Will Nebraska See Red if District 2 Votes Blue?

By: Mr. Wilson on November 5, 2008
There's a reasonable chance that Barack Obama won Nebraska's District 2 (Omaha), meaning that for the first time in history, Nebraska's electoral vote could be split. Sure, one electoral vote isn't much, but it's still a big deal. It is a big deal because Nebraska gained attention from the two major party candidates during the election. And it's a big deal because Republican state politicians may soon take steps to ensure it never happens again. I have never liked the all-or-nothing approach to electoral vote distribution. Those who like the system used by most states tend to be those who benefit most from it -- Republicans in Nebraska, for example, and Democrats in California. But on what grounds? Surely not on fairness or justice grounds. The current system is far from the principle of "one man, one vote". Perhaps on the grounds that "to the winner go the spoils". But the winner of what? The definition of the parameters of the contest -- and thus, the definition of "winner" -- is an arbitrary act. If we aren't going to abide by "one man, one vote", we ought to at least prefer rules that keep us close to that principle. How do you like Nebraska's (and Maine's) system? Is it fair? Right? Should we keep it? Or perhaps we ought to scrap the Electoral College altogether?


See what your friends and neighbors have to say about this.

November 5, 2008 at 5:47PM

Electoral College should be scrapped. The election should be decided by popular vote.

November 5, 2008 at 6:31PM

...bu, I’d like to see it so that each congressional district has one vote, and that’s it.

November 5, 2008 at 6:47PM

I think the Maine/Nebraska system is the fairest way to do the vote while still keeping the electoral college. 

If popular vote was enacted, we could kiss any chance of a presidential candidate coming to Nebraska goodbye.

November 5, 2008 at 7:12PM

If we went with popular vote, based on last nights demographics, it would probably be challenged on the idea that we college kids don’t know nuttin. Unfortunately for that opinion, last nights election showed many traditional Republican enclaves voting Democratic, some for the first time ever. There are still more babyboomers and retirees than those under 30, so if our vote swung it (as attested in many blogs ive read this AM) than whose fault is it, really?

November 5, 2008 at 7:59PM

I believe that the split electoral vote is far more responsible than the all-or-nothing electoral system that is currently in place.  It is not just about garnering attention for NE during campaigns, it is about knowing that voices of the people who vote here are being heard, that votes are not being wasted if they are not Republican.
I hope to see a larger initiative aimed at getting other states to follow the Maine/Nebraska lead.

November 5, 2008 at 8:24PM

I think the Nebraska model makes sense, but it’s pointless if the only two places that do it are Nebraska and Maine. Who really cares about those of us in these states? You start a system like this in California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois - now we are talking.

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