WATCH: MNSBC Panel Panics After Nebraska Considers Reinstating Winner-Take-All System For 2024 Presidential Election

On Wednesday, Democrat strategists across the country began to panic after Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R-NE) released a letter of support for LB 764, a bill that would transition Nebraska's current electoral vote allocation via each congressional district to a winner-take-all system. 

The move would allocate all five of the state's electoral votes to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump in November, given that the state goes overwhelmingly for Republicans. In the 2020 election, Joe Biden won one electoral vote after winning Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District, which centers around Omaha, by 6.5 percent.

The Nebraska governor's support of the change took centerstage on MSNBC Wednesday morning, with host Jonathan Lemire explaining, "If that changes,...that takes away Biden's best path to win because if he wins Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan but loses the other and no longer picks up the one in Nebraska, 269. That leads [Politico] Playbook this morning, the alarm among Democrats that this is possible."

In response to the potential change, MSNBC panelist Jim Messina, who ran Obama's 2012 campaign, said that the move is "ridiculous" because it would change the rules before an election. Notably, Democrat officials changed election rules throughout the country just months before the 2020 presidential election. "I think this is what the modern Republican Party has become. They are now changing the rules in the middle, trying to benefit themselves. This is the hell that Donald Trump hath wrought," Messina said. "Changing the rules 200 days before the election is ridiculous. I think you're right. I think there are real simulation problems. When you look at the map, that one electoral vote really matters in combination with other things. Then you need another state. The easiest pathway to victory has always been the midwestern three states combined with Nebraska."

If the governor signs the legislation into law, Biden's path to reelection narrows dramatically. Under the current system, Democrats would only have to win the swing states of Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan in addition to Nebraska's 2nd Congressional District. However, if the Cornhusker State decides to revert to a winner-take-all system, Biden would have to win an additional state - Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, or North Carolina - to win the presidency without the electoral college vote being tied. In a tie scenario, where each candidate receives 269 electoral votes, the House of Representatives votes to decide who will be the next president.

Nebraska, which is only joined by Maine in assigning electoral votes by congressional district, instituted its split vote system in 1991. Barack Obama was the first Democrat to win an electoral vote from the state in 2008. That feat was replicated again by Biden in 2020. The current system allocates two electoral votes to the winner of the state's popular vote and one electoral vote each for each of its three congressional districts. Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump recognized the potential to upset the Biden campaign's electoral plan, writing on Truth Social that he is in support of Gov. Pillen's plan. 

"Most Nebraskans have wanted to go back to this system for a very long time, because it's what 48 other States do - It's what the Founders intended, and it's right for Nebraska," Trump wrote. "Thank you Governor for your bold leadership. Let's hope the Senate does the right thing. Nebraskans, respectfully ask your Senators to support this Great Bill!"

If you are a resident of Nebraska, you can find contact information for your state senator here.


You can follow Sterling on X/Twitter here.

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