Nebraska advances new congressional map that could help GOP

Redistricting Nebraska

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska lawmakers advanced new congressional boundaries Friday that could make it harder for Democratic presidential hopefuls to pick up one of the state's five Electoral College votes, as they've done twice since 2008.

Nearly all Republicans in the one-house, officially nonpartisan Legislature endorsed the measure — a sign that the newly drawn, Omaha-area district could be more favorable to the party in both U.S. House and presidential races. Nebraska Democrats quickly denounced the plan.

Nebraska and Maine are the only states that allow their Electoral College votes to be split. Democrats Barack Obama and Joe Biden claimed one each in 2008 and 2020, respectively, despite handily losing the statewide, GOP-dominated vote.

The new map advanced by lawmakers would keep all of Omaha within the 2nd Congressional District, as Democrats had wanted, but also add neighboring, Republican-heavy Saunders County. The new district would also keep several conservative-leaning Omaha suburbs.

The 36-10 vote was largely on party lines, with six Democrats breaking ranks to support the plan. Two more votes are required before it goes to Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts.

Lawmakers had previously been deadlocked, with Republicans not having enough votes to overcome a Democratic-led filibuster.

The deal followed several days of closed-door negotiations among members of the Redistricting Committee. Earlier in the week, Speaker of the Legislature Mike Hilgers warned that