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Election 2008: Nebraska President
McCain Takes Longer Lead in Nebraska

No Democratic presidential candidate has carried Nebraska since 1964, and it isn’t likely to happen this year either, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of voters in the state.

John McCain leads Barack Obama by 19 points -- 56% to 37% -- in the survey taken Tuesday night. That’s a net gain of one point for McCain who led by eighteen points in July. Nationally, Obama has recently opened a modest but stable lead in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

McCain has the support of 81% of Republicans while 82% of Democrats back Obama. The Republican leads by six points among unaffiliated voters.Both men and women voters prefer McCain by double digits (see crosstabs).

McCain is viewed favorably by 68% and unfavorably by 32%. Obama’s favorables are 45%, his unfavorables 54%.

Republican Mike Johanns coninutes to maintain a comfortable lead over Democrat Scott Kleeb in Nebraska’s Senate race.

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Nebraska voters like McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, too. She is viewed favorably by 59% and unfavorably by 39%. The Democratic vice presidential candidate, Joseph Biden, is regarded favorably by 45%, unfavorably by 50%.

Nebraska is one of only two states that does not award its Electoral College votes on a winner-take-all basis. In Nebraska, the statewide winner gets two Electoral votes, and the other three votes are awarded to the winner in each of the state’s three congressional districts. Since the system was established in 1996, however, the state has never split its Electoral votes. Maine is the only other state to use this system.

Rasmussen Markets data shows McCain with a % of winning Nebraska which is classified as “Safely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator. In 2004, George Bush defeated John Kerry by a two-to-one margin here.

Forty-eight percent (48%) of Nebraska voters rate the economy as poor, with just 13% saying it is good. In statistically measurable terms, no one rated it excellent. Eighty-two percent (82%) also say the economy is getting worse.

That’s why, like voters nationwide, a plurality (45%) of Nebraska voters rate the economy as the most important issue in the election. Twenty-two percent (22%) say national security is most important.

Fifty-five percent (55%) trust McCain more on the economy than Obama, but 36% have the opposite view. Sixty-two percent (62%) trust the Republican more on national security. Half that many (31%) trust Obama more.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) say creating economic growth is more important than reducing the gap between rich and poor, but 29% say reducing the income gap is more important. Seventy-four percent (74%) believe creating economic growth is more important to McCain than Obama, while 68% say reducing the gap between rich and poor is paramount to the Democratic candidate.

Even in a reliably red state like Nebraska, President Bush gets tough grades for job performance. Thirty-nine percent (39%) say Bush is doing a good or excellent job, but 44% rate his performance as poor. This is a shift of four points to the poor column from late July.

Today, Rasmussen Reports released new poll results for North Carolina, New Mexico, Montana, Kentucky and Nebraska.

Last night, results were released from Texas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Other polling has recently been released for Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Demographic crosstabs for all state polling are available for Premium Members. Learn More.

See survey questions and toplines. Crosstabs are available for Premium Members only.

Nebraska Likely Republican

Latest RR Poll

RR Poll Avg.

"538" Avg.

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In Trade

McCain (R)




Obama (D)




This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports September 30, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.

Nebraska Trends: McCain vs. Obama
















Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Nebraska




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Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary





Toss-Ups & Leaners


About Rasmussen Reports

Rasmussen Reports is an electronic publishing firm specializing in the collection, publication, and distribution of public opinion polling information.

The Rasmussen Reports ElectionEdge™ Premium Service for Election 2008 offers the most comprehensive public opinion coverage ever provided for a Presidential election.

Scott Rasmussen, president of Rasmussen Reports, has been an independent pollster for more than a decade.