close
close

‘God help us’: The 2024 Electoral College could be decided by this lonely congressional district

The 2024 presidential election is expected to be another extremely close contest, with the winner of the Electoral College likely to win by just tens of thousands of votes in a handful of swing states. But control of the White House could come down to who wins Nebraska’s second congressional district.

Bloomberg reported that both Democrats and Republicans in Douglas County — which includes the Omaha area — are campaigning hard in the 2024 cycle. The 2nd District is known as a “blue dot” in a typically deep-red state that has reliably voted for Republican presidential candidates in every election since 1964. Nebraska is one of two states in which individual congressional districts each field their own candidate. electoral vote (the other is Maine), with the state’s eventual winner receiving two electoral votes. And with 538 Electoral College votes up for grabs, a scenario could emerge where both President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are virtually tied and the entire election comes down to who wins in Omaha.

“Omaha’s lone vote would give Biden the presidency if he wins Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, but none of the other battlegrounds, and carries all the reliably Democratic states,” wrote Bloomberg reporter Josh Wingrove. “Recent polls suggest these three states are more fertile ground for him than Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and North Carolina.”

READ MORE: Trump could win even if he loses the popular vote, the Electoral College and ‘all his lawsuits’: analysis

Conservative activists like Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk appear aware of the precarious nature of the 2024 Electoral College map, and have moved to turn Nebraska into a winner-takes-all state. A bill to officially make that change failed during this year’s legislative session, but Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) could still call a special session specifically to pass the bill, depending on whether he can get the votes to do so.

“If we end up being the only voice, you know, God help us,” CJ King, chairman of the Douglas County Democratic Party, told Bloomberg.

While Biden won the Second District in 2020, Trump won the Cornhusker State with 58% of the vote, beating Biden by 19 percentage points. At a recent campaign event, Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff expressed confidence that Democrats would repeat their victory in the Omaha area, but warned against complacency.

“(W)e can’t take any chances. It’s too important,” Emhoff said.

READ MORE: Trump’s Electoral College lead could be ‘fading’ – and here’s why

Bloomberg noted that Omaha is home to billionaire investor Warren Buffett, who has pledged to remain neutral in the 2024 election despite his past support of Democrats (Buffett supported Hillary Clinton in 2016). The 93-year-old CEO of Berkshire Hathaway said when he ventured into electoral politics that a CEO “can make many more people permanently angry than you can make temporarily happy by speaking out on any issue.”

“I think Warren Buffett is very wise and careful to stay out of the way (of the election),” said University of Maryland professor David Kass, who Bloomberg described as a longtime “Buffett watcher.”

“As a responsible CEO of Berkshire, he may not want to expose Berkshire and its companies to any political risk,” he added.

READ MORE: Warren Buffett to Congress: Keep taxing the mega-rich