Nebraska's Republican roots run deep. It was one of a handful of states that voted against Franklin Roosevelt twice, and from 1940-2008 it voted for a Democratic presidential candidate only once, when it gave LBJ 52 percent of the vote in 1964. But Democrats have had more luck at the gubernatorial level: Republicans won only three of 12 gubernatorial elections from 1958 through 1994. The typical Democratic formula was to have a Republican incumbent raise taxes, allowing a conservative Democrat to sneak through.
When conservative Democratic Senator Ben Nelson retired in 2012, Democrats thought they had a shot at holding the seat when former governor Bob Kerrey announced his bid. But Kerrey ultimately lost to Deb Fischer by 16 points. Even in the current environment, this seat looks solid for Republicans.