Joe Biden, Election 2020, Omaha, Electoral College, Race And Ethnicity, Legislature, Elections, Nebraska

Joe Biden, Election 2020

One in 538: Map sparks fight over electoral vote in Nebraska

A new political map proposed by Nebraska Republicans wouldn’t just make it harder for Democrats to win one of the state’s three House seats — it would make it a little bit harder for Democrats to win the White House.

9/17/2021 2:48:00 AM

A new political map proposed by Nebraska Republicans wouldn’t just make it harder for Democrats to win one of the state’s three House seats — it would make it a little bit harder for Democrats to win the White House.

LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) — A new political map proposed by Nebraska Republicans wouldn't just make it harder for Democrats to win one of the state's three House seats — it would make it a little bit harder for Democrats to win the White House.

LINCOLN, Nebraska (AP) — A new political map proposed by Nebraska Republicans wouldn’t just make it harder for Democrats to win one of the state’s three House seats — it would make it a little bit harder for Democrats to win the White House.Nebraska is one of only two states that divides its Electoral College votes by congressional district, rather than a winner-take-all system. That

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allowed President Joe Biden to claim oneof the state’s five electoral votes last year, even as he lost Nebraska by 20 percentage points.Now Republicans in Nebraska’s legislature are proposing splitting up the 2nd Congressional District, the one Biden won, in their new map. The change would make the swingy district surrounding Omaha, the state’s largest city, more Republican. It would also make it harder for a Democratic presidential candidate to win.

ADVERTISEMENTWinning the presidency has not come down to a single electoral vote since the earliest years of the United States. Still, every one of the nation’s 538 electoral votes is precious. That single Electoral College vote — sometimes dubbed the “blue dot” in the state’s sea of red — has been enough to make Omaha a regular stop on the Democratic presidential campaign circuit.

The GOP map was approved in a party-line committee vote in Nebraska’s legislature Thursday and will advance to the floor of the one-chamber legislature, which is officially nonpartisan, though controlled by Republicans. Democrats oppose the maps and the GOP does not have enough legislators to overcome a filibuster, making it likely the final maps will be some sort of compromise.

Critics say the current proposal could effectively undo the 1991 legislation backed by Democrats that split the state’s Electoral College votes. Under the current system, the winner of each of the three districts gets one electoral vote. The two additional Electoral College votes the state gets, one for each of its senators, go to the overall winner of the state.

“There’s no question that the Republicans would like to win there, and they’re doing what they think is needed to do that,” said former state Sen. Bob Krist, a Republican-turned-Democrat who worked with GOP lawmakers during the state’s last redistricting a decade ago.

Republicans say they aren’t trying to fiddle with the Electoral College. But they’ve made no secret of their displeasure at Nebraska’s arrangement.“The Democrats knew exactly what they were doing,” said Ryan Hamilton, executive director of the Nebraska Republican Party. “They hid behind this noble, populist rhetoric, and it benefited them. The reality is, they want that electoral vote, and we want it too.”

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ADVERTISEMENTBarack Obama visited — and won the 2nd District — in 2008. Hillary Clinton touched down in 2016 but didn’t win. Joe Biden put staff in Omaha, visited and won the district last year, and the extra vote gave him another path to the 270 votes he needed to become president — if he hadn’t been able to win the right number of other battleground states. It remains a politically competitive area, fairly evenly balanced between the two parties and represented in Congress by a Republican, Don Bacon.

The new map would slice off the western edge of Omaha and put it in the 1st Congressional District, which leans solidly Republican because most of it is rural farmland with several more conservative towns. Those voters would be replaced by the suburban and rural areas to the west that are starkly more Republican.

If Democrats lose their shot at the “blue dot” in Nebraska, it is possible they’ll improve their chances of picking up another. The only other state that divides its electoral votes by congressional district is reliably Democratic Maine, whose vast, rural 2nd Congressional District was won by Trump last year.

On Thursday evening, Maine Democrats, who control the state legislature, released a proposal that would move the state capital of Augusta and a strongly Democratic town of Hallowell into the 2nd Congressional District. It could make the district slightly more Democratic, although both parties were still analyzing the plan.

Despite the partisan overtones, the biggest objections to the Republican Nebraska plans have come from Omaha residents and advocates who say the GOP should not be splitting up a city.“When you see these proposals that divide communities, that divide counties, that’s going to raise a lot of red flags,” said Danielle Conrad of the American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska.

Notably, the Republican proposal leaves intact the African-American neighborhood of north Omaha, and a heavily Latino stretch of south Omaha. But Preston Love, president of Black Votes Matter, a group based in north Omaha, compared the Republican plan dividing the city to a concrete legacy of the disempowerment of African-Americans — the freeway running through north Omaha.

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“This,” Love said of the proposal to split his city, “is a voter freeway.”State Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, the sponsor of the Republican proposal, said it wasn’t trying to change the presidential election. The growth in Omaha and its suburbs simply requires the area to be spread over multiple congressional districts.

The GOP map “does not eliminate a blue dot, nor does it guarantee it,” Linehan said. “The blue dot depends more on the presidential candidates than the congressional map.”At a legislative hearing on Thursday, Omaha residents complained about their city getting split up. Carmen Bunde, a west Omaha realtor whose home would move to the 1st Congressional District under the GOP plan, said she considers herself “a proud Omahan” who wants to remain in the 2nd District. Bunde said her sister lives in Wahoo, a small farming town in the 1st District about 30 miles from where she lives, and their lives are very different.

“We don’t have the same school district or legislative concerns,” Bunde said. “It doesn’t make sense for us to be lumped together. I’m a proud Omahan, and Omaha is where I live, play, worship and work.”__Riccardi reported from Denver. Associated Press writer Patrick Whittle contributed from Portland, Maine.

Read more: The Associated Press »

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More bullshit from Republicans because they know that they can't win on their policies Colorado Democrats are gerrymandering, why not Nebraska Republicans? It equals out in the end. It's becoming increasingly important to pass the NationalInterstatePopularVoteCompact in more states before 2024. States signed on to the NatlPopularVote will award all their EC votes to the presidential candidate who wins the national popular vote.

Shocker The R party , putting party over country . I guess since their Trump lead failed attempt to overthrow the government on January 6th didn't work they'll go to the state governments across the country to try to gain control. Can confirm the maps are a gerrymandered POS! How does a district map change state-wide votes?

marceelias EliasLawGroup Not fascist at all. 🙄 Republicans can’t get away with stacking the deck and cheating this way. KalleckCher Gotta cheat to win, right GQP?

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It’s time for congress to pass new election laws and do away with the electoral college morgfair Texas is looking to accomplish the same thing. Republicans are looking to gerrymander to make the Republican Party the permanent majority party in state legislatures. It won't matter what party holds the governor seat. The legislature will decide what happens in the state.

morgfair Where's staceyabrams ? morgfair They gave to cheat now cryborg I’m so tired of this shit. Dems are always fighting an uphill battle. Tired of the GOP cheating. States that make themselves more solidly red or blue will get ignored by national politicians as a side effect. Why visit, campaign, or spend money someplace you can't pick up a vote?

It’s the only way Republicans can win…cheat. At some point one must ask, whether you are democrat or republicans liberal or conservative. Is you life actually better with all this tribalism and culture wars. At what point to we vote for an effective government whichever side it’s on. One side does not own that

Hey marceelias picked this up about Nebraska gerrymandering LeaSavoy Good!

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Little adolfs... all That's always been the main point behind all these GOP gerrymandering & voter suppression efforts. Also, w/ their new GOP state legislature controlled voting boards they will overturn elections they lose. Watch out when this happens. It will lead to widespread political violence. Good

DeniseDM5 This is a nation wide plan, or should I say clan. Does anyone find it bizarre that political parties get to draw the district lines? Like...that's a bad idea, right? Republicans have decided that since they cannot win fairly then they will do everything possible to cheat and prevent free elections. What kind of twisted ideology is that?

All the people bitching about gerrymandering seem to forget None of you mortgage holders/renters would be allowed to vote if the founders STILL had their way. NO MORE REPUBLICANS EVER AGAIN GOP HouseGOP SenateGOP LeaderMcConnell GOPLeader NO MORE REPUBLICANS EVER AGAIN I guess the GOP feels they can't win without fixing the criminals do

Honestly why do these cheats even pretend. They just want to be dictators!

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As someone who lives in omaha, would be sad to see that my county is being split in half for political reasons. The Republicans in my state would be able to win that electoral vote by being better for the suburbs, but they don't care about changing people lives for the better support Indiana needs help too!

This electoral college is outdated crap. The popular vote — who most people want — needs to drive this country not a bunch of manipulative political ploys that where fewer Americans are undercutting the will of the people.

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1 in every 500 US residents have died of Covid-19As officials in the United States debate vaccine boosters and requirements, a CNN analysis of Johns Hopkins University and US Census Bureau data shows about one in 500 residents has died of Covid-19. Translation: 0.2% are dying of COVID19 While this article touts mask & vaccines as the best prevention of succumbing to COVID19 it is strangely silent on the number of vaccinated vs unvaccinated death. Seems like a key metric we should be looking at After all .2% is a big number Some in the European country infected vaccine doses testing Humans Rights can take action humans healthy culture for the future Don't think brain will be spin climate change mindset 🔜 Removes misunderstandings all Was it COVID or was is an underlying condition that was made worse by COVID? To many none COVID deaths have been labeled COVID in order to ensue fear.

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