Electoral system in deep-red Nebraska could hand Biden a second term

Republicans are scrambling for a change in Nebraska’s electoral system in order to avoid a scenario where President Biden defeats the former president Donald Trump by winning Nebraska’s Democrat leaning Omaha district in November.

Turning Point USA, a conservative activist group, held a rally in Omaha on Tuesday to put pressure on Gov. Jim Pillen is a Republican who wants to call a special session of the legislature to try and change the odd electoral voting system in Nebraska.

The Hill reported that the Never Trump Republicans also began to run ads in the 2nd District, urging residents to contact their legislators and urge them to not make any changes.

Mark Levin, a conservative talk-show host who is well known in the United States, weighed in on the issue this week. He encouraged listeners to contact Mr. Pillen and “kindly ask” him to call a special meeting to fix the Electoral College votes “so that the winner of Nebraska’s popular vote wins all the Electoral College votes.”


Nebraska is one out of two states which awards votes in the presidential Electoral College based on individual congressional district winners.

The system that was signed into Nebraska law by Governor Biden in 1991 could be the edge Mr. Biden needs to defeat Mr. Trump as the GOP’s presumed nominee.

Maine uses a similar system. It allowed Mr. Trump to win one of the state’s Electoral College vote in 2016 and 2020.

The 48 remaining states have a winner-takes-all system, which awards the electoral votes to the candidate for president who wins the popular vote in each state.

Three of Nebraska’s five Electoral Votes are given to the winners of each district. The presidential candidate with the most votes in the state receives two more.

Omaha’s Democratic 2nd Congressional district made it possible for Biden to secure one of Nebraska’s five Electoral Votes in 2020.

Republicans are worried that a repeat of Omaha could give Mr. Biden another term if Michigan, Minnesota Pennsylvania and Wisconsin remain in his hands. These states make up the “blue-wall” of traditionally Democratic-winning states.

Even if Trump wins Florida, North Carolina and Ohio and flips Arizona and Georgia, Mr. Biden will win the Electoral College with 270-268 if Nebraska’s 2nd district votes for him as it did in 2019.

If the rules of the state were changed to reflect the majority of the rest the country, Mr. Trump would receive all five electoral votes from the state and the count of electoral votes would be tied at 269 to 269.

If there is a tie in the presidential vote, it will be decided by a contingent voting conducted by newly elected House members. The Republicans hold a slim majority in the House that could change to Democratic control come November. The Senate will determine the vice president. Its majority could be in Republican hands.

Charlie Kirk, the head of Turning Point USA said that Nebraska’s Republicans outnumbered Democrats by a wide margin. He suggested that lawmakers convene an emergency session to vote in order to prevent Mr. Biden winning one of Nebraska’s Electoral Votes.

Kirk stated that “Joe Biden will have the best chance of winning the White House if he can hold Nebraska’s 2nd district plus the blue wall.” “Biden’s campaign is well aware of this.” They base their entire strategy on one electoral vote, in Nebraska. This is a red state with a 2-1 Republican majority.

The Nebraska Legislature blocked a bill sponsored by Senator Loren Lippincott to change the system from winner-takes-all to winner-takes-all earlier this month. The Nebraska Legislature has adjourned the session for the year, unless the Governor summons them back.

Some who support the split system claim that it forces candidates, in presidential elections, to pay more attention to Nebraskan voters.

Sheri Clair, co-director of government for the Nebraska League of Women Voters’, said in a testimony earlier this month that “the split vote system keeps Nebraska from being completely a ‘flyover state’.” She was speaking against a bill which would have changed Nebraska’s law to winner take all.

Mr. Pillen is in favor of returning Nebraska’s Electoral College to a winner-takes-all system, but he hasn’t indicated that he will call a special meeting to try to change it again.

Mr. Lippincott stated that the current system dilutes rural voters’ voices by shifting attention to districts with higher populations.

He said that the Legislature was hesitant to change it.

The Washington Times reported that “there are currently not enough votes” to pass the “winner-take-all” law. “We must plan ahead and bring principled conservatives to office.”