Point (October 2013):
A partial shutdown of the U.S. government and an impasse over raising the federal debt ceiling have prompted a Nebraska Democratic officeholder to challenge Republican Rep. Lee Terry in the 2014 elections.
Pete Festersen, a city councilman in Omaha, reversed an earlier decision to sit out the race.
Counterpoint (December 2013):
Democrat Pete Festersen is ending his campaign for Republican Lee Terry’s seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. The Omaha City Council president told The World-Herald on Monday that he’s been unable to balance his work, family and council responsibilities with the demands of a high-profile congressional race.
Translation: that shutdown thing didn’t work out for Democrats the way that they thought it would. Nathan Wurtzel calls Festersen a ‘star recruit‘ for the DCCC, and that’s fair: the committee brought in Vice President Biden to close the deal and get Festersen to run. Alas, against Obamacare the Joe himself contends in vain…
PS: This is not a sign that the Republicans are going to gain forty seats next year. It is, however, a sign that the Democrats are going to be hard pressed to make inroads. Cook currently has NE-02 at Lean Republican; absent an equally desirable challenger, that race will be upgraded pretty darn quickly.