When I moved to Nebraska, I knew exactly what I was getting myself into. Let's face it, Nebraska's would hardly be described as progressive, unless you're comparing us to Utah or Wyoming, which is like saying you're younger than John McCain or have better heart health than Dick Cheney. I've lived in Nebraska a couple of different times, but my most recent return was less than a month after the 2004 Presidential Election. Living in a really red state has traditionally meant that my vote gets buried. A few significant developments have ensured that my vote may actually count this election year, and I don't even have to come up with a fake address for voter registration in Missouri or Iowa.
Nebraska is unlike other states (except Maine) with regards to the electoral college in that the person that wins the state does not take all 5 of our electoral votes. Rather, the winner of the state gets the two Senate electoral votes and the three remaining for the House are distributed based on the votes in those congressional districts. The 2nd Congressional district, which is essentially just the city of Omaha, has a chance to provide Obama with a single electoral college vote. The latest polls show McCain with a 3 point lead over Obama in the 2nd district, which is within the margin of error for the poll.
Another interesting story is that a young Democrat from Omaha, Jim Esch, is giving incumbent Lee Terry fits in his re-election bid. Back in 2006, Esch managed 45% of the popular vote against Terry without any major support from the Democratic party and a largely grassroots campaign. This year, Esch has the money and the support to pull it off, but there haven't been any polls published to get an idea about the status of the race. It's not a race that's getting a lot of attention in the national media, but I think Esch will pull out the upset, helped by record voter turnout and support from the Democratic party.
Here's to hoping for a little speck of blue in an otherwise red landscape.