"The success of very liberal candidates in primaries across four states is causing a new bout of heartburn among party strategists in Washington, who worry about unelectable activists thwarting their drive for the House majority. But it also reflects a broader leftward lurch among Democrats across the country since President Trump took office.
"In Nebraska, a liberal social worker and political neophyte who built her campaign around 'Medicare for All' scored a shocking upset in a Democratic primary to take on Rep. Don Bacon (R). Kara Eastman, 45, beat former congressman Brad Ashford, 68, in an Omaha-area district that national Democrats believed they could pick up in November.
"Eastman advocated for universal background checks to buy guns, raising taxes and decriminalizing marijuana..."
"Ashford had the full-throated support of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which must now reevaluate whether to invest in the race."
"A first-time female candidate edged out the party favorite in a Nebraska House primary, dealing the Democratic establishment one of its first major blows this cycle....
"Democratic strategists and candidates themselves say, by meddling early on, the establishment may be stymieing the party's promised blue wave."
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Democrat congressional candidate Kara Eastman campaigns door to door with Craig Moody, who is on the Omaha Public Power District Board of Directors, on Tuesday, May 8.
A yard sign supporting Kara Eastman near 84th and Camden Avenues.
Bernice Shaw talks to Democrat congressional candidate Kara Eastman at her home in Omaha on Tuesday, May 8.
Kara Eastman puts a campaign sign in Jim and Mona Shepherd's yard in Omaha on Tuesday, May 8.
Kara Eastman talks with Jim Shepherd while campaigning door to door on Tuesday, May 8.
Democrat congressional candidate Kara Eastman and Craig Moody visit with Donna and Richard Grell, right, and their dog Smudge on Tuesday, May 8.
Democrat congressional candidate Kara Eastman talks with Jim and Mona Shepherd in Omaha Tuesday, May 8.
Kara Eastman visits with Bob Beason at his home in Omaha on Tuesday, May 8.
Kara Eastman hands a campaign flyer to Mona Shepherd on Tuesday, May 8.
Democrat congressional candidate Kara Eastman canvasses a neighborhood on Tuesday, May 8.
Kara Eastman and OPPD board member Craig Moody meet dog Smudge, who belongs to Richard and Donna Grell, last week.
Peter Biedenweg, left, walks with Brad Ashford as he campaigns door to door on Wednesday, May 9.
Democratic congressional candidate Brad Ashford goes door to door near North 66th Street and Curtis Avenue in Omaha on Wednesday, May 9.
Brad Ashford and Peter Biedenweg stump for votes in Omaha on Wednesday, May 9.
Brad Ashford talks with Amanda Branigan at her home in Omaha on Wednesday, May 9.
Brad Ashford campaigns with Peter Biedenweg in Omaha on Wednesday, May 9.
Kara Eastman attends the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
Kara Eastman stumps for votes at the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
Congressional candidate Brad Ashford campaigns at the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
Brad Ashford shakes hands with Kendrick Phelps, 3, at the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
Kara Eastman at the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., attends the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
Don Bacon campaigns at the Cinco de Mayo parade in Omaha.
"Moderate Democrats got a rude awakening on Tuesday night. Along with Brad Ashford in Nebraska, Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli, another centrist who drew a challenge from the left, lost in Pennsylvania....
"(Kara) Eastman’s victory had liberals feeling emboldened. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal group, said Tuesday night that Eastman’s win should teach Democrats that 'the way to inspire voters in 2018 is to campaign on a bold progressive agenda of Medicare for All, higher wages for workers, and other economic populist ideas that help working families and challenge corporate power.'”
"Now, the national party is left grappling with whether (Kara) Eastman's win will hurt their chances of ousting Republican Rep. Don Bacon, who had been seen as vulnerable in November.
"Tuesday's stunner in Omaha was a major primary victory for the left and underscored the momentum behind progressive and female candidates within the party."
"The Democratic Party woke up this morning with a clear signal from Tuesday’s primary elections: The #Resistance means business. The more progressive candidate won in Democratic primaries around the country. The question, however, is whether those more liberal candidates will hurt the party’s chances in November.
"The biggest — and most surprising — news of the night was nonprofit executive Kara Eastman’s nomination in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District. Although former U.S. Rep. Brad Ashford had both the money and the backing of national Democrats, Eastman defeated him 51 percent to 49 percent. Like many of Tuesday’s victorious Democrats, Eastman won by throwing red (blue?) meat to the liberal base: Where Ashford touted his ability to build consensus in Congress, Eastman promised confrontation and, well, resistance to President Trump.
"The potential problem for Democrats is that Eastman’s outspoken liberalism may turn off general-election voters in Nebraska’s 2nd District, which, while not ruby red, is still red."
"A big message out of Tuesday night — and one that's been brewing since Trump was elected — is that Democratic establishment efforts to hold back liberals are unlikely to be successful.
Democrats need to net 23 seats to take back the House in November. But in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District, in particular, a seat Democrats hoped to put high on the target list may have come off the board."
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About 23 percent of Nebraska voters turned out for the primary, according to early figures.
Officer Scott Giles, left, and Lt. Steven Young with the Papillion Police Department remove political signs placed too close the Wellspring Church polling place.
Rep. Don Bacon, left, hands his completed ballot off to poll worker Lou Hernandez at Wellspring Church, 1406 E. Gold Coast Road in Papillion, on Tuesday.
Brad Ashford speaks during his watch party at Castle Barrett on Tuesday.
Republican Congressman Don Bacon pauses to talk with the media when stopping by his polling place Tuesday.
Brad Ashford meets with guests during his watch party at Castle Barrett on Tuesday.
Kara Eastman, Democratic candidate for the 2nd District House seat, arrives at her election night party on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, at the Field Club in Omaha.
Ballot completed, Republican Congressman Don Bacon leaves the voting booth at Wellspring Church, 1406 E. Gold Coast Road in Papillion.
Brad Ashford speaks with reporters during his watch party at Castle Barrett on Tuesday.
Consultant Steve Langan and Stand For Schools outreach coordinator Melina Cohen wave to passers-by with a sign supporting the OPS bond on election day.
Republican Congressman Don Bacon stops by his polling place, Wellspring Church, 1406 E. Gold Coast Road in Papillion.
Kara Eastman addresses her primary race supporters on election day Tuesday at Field Club of Omaha.
Consultant Steve Langan waves to passersby wearing a shirt supporting the OPS bond on Tuesday at the pedestrian bridge by Memorial Park in Omaha.
Republican Congressman Don Bacon talks with poll workers as he stops by his polling place, Wellspring Church, 1406 E. Gold Coast Road in Papillion.
From left to right, Kara Eastman, current Omaha City Council President Ben Gray and Tim Rouse watch election results trickle in on Tuesday at the Field Club in Omaha.
Republican Congressman Don Bacon gives a thumbs up as he stops by his polling place Tuesday.
Kara Eastman speaks to the media during her watch party on Tuesday at the Field Club in Omaha.
Rep. Don Bacon, left, hands his completed ballot off to poll worker Lou Hernandez at Wellspring Church, 1406 E. Gold Coast Road in Papillion, on Tuesday morning.
U.S. House-district 2 candidate Kara Eastman is introduced during her watch party on Tuesday at the Field Club in Omaha.
Candidate for the Nebraska legislature-district 8 Megan Hunt, left, and Deena Keilany wave to passersby on Tuesday at the pedestrian bridge by Memorial Park in Omaha.
Kara Eastman speaks with a reporter on Tuesday near the pedestrian bridge by Memorial Park in Omaha.
People from various campaigns gather to wave at passersby on Tuesday at the pedestrian bridge by Memorial Park in Omaha.