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Nebraska: McCain Maintains Double-Digit Lead

John McCain continues to hold a big lead in the race for Nebraska’s Electoral College votes. The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Cornhusker State found the GOP hopeful leading Barack Obama 50% to 32%. Eight percent (8%) of voters say they’d prefer a third party option while 10% are undecided.

That eighteen-point lead is similar to his sixteen-point edge last month.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of Nebraska voters believe most reporters are trying to help Barack Obama win the election. Just 9% think they are trying to help McCain. Those numbers are not too different from the national average.

Over the past three months, McCain’s support has stayed in a very small range from 50% to 52%. Obama’s support has consistently declined, falling from 39% in May to 36% in June and 32% in July.

McCain is now viewed favorably by 71% of Nebraska voters, up three points from a month ago. Obama’s ratings are less flattering: 45% favorable and 54% unfavorable.

When “leaners” are included, McCain now leads 55% to 36%. Leaners are voters who initially do not support either McCain or Obama but express a preference in a follow-up question.

McCain picks up support from 20% of Democrats, and from 83% of those in his own party. Obama is supported by 72% of Nebraska Democrats in Nebraska. The two candidates are essentially even among unaffiliated voters.

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.

Thirty-eight percent (38%) of Nebraska voters say economic issues are most important in Election 2008. Twenty-one percent (21%) consider national security issues to be the highest priority.

Sixty-two percent (62%) say that the U.S. and its allies are winning the War on Terror. That’s a bit more upbeat than the national average, but confidence throughout the nation is at the highest levels of the past four years.

Fifty-nine percent (59%) say that reducing the price of gas and oil is more important than protecting the environment. Just 29% disagree and take the opposite view.

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 July 28, 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

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.