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Every State. Every race. Right here.

This is number 23 in a planned series of 50 entries between now and November, looking at each of the 50 states in terms of every race on that state's ticket--Presidential, Gubernatorial, Senate, House, State legislatures--the whole ear of corn. Special attention paid to identifying and promoting the most important contests per state.

This time, we look at NEBRASKA!

http://www.nationalatlas.com/...

A classic "red" farm belt state with some quirks (Pres EV allocation, unicameral legislature, historically Democratic US Senators, Republican everything else).  Democrats are competitive in the two urban areas of Omaha and Lincoln in the east; the rural rest of the state usually, but not always, swamps the slight blue lean in the two cities. The western part of the state, including Scottsbluff, where it angles around Colorado, is a major demarcation of the point where the Norman Rockwell down-home farmbelt begins to transition into the libertarian, west, with the political divide that characterizes the two regions (the west is less religious, more independent, more receptive to getting government off our backs; the farm belt more concerned with farm subsidies and populist issues)

BLOGS: New Nebraska is the lucky, lucky blog with the good fortune to be following the Scott Kleeb Senate race.
http://www.newnebraska.net/

PRESIDENT: : Nebraska is special. It allots two of its 5 electoral votes to the winner of the state, and the other three to the winner of each congressional district.  Obama is expected to lose the 2 statewide EVs and the one from NE-03, but he has a chance to win the other two.

This could be important.  Map wonks can come up with several scenarios in which each candidate gets to 269 electoral votes (one way would be if Obama won the 19 Kerry States plus Iowa, Nevada and New Mexico). If that were to happen, just the ONE ELECTORAL VOTE from Omaha could decide the Presidency!

I’ve suggested a Highway 80 tour for Obama just before or after the convention. Omaha should be a big part of it.  Additionally, with Montana and North Dakota in play, east Nebraska could be a part of a Big Sky campaign that could be politically very worthwhile where just one small-EV state would be hard to justify in terms of return on investment.  As with MT and ND, all of NE has been presumed GOP territory for so many national elections that the attention will be new. The mere fact that Presidential candidates are coming here post-primary to bother to ask people for their votes could make a difference.  If Obama appears and McCain takes it for granted, look for a "stunning upset" in November.  The pundits won’t have seen it coming, but we will have.

UPDATE: Not only has North Dakota been fluctuating, with Obama actually leading in a couple of polls, but the latest Rasmussen poll shows South Dakota in play as well, at 43 Obama, 47 McAncient.  Obama mopped up the floor with these prairie states in the primaries. Can Nebraska be close behind?

SENATE: THE BIG ONE for Nebraska 2008!  OK, here he is, and try not to drool:

http://www.scottkleeb.com/

Kleeb gets a lot of attention on Kos.  Check out the pictures of him, and you’ll see why. I mean, he gives me the vapors and I don’t even swing that way!

Today, his front page has him manfully climbing a windmill in what looks like rain to repair it.  Just like he’ll repair the ship of state following George W’s eight year boating-while-intoxicated tragedy.  Other pages show him gazing steady and steel-eyed across the amber waves of grain.  Still more pictures show---you know what? Scott’s site needs more pictures!

Oh, and don’t forget to stare wistfully at the "Click to bring Scott to YOUR town" button.  

Will Scott win? I sure hope so. Honestly, it’s a second tier pickup opportunity at best, open seat or not. But he almost won the 3rd district in 2006, by far the reddest third of the state, and this time he’ll be getting votes statewide.  And Nebraska has elected just one Republican to the US Senate in the last 30 years, and that one the actual moderate Chuck Hagel, so Nebraska’s red status doesn’t apply to Senators as much as it does to other elections.  Plus, in Obama’s year, anything can happen.  I know of no candidate (other than maybe Darcy Burner) more beloved by the netroots at this time.  If we can propel him into office, it will prove that we are a force to be reckoned with.  Plus, people will be watching a lot more hearings on C-Span, and that’s good for America!

Interestingly, Kleeb is from West Nebraska and it shows. He dresses like a cowboy and capitalizes on his Marlboro Man rugged good looks. Seems to me, he’d be a natural in Wyoming, and possibly not so much in the farm belt. Even so—his image is not exactly in contrast to the Norman Rockwell image that normally does best in the midwest.

GOVERNORS AND OTHER STATEWIDE: Not up this year.  And they’re all Republicans.

STATE LEGISLATURE:  The only one in the 50 states that has just one chamber, AND which is officially "nonpartisan".  However, unofficially, Republicans outnumber Democrats by two to one here, 31R to 15D.  We’re doing better; it used to be 13D.  Change is coming, but slowly.

The Wikipedia entry is one of those with a colorful map of districts. Have a look here: http://en.wikipedia.org/...

CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS:

District 1—Max Yahirin (D) v. Jeffrey Fortenberry (Inc R).  Yashirin is an Iraq war veteran campaigning on a platform to end the war.  In a wave year, he could pull it off.

http://www.maxcongress.com/

District 2—Jim Esch (D) v. Leslie Terry (Inc. R)  Interestingly enough, the incumbent Republican is acting running scared, falling over himself to embrace Obama on the theory that Obama might carry NE-02...and therefore, so might Esch.  This is the most "on the map" of Nebraska’s three districts.

http://www.jimesch.org./...

District 3—Jay Stoddard (D) v. Adrian Smith (Inc R).

This one isn’t expected to be on the map at all, because NE-03 is supposedly too conservative.  However, keep it in mind, since Smith is yet another contender for the Bottom Ten Screwball GOOP Representatives list.  He drank so much free market kool aid that he’s attacking farm subsidies in one of the biggest farm districts in the nation.  Pray for buyer’s remorse in the 3rd.

http://www.jaystoddard.org/

REDISTRICTING NEBRASKA:  The chances of controlling the whole state government by 2011 are too small to bother.  Besides the three districts, running in a line, are as close to fair as it gets, as is.

In 2021, Nebraska will likely lose a district, and by then, maybe we’ll be in a position to fight to get Lincoln and Omaha compacted together in one blue district, while the Republicans keep the other, rest of the state, district.  But we’ll have so many things to fight about before then.

What do YOU think?

 Previous diaries in this series:

Delaware: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Arkansas: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Illinois: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Texas, Part One:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

Texas, Part Two: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Utah: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Massachusetts: http://www.dailykos.com/...

North Carolina:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

Hawaii: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Mississippi: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Oregon: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Ohio: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Maryland: http://www.dailykos.com/...

North Dakota: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Alabama: http://www.dailykos.com/...

California, Part one: http://www.dailykos.com/...

California, Part two: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Vermont:  http://www.dailykos.com/...

Iowa: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Virginia: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Wyoming: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Pennsylvania: http://www.dailykos.com/...

New Mexico: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Kentucky: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Originally posted to AdmiralNaismith on Tue Jul 15, 2008 at 08:07 AM PDT.

Poll

Describe the photo Scott Kleeb should send as a thank you to his supporters

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| 46 votes | Vote | Results

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