UPDATED, 8:15 p.m.
Posted, 6:47 p.m. — Barack Obama tonight became the first Democrat since 1964 to win a Nebraska electoral vote.
The Ballot Box is calling the Omaha-area race for Obama.
In an e-mail interview tonight, the head of the Douglas County Election Commission said his office was continuing to count the onslaught of early-voting ballots it had received.
“We have counted around 15,000 early voting ballots today,” said Dave Phipps, election commissioner of Douglas County, where Omaha is located.
Phipps acknowledged a report in the Omaha World-Herald that said the newspaper also was calling the race for Obama. Election Web site fivethirtyeight.com also has called the race for Obama. Continue reading
Posted, 1:02 p.m. EST — It’s still too close to call whether Barack Obama will snag the Omaha area’s one electoral vote.
Still undecided: the Omaha area, Missouri and North Carolina. Photo/FIVETHIRTYEIGHT.COM
Of course, it won’t technically matter because Obama now is estimated to have 349 Electoral College votes, according to major news organizations. A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to win the presidency.
Nebraska allots its five Electoral College votes proportionally, a system that makes it differ from all other states except for Maine.
As of Wednesday afternoon, races had been called in most of the state’s precincts. John McCain won four of Nebraska’s five electoral votes.
In the 2nd Congressional District, which overlays the core of the Omaha metropolitan area, things were different: Residents of the city of Omaha chose Obama 51 percent over 48 percent for McCain. Continue reading
Posted at 2:24 a.m. EST — The Nebraska Secretary of State reported early Wednesday the state’s 2nd Congressional District, which overlays the core of the Omaha metropolitan area, would give its electoral vote to Barack Obama.
If the initial count, with more than 93 percent of the votes tallied, holds, Nebraska would give an Electoral College vote to a Democrat for the first time since 1964.
All but four of Nebraska’s 93 counties voted for John McCain, according to the Secretary of State’s latest count. Continue reading
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Posted 9:21 a.m. — On a day when eyes are on Omaha to see whether the city will vote for a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964, an eyewitness reports a big crowd this morning at a polling place in the city’s downtown precinct.
Will Omaha swing Democratic? Heavy turnout at one of the city's downtown polling places. SARAH BAKER/Special to The Ballot Box
In the line is former Nebraska Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate Mike Johanns, reports Sarah Baker, an Omaha eyewitness for The Ballot Box.
The Douglas County Election Commission estimated turnout in the Omaha area would reach 68 percent. Continue reading
Posted 12:13 p.m. — The last Rasmussen Poll taken before Tuesday’s election indicates the presidential race is tied within the Omaha area.
This is it. The front door of the Omaha headquarters for the Barack Obama campaign. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box
According to the Web site fivethirtyeight.com, voters in Nebraska’s 2nd Congressional District polled 51 percent for John McCain and 48 percent for Barack Obama.
The three-point difference is within the poll’s plus-or-minus five-point margin of error. Continue reading
Posted 3:23 p.m. — The archbishop of the Omaha archdiocese released a letter Saturday implying his flock of 220,000 should not cast their votes for Barack Obama because of the candidate’s stance on abortion.
Omaha Archbishop Elden Curtiss Photo/ARCHDIOCESE OF OMAHA
Without explicitly forbidding an Obama vote, Archbishop Elden Curtiss wrote in his letter, “Our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, has stated with clarity that Catholics who vote for a candidate precisely because he or she supports abortion and/or euthanasia would be guilty of formal cooperation in evil.”
Omaha has become an unlikely election battleground as some polls show the presidential candidates nearly tied within the 2nd Congressional District of Nebraska, whose boundaries overlay the core of the Omaha metropolitan area.
Because Nebraska allots its electoral votes proportionally, Omaha’s one electoral vote seems to be in play. Obama has opened three Omaha offices with 15 paid staffers in an effort to flip the area from the Republican column for the first time in a presidential race since 1964. Continue reading
OMAHA, 12:33 p.m. CDT — With a life-size, cardboard cutout of George W. Bush standing sentinel over a bank of phones, a retired school teacher makes her pitch for four more years of Republican leadership.
Glenda Bahr works the phones with George W. Bush looking on. BRAD DAVIS/The Ballot Box
Even as the buzz around Omaha says the city might choose a Democratic presidential candidate for the first time since 1964, Glenda Bahr says that’s not going to happen.
Omahans are too practical, too grounded, to buy into Obama, Bahr says.
“You have people that are extremists,” she says of Obama and the Democrats. “I don’t think as a general rule we are extremists. We have stability here.” Continue reading