On Sunday, two swing-state newspapers endorsed Mitt Romney for president in the 2012 election, with one explicitly citing last week's debate as part of its rationale for supporting him.
"On Wednesday night, Nevadans watched Mr. Romney trounce the president," wrote the editors of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, applauding Romney's "pro-growth tax and regulatory" and calling President Barack Obama "openly hostile to free-market capitalism." The paper echoed a recent Romney campaign attack ad, citing Obama's "you didn't build that" comments. Many other news outlets have criticized Romney for taking the line out of context.
The Omaha World-Herald, meanwhile, accused Obama of engaging in "class warfare" and of "lack[ing] the management skill necessary to run government."
Both papers have reliably conservative editorial pages, and both endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in 2008, to little effect. Obama won Nevada in 2008, and was awarded Omaha's one electoral vote. Nevertheless, polls show a tightening 2012 presidential contest in which some otherwise minor political developments could play a more significant role.
While Nebraska is rarely included in the list of key swing states in the presidential election -- the overall state vote has been reliably Republican for decades -- the unusual way in which the state calculates its electoral votes makes it a viable play for Obama.
Nebraska allocates its electoral votes based on congressional district, not based on the raw statewide vote. In 2008, Obama picked up one electoral vote from Nebraska's 2nd congressional district, which includes Omaha, a city that is considerably more liberal than the rest of the state. The Obama campaign has begun advertising in Omaha, likely a sign that it is attempting to pick up that electoral vote once again.
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