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Casting your vote for the next Columnist Yasmin McEwen
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Election likely to go to wire, experts say
BY BRIAN CARLSON
This year's presidential race
between Republican George W.
Bush and Democrat A1 Gore
could turn out to be the closest
since 1960, when John F. Kennedy
eked out a win over Richard
The outcome depends on the
results in a dozen or more states
now considered tossups.
Although Bush has held a consis
tent lead in the polls the past cou
ple of weeks, this election also has
raised the possibility he could
win the popular vote and lose die
"I think nationally Bush is
ahead, but not by much,” said
John (fibbing, a UNL political sci
ence professor. “In the electoral
college, Bush does not lead by
much, if at all”
By Ribbing’s estimate, there is
a 10-20 percent chance Bush
could win the popular vote and
lose the electoral vote.
“If it did, there’s a chance it
would be the end of the electoral
college,” he said. “In this day and
age, people want to see that their
voice redly matters.”
According to polls, Bush
appears to have slightly more
than 200 electoral votes locked
up, while Gore has probably
secured slightly fewer. Enough
states are in play that neither can
didate can comfortably claim to
have close to the magic number
Bush is likely to win most of
the Great Plains states and the
Southern states. A cause for con
cern, however, is that Bush has
fallen into a close race with Gore
in Florida, where his brother, Jeb
Bush, is governor.
Gore has strong support in
the Northeast. He appears likely
to win California and Illinois,
although his leads in those states
have narrowed. For Gore, a major
concern is that traditionally
Democratic states like
Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa
could go to Bush.
The candidates have spent
considerable time campaigning
in battleground states along the
Mississippi River and in the
Pacific Northwest. Both candi
dates have made several trips to
Iowa in the campaign’s closing
“It’s always been a very strate
gic process,” Hibbing said. “You
want to campaign in the areas
where it will do you the most
Bush appears poised to win
Ohio, but two other important
states, Michigan and
Pennsylvania, are question
marks. If Bush could win those
states, that might neutralize a
possible loss in Florida, Hibbing
In states like Wisconsin,
Minnesota, Oregon and
Washington, Gore's problems are
partly due to Green Party candi
date Ralph Nader's candidacy,
Those states have large blocks
of liberal voters who may vote for
Nader rather than Gore, Hibbing
said. But he said those voters gen
erally account for 4-5 percent of
the electorate, and the effect of
their vote may not be decisive.
Although Bush has led in
polls recently, his support
appears to have dropped a cou
ple of percentage points, Hibbing
Please see PREDICTIONS on 5
m Bush (205 likely votes) Gore (171) BlToss-uo (162)
Source: Latest nationwide pods
David Oasen/ DN
Phil and David Zadt, UNL students, and their younger brother Paul, a high school student from Omaha, play with Danny Edwards Friday night in The Lounge at Neihardt Residence Center.The band,
called Remedy, played Christian music and read scripture to the full-house audience.The group plays regularly around Lincoln and Omaha.
Nelson proud of
■ The former governor pledges to
be an independent voice for
Nebraska if elected to the Senate.
BY BRIAN CARLSON
Sporting a red, white and blue,
star-spangled shirt, Ben Nelson is
poised to march in Schulyer’s Labor
Before the parade gets underway,
he stops to talk to a reporter about the
upcoming race and how it's shaping
up. As he talks, an elderly man steps up
and gets Nelson’s attention.
The 74-year-old man, Carl G. “Gil”
Haase, tells Nelson he has gone with
out prescription drugs for his heart
condition, arthritis and diabetes for
four days. He says he could not afford
the medication until he received his
Social Security check the next day.
“You’ve got my vote, Ben,” says
Haase, who tells Nelson he trusts him
most to help provide prescription
drug coverage for seniors.
Nelson turns to the reporter; “Did
you get that down?” he asks.
For Nelson, it’s a tailor-made
moment It’s almost like Nelson set it
up. It typifies what he believes is his
broad, bipartisan appeal among vot
“The man is the individual I vote
for," Haase said. “He did what he said
he’d do as governor, and I figure he’ll
probably do it as a senator.”
Nelson, a former two-term gover
nor, is now facing Republican Don
Stenberg in this year’s Senate race. He
said he values a pragmatic, bipartisan
approach to politics.
“I do think I have a broad-based
appeal among Democrats, independ
ents and enlightened Republicans,” he
For critics though, Nelson’s self
proclaimed independence is a facade
which he must raise to win in mostly
In the beginning, Nelson barely
clawed his way into Nebraska politics.
In 1990, while running for gover
nor, Nelson squeaked out a victory in
the Democratic primary over Bill
Hoppner. After several recounts, he
was declared winner by a mere 42
He went on to defeat Republican
Kay Orr in the general election.
Please see NELSON on 5
confident of victory
BY BRIAN CARLSON
It’s Philadelphia in early August.
Republicans from around the
country are in a festive mood, hoping
they can ride the momentum from
their national convention to
November, win the White House and
keep control of Congress.
On the evening before Republican
presidential candidate George W. Bush
is set to give his convention address,
the states will dole out their electoral
votes and name Bush their nominee.
Sen. Chuck Hagel and Gov. Mike
Johanns want to put Republican
Senate candidate Don Stenberg out
front when it’s Nebraska’s turn. Give
him a moment of glory and some free
national TV air time.
But Stenberg, the state attorney
general, is not interested. He’s already
given a five-minute speech to the con
vention, and he’s ready to head back to
Nebraska. He doesn’t stay for Bash’s
speech. Stenberg is not a gregarious,
backslapping politician. He doesn’t
have a strong flair for the dramatic.
But what the staid, reserved attor
ney general has done during his Senate
race against former Gov. Ben Nelson is
to tell Nebraskans over and over again
“One of my greatest
strengths is that my
views are shared by the
majority of Nebraskans. ”
Republican Senate candidate
that if they plan to send Bush to the
White House, they ought to give him a
cooperative, GOP Congress.
“One of my greatest strengths is
that my views are shared by the major
ity of Nebraskans," he said. “My posi
tions on the issues are very much the
same as Chuck Hagel’s and George W.
Supporters and opponents of
Stenberg generally agree he is a persist
ent, determined politician who clings
to his beliefs and resists compromise.
“Don Stenberg has been a key
piece of the Johanns administration,”
Johanns said. “From the first day, he
helped me in every way he could. Time
and again, I have relied on his advice,
which I have found to be prudent, sen
sible and conservative.”
Please see STENBERG on 10
BY VERONICA DAEHN
The NU Board of Regents took a look at the
accessibility of need-based aid at its meeting
Christine Denicola, a spokeswoman from the
Nebraska Coordinating Commission for
Postsecondary Education, led a panel of financial
Nebraska ranks fifth nationally in the percent
age of high school graduates who are enrolled in
college by the time they are 19, Denicola said.
But the state ranks 14th in the number of low
income graduates enrolled in college by the same
Of the 20,000 Nebraska higfr school graduates,
at least 40 percent, or 8,000, aren’t going on to col
lege, she said.
University President Dennis Smith said the low
number was the main concern.
“Why are they not coming?” Smith said. “What
proportion of high school graduates who are aca
demically qualified simply cannot afford to go to
college? That remains the critical question.”
As a state, Nebraska has increased its grant
programs m the last five years, Denicola said.
But for all Nebraska institutions, fewer than 30
percent of Pell-grant-eligible students received
state grant awards. The average award of those
who did receive assistance was $600.
Papillion Regent Drew Miller said he would
expect the state’s grant dollars to be low because
the University of Nebraska’s tuition is 10 percent
less than its peers.
The Coordinating Commission for
Postsecondary Education is responsible for rec
ommending to the Legislature what the universi
ty’s budget should be for the next year.
Denicola said the commission would recom
mend a $2 million increase in state aid.
In other news, the Regents tabled a motion
that would have made individual UNL football
and UNO hockey tickets available for sale on the
Miller said making tickets available on the
Internet would allow more people to attend games
and would help remove the Regents from their role
as ticket-providers to charities.
The technology required to sell tickets over the
Internet would be cheap, he said.
“This would be an overall win for us,” Miller
Regent Don Blank of McCook said he didn't
know where the tickets would come from.
“At UNL, there are no other tickets,” Blank said.
Miller suggested the Regents give up the pool
of tickets they buy. Blank said he sells those tickets
to people throughout his district and didn't want
to give that up.
“It bothers me that we’re getting into the man
agement of athletic policies at UNL and UNO,” he
said. "If I had to vote on this today, I’d vote against
The motion will be referred to the Regents’ ath
The Regents also forwarded reviews of 12 aca
demic programs to the Nebraska Coordinating
Commission for Postsecondary Education.
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