Voter Turnout Lower Than Expected, Third District Rallies Behind Fischer

By: Cassie Anderson Email
By: Cassie Anderson Email

"The third district is overwhelmingly Republican and they are republicans who vote." - Dr. John Hibbing, Political Science Professor 

67% of registered voters cast ballots and made the choice between Deb Fischer and Bob Kerrey. It's a lower turnout than expected by Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale.

Gale projected a 71% turnout, similar to the 2008 presidential election. He says numbers are always higher in presidential election years.

"Presidential elections do and should have an extraordinary turnout. I mean, we're the greatest democracy in the world, we are the oldest democracy in the world, if we can't set an example for the emerging democracies, then I am disappointed in us as Americans," Gale said.

Sioux county had the highest turnout with 80%. It's a county Fischer won.

The poorest showing came from Thurston county with 46%. Thurston county went to Kerrey.

When talking about how Fischer won the senate seat, keep in mind the margin of victory. Fischer won 88 of Nebraska's 93 counties. Kerrey pulled ahead in five counties, two of them being big ones, the most populated counties of Lancaster and Douglas.

This is where the margin of victory comes in. In Lancaster county, Kerrey won 53% of the vote. In Douglas county the margin is even slimmer, a three percent difference.

You compare that to about any other county in the state where Fischer won 70% or 80% of the vote and it's easy to see why she is Nebraska's new U.S. Senator.

"The third district is overwhelmingly Republican and they are Republicans who vote. So, that's a double whammy and I think the Kerrey people knew all along. They were going to have to work very hard in Lincoln and Omaha. All Fischer had to do was not mess up," Political Science Professor Dr. John Hibbing said.

With the election in the rear view mirror, one candidate makes the move to Washington, while the other just moves on.

Election officials will have to wait four more years to see poll numbers this high again.


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