Omaha Could Break the 269-269 Tie

The Omaha World-Herald predicts that Nebraska’s biggest city could be seeing a lot of John McCain and Barack Obama this Fall. Why? Three reasons: First, money — McCain is swinging through for fundraiser in July and Obama has been endorsed by Omaha’s own Warren Buffett. Secondly, Omaha is a key market for reaching voters across the Missouri River in western Iowa.

But thirdly, and most interestingly, Nebraska is one of two states (Maine is the other) that split electoral votes by congressional district. Candidates get one EV for each district that they win and two for winning the state. In past elections, Republicans have swept all five EV’s, but Obama could possibly win Nebraska’s 2nd District, where Omaha is located. It’s an urban population and is growing rather quickly, if quietly.

Sure it’s just one electoral vote in a vault of 538, but imagine this scenario: Obama flips Iowa, Colorado and New Mexico to the Democratic column and McCain wins back New Hampshire. All other states remain constant from the 2004 election, putting the score at 269-269. The tiebreaker? Either the House or Nebraska’s 2nd District.

Here’s a possible scenario of a 269-269 tie, brought to you by

Electoral College Tie at 269 Votes


11 responses to “Omaha Could Break the 269-269 Tie

  1. Crackity Jones

    Doesn’t the House break a 269-269 tie? If so, tie goes to Obama. He’d win.

  2. frankoanderson

    This is good news for Obama, because the chances are that these districts will not have to be the tiebreakers. Coming from Virginia, I can tell you that he’s doing pretty good here. His huge victory in February was unexpected because most of the independents who were supposed to vote for McCain chose Obama instead.

  3. Obama is not the nominee yet. The convention is 2 months away. Much can happen in 2 months.

  4. The best examination of the 269-269 tie is over at (see

    And yes, Crackity Jones is correct. Such a tie goes to the House with the Senate voting on who the VP will be. That could be a backdoor way for Clinton to become VP.

    Of course a tie only pops up 7 times out the 10,000 simulated runs Nate does.

  5. Omaha won’t break an actual tie: what the author is implying is that Omaha will DECIDE the election in this case. Nebraska’s District 1 could as well. The House has nothing to do with this.

  6. No, if it’s 269-269 with Omaha for McCain, Obama still wins because of the House of Representatives, so it doesn’t matter if Omaha flips.

  7. Trapper Mitchell

    It isn’t a necessary win for Obama if it goes to the house. Not every member gets a vote. Each state gets a vote. So the delegation from each state has to decide who to vote for.

  8. The scenario in the map above wouldn’t be a 269-269 tie. Without the 2nd district, it would be 269 for Obama, 268 for McCain.

    If McCain won the district and therefor took all 5 of Nebraksa’s EVs, it would produce a 269-269 tie and it would go to the house. If Obama won the district he would have 270 and win the electoral college vote and become president.

  9. In the event of a 269-269 electoral tie, the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives. However, the representatives break up into their respective states and vote among themselves about who wins their state’s vote.

    Democrats could make gains in heavily Republican states (Texas), but unless they have more than half of the representatives in states like these, they will vote to give their vote to McCain.

    In the event of this scenario, Obama could, hypothetically lose the election if there is just one more Republican than Democrat in several swing states.

  10. To all you Hillary supporters who are still hoping for some fallout to happen…I wish you would just get over it and rally around our nominee. For those who say they will vote for McCain? You were never a Democrat to begin with. McCain does not represent any of the Democratic Platform. Also if you were voting for Hillary because she was a woman, realize that John McCain has one of the worst records for voting on behalf of women’s rights. Go do some research.

  11. Pingback: Obama’s Anti-Kerry Strategy = Genius « The Electoral Map

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