October 24, 2014

President Obama still seeking a bit of blue in the red of Nebraska (AUDIO)

Could President Obama again pluck a blue electoral vote out of a deeply red state?

Only Nebraska and Maine split their electoral votes. Everywhere else, it’s winner-take-all.

That made a difference in 2008. It could make a bigger difference in 2012.

In 2008, Republican John McCain easily won Nebraska. Nevertheless, Democrat Barack Obama came away with an electoral vote by winning the Second Congressional District comprised of the greater Omaha area.

Gov. Dave Heineman , a Republican who came out early for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, says he has warned the Romney campaign not to neglect the Second.

“The Second District, again, I’ve said from day one I’ve let the Romney people know we want to be prepared to win that in a competitive manner,” Heineman says. “I think we will. I think we can, but you can’t take it for granted.”

Democrats have been eyeing the Second Congressional District, though many concede it might prove more difficult to win the Second this year than four years ago. It wasn’t that easy then. McCain won Nebraska by about 15%. Obama took the one electoral vote by squeezing out a 1.2% win in the Second, a win of only about 3,000 votes.

Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat, says Obama could pull it off the feat again.

“Well, the numbers show that he’s within striking distance,” Nelson says. “So, anytime you have the numbers close enough, then almost anything can happen.”

Public opinion polls indicate the race between Obama and Romney is close and likely will come down to key swing states. As both candidates strive for the 270 electoral votes needed for victory, one vote up for grabs in a state that wouldn’t normally yield it could make a difference.

Nebraska has five electoral votes.

AUDIO: Brent Martin reports [:50]