Friday, September 28, 2012

Obama, Romney Camps Fight for Omaha Area's Electoral Vote

Obama, Romney Camps Fight for Omaha Area's Electoral Vote | Aug 29th 2012 11:04 PM

Nicole Ebat

OMAHA(KPTM)--Most states pick the president on a winner-take-all basis, but Nebraska does things a bit differently.

Nebraska is one of two states in the country that split its electoral votes.

In 2008, that meant Nebraska voted for both John McCain and Barack Obama. The one area that split the state's five electoral votes was the Second Congressional District, made up of the Omaha metro.

"As a Democrat in Nebraska the second congressional district obviously had an advantage over the rest of the state and if we can use that advantage to help the president and get one more electoral vote that could be the difference between 269 and 270 votes," said Chris Carithers with the Douglas County Democrats.

A recent poll from the We Ask America polling company has Mitt Romney leading Omaha with 47% of the vote. The president is trailing behind at 43% and 9% of the 1200 people polled said they were undecided. There was a margin of error on the poll of +/- 3.

"The republican party is confident of our ability to earn that electoral vote in the second district," said Bruce Dickes on the phone from the Republican National Convention. "We think it belongs to us and we want to make sure it stays with the Republican party."

The Democrats response to that statement: "No one owns it. It's the people's vote and what we're trying to do is let the people get back to the one person, one vote," said Carithers.

Both Omaha's Romney and Obama offices say they'll be hitting the airwaves and pounding some pavement in hopes their message is the one people vote for.

The tight Omaha numbers only have volunteers on either side revved up and ready for a fight.

About a dozen volunteers for the Lee Terry campaign spent a portion of their evening on the phone banks Wednesday night.

Many were gathered to watch Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan's speech from the Republican's convention.

"We use that get out the vote strategy, you know if we call people, remind them that this is a big election and that people in their community are supporting Republicans we think that it'll have a big impact on how they vote in November," said Bob Leddy, one of Terry's volunteers.

Some of Obama's volunteers said they saw themselves more as voting "facilitators" in that they make sure people who are already likely to vote for the president know how.

"If we're doing our job then we're going to be able to get this vote," said Matt Tilden.

"It's up to us to defend the dot. It's ours to keep and I'm going to do everything in my power to do that," said Martha Wight.

It's one thing both sides can agree on: Omaha is up for grabs this election and our one electoral vote could decide the next president.

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