‘Obamaha’? In Case of a 269-269 Electoral Split

Feb 28, 2012 4:55pm

Nebraska may be a reliably red state, but the Obama campaign has had staff on the ground in Omaha since October, and the campaign has an office opening there planned for March 15, campaign sources say.

Why?

Because Nebraska is one of two states (the other is Maine) that awards electoral votes according to congressional district. And in case of any 269-269 electoral college tie, the campaign is taking no chances.

Scoff if you like — but the campaign did this in 2008, and won Nebraska’s 2nd congressional district. The Obama campaign jokingly referred to the strategy – and the city – as “Obamaha.” No one outside the state really noticed that Nebraska split its electoral votes, given Mr. Obama’s electoral landslide, but what started out as a just-in-case measure actually proved itself as achievable.

But how likely is a 269-269 electoral vote split? Not as unlikely as you might think.

Let’s assume an election where the battleground states are, from west to east, NV, CO, NM, IA, MO, WI, MI, FL, OH, NC, VA, PA and NH. Let’s give all of them to the GOP except for FL, MI, and NC.

269-269.

Or try again — but this time give Obama WI, MI, OH, PA, NH and NM.

269-269.

So “Obamaha” might come in handy.

-Jake Tapper

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