State Senator Mike McDonnell used to be a Democrat, but he’s crossed the floor and recently announced he’s a registered Republican now. His crossing to the GOP might mean the state will see election laws change to favor Donald Trump. Let’s see what could happen in Nebraska because of this.

A Democrat Since 1984

Senator McDonnell has been serving Nebraska as a Democrat since 1984. Yet he’s recently changed his mind to become a Republican, leaving the Democrat party behind.

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According to McDonnell, the Democrat party never really enjoyed his anti-abortion views, and the Republicans do, so it seems like a natural fit for him to settle there.

Democrats Won Some Seats

Nebraska is considered a “red state” because most of its voters turn out for the Republicans. Despite the GOP holding a majority, there are a few holdout Democrat constituencies.

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There has been some strife between Democrats and McDonnell before, as his voting record has shown him to be more conservative than his liberal party mates would prefer him to be.

Asking To Respect his Views

McDonnell’s shift to the GOP wasn’t undertaken lightly. He had previously asked the Democrat party to understand and respect his views as a Roman Catholic on abortion.

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Instead, McDonnell’s Democrat party mates decided to punish his stance. Thanks to his pro-life voting, he was barred from the Democrats’ party resources and blocked from participating in party events.

McDonnell Censured By Democrats

In March, the Democrat party censured McDonnell for his voting records, stating that his voting could severely impede the reproductive rights of transgender citizens in Nebraska.

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The Democratic party also denied that the censure was due to McDonnell’s pro-life stance but instead was due to how he voted on specific issues the party should stand together on.

A Shift In Nebraska’s Electoral College

Senator McDonnell’s move is a clear signal that Nebraska may be headed for a major change. Governor Jim Pillen and other GOP leaders are pushing for a “winner-take-all” arrangement for the state’s electoral college votes.

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Currently, only Nebraska and Maine have allowances for the Electoral College to be split by congressional district. The change would bring Nebraska in line with the rest of the states.

Two Democrat Presidents Got Votes from This Electoral College

In their march to the White House, Biden and Obama secured some votes from this state’s electoral college. Removing the congressional district requirements would mean that the state would always vote Republican.

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This is exactly what the Republicans want to avoid going into the 2024 elections. Even one vote coming from Nebraska to support Biden could mean Trump losing by one vote.

A Homogenous Electorate Might Be Better

Those who want to see this change argue that having a singular homogeneous electorate would allow the state to get more done and reflect a more unified stance.

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However, many critics point out that this is a move by Republicans to secure the entire state as a voting spot since Democrats would have no vote even if they held onto a congressional district.

Speaking With a Unified Voice

Governor Pillen recently endorsed the move, stating that he thinks it’s what the state’s founders would have wanted. Awarding all the votes to a single candidate would ensure Nebraska was heard.

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Presidential hopeful Donald Trump also supported the change and posted on Truth Social on Tuesday to thank Governor Pillen for his leadership and bold moves to do the right thing.

A Long Shot

This change would have to be ratified by the state, but Democrats were confident that they had enough votes secured to filibuster it until the session ends on April 18th.

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Unfortunately, with McDonnell switching parties, the estimate that they can filibuster this motion seems to have hit a snag. Democrats will lose their ability to block the change and may lose votes in Nebraska as a result.

Extreme Democrats Pushing Away Moderate Representatives

US Senator Pete Ricketts, a former Republican governor for the state, was happy to welcome McDonnell to the GOP ranks and said that his switch demonstrated the inflexibility of the Democrat party.

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With the Democrat party trying to make all their senators toe the party line, it becomes impossible for representatives like McDonnell to hold true to their personal ideals.

Still A Huge Supporter of Unions

Senator McDonnell joined the Democratic party because he believed in workers’ rights and unionization. His strides in ensuring representation for workers in Nebraska remain important.

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The Democrat party was more than happy to support his push for workers’ rights. They took offense at his opinion on abortion, specifically his position as pro-life because of his Catholic upbringing.

No Room for Dissidence

In the past, Democrat parties across the US were all for openness in debate and discussion, but a recent change in politics has made these groups more closed-off and challenging to engage with.

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Instead of espousing liberal policies, many Democrat parties censure their members if they hold any ideas that don’t belong to what the party says is right. This happened to McDonnell and is likely to happen to others as well.

A Difficult Time for a Democrat

Democrat voters are also having a difficult time deciding what to do. Representatives who once stood for the rights and freedoms of their constituents now abandon them for party politics.

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McDonnell’s switch is a huge move that could redefine Nebraska’s politics, but it also underlines a weakness in the Democrat party that it can’t address with its current tactics.

A Filibuster-Proof Republican Legislature

McDonnell’s addition to the GOP ranks means that for the first time in recent memory, there’s a legislature in Nebraska that can’t be filibustered. It’s a good time for Republicans in Nebraska since they’ll get to pass the legislation they want.

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For Republicans going forward, this could be a landmark moment, shifting how the state interacts with national politics. Losing congressional districts in Nebraska could deny the Democrats a few key seats they need to make their candidate the president. Once the legislation passes, Nebraska will leave Maine as the sole state in the union that still has a divided stance on who should be president.