Sen. Nelson could be imperiled by Nebraska electoral reform

Speculation is rising in Nebraska that the incoming legislature may drop the state's system of awarding presidential electoral votes by congressional district.

If state lawmakers do away with the current system, it could hurt the reelection chances of Sen. Ben Nelson and other Democrats running statewide.

The state's liberal-leaning 2nd congressional district went for President Obama in 2008 after his campaign invested heavily in the Omaha region. 
 
The Lincoln Journal Star notes that the district's electoral vote was the "personal favorite target" of Obama campaign manager David Plouffe.

Obama's victory ruffled Nebraska Republicans, "so there may be a very partisan battle in the Legislature to wipe out the congressional district electoral votes and return to the earlier system of handing all five of Nebraska's votes to the statewide winner," writes the Journal Star's Don Walton.

Without a presidential campaign effort to register and turnout voters, it could hurt Nelson's reelection prospects and the party's ability to challenge Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), who took 61 percent of the vote on his way to reelection last November.

Nebraska is one of only two states that award presidential electoral votes by congressional district. Its unicameral legislature is nonpartisan.