Nebraska May End Unorthodox Electoral Vote System

January 6, 2011

CQ Politics

The Lincoln Journal-Star reports that an intense battle may be looming to eliminate Nebraska’s unorthodox method of giving two electoral votes to the statewide winner and one electoral vote to the winner of each of the state’s three congressional districts.

“Nebraska is one of only two states that award some of their presidential electoral votes by congressional districts. Two go to the statewide winner in Nebraska, one to the winner in each of the three congressional districts. In 2008, Barack Obama won metropolitan Omaha’s 2nd District electoral vote. Nebraska Republicans did not like that, so there may be a very partisan battle in the Legislature to wipe out the congressional district electoral votes and return to the earlier system of handing all five of Nebraska’s votes to the statewide winner.”

Good point by Dave Catanese: A switch to winner-takes-all would have far-reaching effects on Nebraska’s U.S. Senate race by “making it less likely the president would campaign in the state and help rally Democrats towards embattled Sen. Ben Nelson

1 Comment - what are your thoughts?

  • toto says:

    A survey of 800 Nebraska voters conducted on December 22-23, 2008 showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

    In a follow-up question presenting a three-way choice among various methods of awarding Nebraska’s electoral votes,

    * 60% favored a national popular vote;
    * 28% favored Nebraska’s current system of awarding its electoral votes by congressional district; and
    * 13% favored the statewide winner-take-all system (i.e., awarding all of Nebraska’s electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most votes statewide).

    When presented with the basic question of a national popular vote, support for a national popular vote was, by political affiliation, 79% among Democrats, 70% among Republicans, and 75% among Others.

    By congressional district, support for a national popular vote was 77% in the First congressional district, 68% in the Second district; and 77% in the Third District. As you know, the Second district voted for Obama in November 2008, and Obama received one electoral vote by virtue of carrying the Second district.

    By age, support for a national popular vote was 64% among 18-29 year olds, 72% among 30-45 year olds, 73% among 46-65 year olds, and 79% for those older than 65.

    By gender, support for a national popular vote was 82% among women and 66% among men.

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