White House scrambles to protect key electoral vote in Nebraska

The Biden campaign has been left scrambling to avoid disaster in Nebraska as Republicans rally behind an effort to reform how the state awards votes in the Electoral College.

Republicans in the state are pushing to adopt a "winner take all" system, which would likely cost Biden an electoral vote and close off one of his clearest paths to re-election. Biden's campaign staff reached out to Nebraska Democrats to express their concern about the push, Politico reported.

Along with Maine, Nebraska is one of only two states to award electoral votes on both a statewide basis and to individual districts.

While Trump carried Nebraska in a landslide in 2020, Biden won the electoral vote in Nebraska's 2nd Congressional district, which includes Omaha.

Nebraska reform spooks Dems

Eliminating Omaha's vote could tip the election in Trump's favor.

With the extra vote, Biden could lose swing states like Georgia, Arizona, and Nevada, and still get the 270 electoral votes needed to win by holding onto Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. President Trump is currently leading in most swing state polls.

“When you look at the map, that one electoral vote really matters in combination with other things,” said Jim Messina, campaign manager for Barack Obama in 2012. "The easiest pathway to victory has always been the three Midwestern states plus Nebraska. They’d have to find something else too.”

Adding to Democrats' concerns, Republicans gained a filibuster-proof majority in the state's one-chamber legislature this week when Democratic State Sen. Mike McDonnell suddenly changed parties.

But he said he would not vote for the reform bill, LB764.

Republicans fail to move bill

The effort is being backed by the state's Republican governor, Jim Pillen, and President Trump.

"Most Nebraskans have wanted to go back to this system for a very long time, because it's what 48 other States do—It's what the Founders intended, and it's right for Nebraska," Trump wrote on Truth Social.

It's unclear whether there is enough momentum for the bill to pass before the legislative session ends on April 18.

A key vote failed on Wednesday, sparking frustration from some Republican members like State Sen. Julie Slama, who led the failed push.

“The ‘filibuster-proof’ majority doesn’t have the intestinal fortitude to make Nebraska a Winner-Take-All state in an election year,” she wrote on X. “Wild.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *