Nebraska is one of just two states, along with Maine, that do not award all their electoral voters to the statewide winner. And that meant that in 2008, Barack Obama picked up an electoral vote from the congressional district around Omaha, even as Senator John McCain trounced him across the rest of the state.
One electoral vote — out of five in Nebraska and 538 nationally — might seem trivial, but Republicans do not see it that way. It was the first time since Lyndon B. Johnson beat Barry Goldwater in 1964, when Mr. Obama was a toddler, that the state awarded any votes to a Democrat.
So this year, a longstanding proposal to change the state’s Electoral College system to winner-take-all may finally reach the Republican governor’s desk, amid a renewed push by conservative lawmakers hoping to have new rules in place for the 2016 presidential election.
“It’s obvious that the majority of citizens of the state of Nebraska are Republicans,” said J. L. Spray, the state Republican Party chairman. “They want to have the maximum voice in the Electoral College.”