interview Tuesday, adding that he saw himself as having worked with both parties to deliver for the district. Mr. Bacon also was endorsed by his predecessor and former rival, Brad Ashford, a Democrat.
Besides his recent rally, Mr. Trump sent campaign staff members and surrogates to Omaha. Mr. Biden’s campaign invested heavily in the district as well, ultimately sending a team of about 20 — and had surrogates who hammered home a message that he would be a president for all Nebraskans, not just Democrats.
“The way he handles himself and presents himself to voters appeals to a moderate district that for me is a snapshot of America,” said Ms. Kleeb, the state’s Democratic Party chairwoman.
Ms. Kleeb, who has written a book outlining how the Democratic Party can win back Republican rural America, described Omaha’s voters as “moderate economically but progressive on moderate issues” and populated by “suburban moms who are bleeding hearts with a strong ecosystem of supporting nonprofits, housing inequality and fighting against racial injustice.”
Denise Powell, co-founder of Women Who Run Nebraska, a political action committee that recruits progressive women as political candidates, said Mr. Trump’s stances on policies that affected women as well as his position on scaling back the Affordable Care Act, especially during a pandemic, motivated more women in Omaha to vote in this election than in 2016 when it seemed certain to many of them that Hillary Clinton would win.
“I was really excited about Kamala Harris, too,” Ms. Powell said. “For me that was a big motivating piece.”
In South Omaha, where Mr. Vargas’s district is, voters were receptive to a candidate who preached unity, not division, he said.