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Nebraska: McCain Expands Lead in Historically Red State

John McCain has expanded his lead in Nebraska, the latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the state found. The Republican nominee leads Barack Obama 52% to 36% in the Cornhusker State.

Last month, McCain led 50% to 39%.

McCain picks up support from 19% of Democrats, and from 76% of those in his own party. Obama is supported by 69% of Nebraska Democrats in Nebraska. The race is tighter among unaffiliated voters in the state, in which McCain leads 41% to 39%.

While McCain has a commanding lead among conservative voters in Nebraska (79% to 10%) Obama leads 53% to 36% among moderate voters and 76% to 16% among liberals.

However, Nebraska is a historically red state, which no Democrat has won since 1964. In 2004, George Bush defeated John Kerry by a two-to-one margin. Rasmussen Markets data shows McCain with a % of winning the state which is classified as “Safely Republican” in the Rasmussen Reports Balance of Power Calculator.

Nebraska is one of only two states that does not award its five Electoral Votes on a winner-take-all basis. The statewide winner gets two Electoral votes and the other three are awarded based upon the winner in each Congressional District. Since the system was established in 1996, the state has never split its Electoral votes. However, if the statewide vote is close enough, it might be possible for the losing candidate to pick up one of Nebraska’s Electoral Votes. Maine is the only other state to use this system.

McCain is viewed favorably by 68% of voters and unfavorably by 30%. Obama’s ratings are less flattering: 48% favorable, 51% unfavorable.

One in every five voters in Nebraska think McCain is too old to be President, while 52% of voters think Obama is too inexperienced.

The survey also found that half of voters (51%) in Nebraska favor a proposed amendment to the state’s constitution that would prohibit state and local governments from granting preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. Twenty-eight percent (28%) oppose this amendment.

With respect to the current gas price increases, 72% of Nebraska voters think drilling should be allowed in offshore oil wells. On the national level, 62% agree with John McCain in terms of America’s need for offshore oil drilling to offset high gas prices.

Over half (58%) say that if offshore drilling is allowed, it is likely that gas prices would go down. Forty percent (40%) disagree.

Sixty-five percent of Utah voters believe the U.S. government has become a special interest group, while just 16% disagree. Those results are similar to the national average. Just 15% of voters believe the government represents the will of the people, while 71% think this is not true.

The Senate race in Nebraska shows Republican Mike Johanns with a comfortable lead over Democrat Scott Kleeb.

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Nebraska
Likely Republican

Latest
RR Poll

RR Poll
Avg.

"538"
Avg.

RR
Mkts.

In
Trade

McCain (R)

56%

53%

57%

Obama (D)

37%

35%

36%

This telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports June 23, 2008. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.

See Methodology.


Nebraska Trends: McCain vs. Obama

Date

McCain

Obama

09/30/2008

56%

37%

07/28/2008

50%

32%

06/23/2008

52%

36%

05/15/2008

50%

39%


Favorable Ratings for Presidential Candidates in Nebraska

 

McCain

Obama

Very Favorable

29%

25%

Somewhat Favorable

39%

20%

Somewhat Unfavorable

16%

21%

Very Unfavorable

16%

33%

Not Sure

1%

1%


Rasmussen Reports - Electoral College Balance of Power Summary

Republicans

160

Democrats

173

Toss-Ups & Leaners

205


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.