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In Nebraska, McCain Fights the 'Headwind'

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) talks with a Werner Enterprises employee while touring the trucking company, July 16, 2008, while on a fund raising trip to Omaha, Neb. (Associated Press)

By Juliet Eilperin
OMAHA, Neb. -- You know Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) thinks he's in a tough presidential race when he worries about losing Nebraska this fall.

At a fundraiser last night at Ashland's Strategic Air and Space Museum, the presumptive GOP nominee told his supporters that he expects Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to give him a run for his money in the Cornhusker State.

The roughly 150 attendees dined on an array of finger foods, which included an assortment of cheeses and crackers, vegetable canapés, and small beef tenderloin sandwiches, as McCain warned his donors they shouldn't feel complacent in this historically red state.

"We have a headwind. We are the underdog," McCain told them. "We are not taking the state of Nebraska for granted. I'm going to campaign here, and compete here, and I need your help. We need to organize. We need to get out the vote. We've got a headwind because our economy's tough."

While McCain's remarks might sound a touch dire, given the state's Republican tilt, some Nebraskans suspect he's telling the truth. Unlike other states, Nebraska divvies up its electoral delegates according to congressional districts, so Obama stands a chance of picking up one or two.

Craig Horobik, a realtor and cab driver in Omaha, said he was a registered independent until he heard Obama speak at the city's Civic Center and decided to change his registration to Democrat in order to support him.

"He's an inspiring talker," Horobik said in an interview, adding that Obama's upcoming trip to Iraq with retiring GOP Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.) could help him win over voters here.

Earlier today, McCain said he remained close with Hagel despite their different views on the Iraq war.

"Chuck Hagel and I are the dearest and closest of friends. I respect his views," McCain said. "We've had some disagreements on the Iraq war, but I'm certainly pleased that Senator Obama is being accompanied by Chuck Hagel who has military experience, who has knowledge of these issues, even if we have some disagreement."

Horobik suggested that the Third Congressional district that encompasses Omaha is up for grabs, as well as perhaps the Second Congressional District surrounding Lincoln.

"He could win the Third District, especially if he comes back, speaks more, tosses in some money," he said. "McCain says this is a battleground state, but he's not going to come back."

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 17, 2008; 8:39 AM ET
Categories:  Barack Obama , Battlegrounds , John McCain  
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Next: Yes We Can? Not So Fast, Says McCain


Hey guys, this is NEBRASKA. McCain should not be in trouble in any part of the state,
unless the price of gas combined with the climatic need for 4-wheel drive vehicles and the significant distances between here and any place else are putting not only Nebraska but the entire West in play. BTW. The 21st Century version is: "Those that can, do; those that can't teach; and those without a clue bloviate in the media"

Posted by: Phrank | July 17, 2008 11:43 PM | Report abuse

Wow! What the hell is this dude crap! 188 more days until Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of this great Republic! whiteagle38

Posted by: whiteagle38 | July 17, 2008 10:35 PM | Report abuse

I think "pete" is saying that McCain can teach us all how to be President, since McCain can't "do" President.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 6:39 PM | Report abuse

There is an error in this story. Omaha is in Nebraska's Second District, while Lincoln is in the First District. The Third District is the western portion of the state, which is the most red of all the districts.

I see others have pointed this out. You should fix it.

Posted by: Josh | July 17, 2008 5:51 PM | Report abuse

THOSE WHO CAN DO, WILL DO AND WILL TEACH. So your saying I should teach all day and build bridges at night. We've already been over the, THOSE THAT CAN NOT DO, TEACH, Bit already. You should be saying, THOSE THAT TEACH COULD DO IF THEY WANT TO. How the heck do you know if a teacher can't do what they teach. This is stupid. Are you playing with a full deck, or just screwing with me.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Pass the 'shrooms, Petey boy. You're whacked outta your skull already and don't need another one!

Way, dude. When are you moving out of your parents' basement, dude?

Posted by: Alice B Tokeless | July 17, 2008 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Pete - You are my hero. Keep it up, dude. All that reefer you're smoking is helping your conceptual thinking skills.

Way, dude! Vote McCain.

Posted by: Prefontal Lobotomy | July 17, 2008 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Hey pete, who are you voting for and why.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: Pete | July 17, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats shouldn't have ran at all this year. Are you out of your friggin mind. By the way, Gore refused to run for President. Go away. Don't comment on anything I say unless your willing to make sense.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Let's all treat Pete with the kindness due those that are slower than the rest of us. He knows no better.

Not to worry Pete. We understand.

Posted by: V. Icodin | July 17, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

That's another one of the dumbest things I've ever heard. THOSE THAT CAN NOT DO TEACH. How are they going to teach you if they don't know how to do it. How do you think everyone learns how to do everything in this world. Teachers.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey "Pete". Maybe you should run...for chief a**hole.

Posted by: Bugger Me Knot | July 17, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

Re: That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Gore could have just ran for President in the first place. This year Gore could have beat everyone. Most people wanted him to run but he wanted to work on the environment.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 4:36 PM

This is the reason the Democrats should apologize to the American people and not running any candidate at all this election.
Man, I would never snub at America and the American people like the Democrats have done.

Posted by: pete | July 17, 2008 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Headwind is the right term considering the amounts of the checks the teacher unions, the lawyers associations and the faculty members have written and let not forget about the petty wine money that the DNC rich kids sent in over the internet.


Posted by: pete | July 17, 2008 4:50 PM | Report abuse

McLame is part-timing his candidacy. If elected (God forbid) he would part time the Presidency. After all, an old man needs his rest.

Posted by: Buffalo Bob | July 17, 2008 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like another Hillary sore loser...."well if it can't be me...get Al gore, surely it can't be that Obama guy!"

Posted by: Schwangeroo '92 | July 17, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

John McCain's 61 flip flops organized by category. He said we should chose a President by who's going to keep their word.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard. Gore could have just ran for President in the first place. This year Gore could have beat everyone. Most people wanted him to run but he wanted to work on the environment.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Barack Obama is a good orator - but he keeps pivoting his head from left to right...every three to four seconds - I get dizzy just watching him spin his head back and forth. Someone please tell him to slow down the head movements! Sheesh!

Posted by: Bugger Me Knot | July 17, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

McBush is chopped liver. He is too old, too reticent in accepting new ideas and strategies, and he is just a small-statured cranky pants that does not know what real Americans need. (Remember folks, not all of us marry a millionaire blond bimbo 18 years our junior...someone he was skrewing while still married to his handicapped first wife. TRUE - look it up!)

OBAMA is the man to bring ou out of the 8 years of Bush darkness.

Posted by: Daddio on the Paddio | July 17, 2008 4:27 PM | Report abuse

You want to see a 61 year old woman get thrown out af a McCain town hall meeting, and get fined by the police for holding a Bush-McCain sign. This is to much.

Posted by: HemiHead | July 17, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

The reality is McCain is going to lose and lose big in November. He has already alienated most of the American people, who are realizing that McCain is a hollow man with little to offer in terms of policies and plans for helping us overcome the horrendous economic and military problems GWBush criminal administration has created these past eight years. Don't waste your money or your tears on McCain. He does not deserve either.

Posted by: David S. Robins | July 17, 2008 3:07 PM | Report abuse

It is being reported that the Dutch-Anglo oligarghy who controls elections around the world is planning to make Gore the Dem nominee at the convention next month while they get rid of Obama via scandals this month. The reason is because Gore works for them and will promote their agenda to privatize the U.S. for 100% profits as the economy is tanking and get rid of our system of government, both the Dem and GOP parties and the peoples' soverignty. Billionaire NYC Mayor Bloomberg is also another one of their employees and is ready to be placed where ever he is needed either Dem or GOP parties to do the same job as he's been privatizing NYC for the past 8 years.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Mike | July 17, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

"Headwind" is the perfect way to decribe McCain.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 17, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

And Campaign Diaries has just released its fourth installment of its electoral ratings, with Obama taking a clear electoral college lead for the first time:

Posted by: Dan | July 17, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Talking to one recent independent does not equal talking to Nebraskans. Considering that in 2006, registered Republicans outnumbered Dems and Independents combined, Nebraska giving less than all 5 electoral votes to McCain is highly unlikely. To correct and clarify, the 2nd is Omaha and is the best shot for Obama. The 1st (Lincoln and east) is unlikely and the 3rd (west) is as Republican as there is - Obama will not win it.

Posted by: andrew | July 17, 2008 10:22 AM | Report abuse

Correction: The THIRD congressional district is western/rural Nebraska--if McCain loses there, he's really got problems, since it's one of the most Republican districts in the country. The FIRST Congressional District surrounds Lincoln; the SECOND Congressional District is the Omaha area.

Posted by: L | July 17, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Clarification: the district including the state capital, Lincoln, is the 1st Congressional District while the Omaha district is the 2nd district.

Posted by: Jim | July 17, 2008 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Anything's in play now that Obama is running hard on national security and has his fundrasising mojo back.

Posted by: matt | July 17, 2008 9:29 AM | Report abuse

I think you mean "unlike *most* other states." Maine also uses a tiered system allowing a split of its electoral college votes.

Posted by: mark | July 17, 2008 8:59 AM | Report abuse

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