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Obama focuses on Omaha's electoral vote

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Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) speaks during a campaign stop in Asheville, North Carolina on October 5, 2008. (UPI Photo/Nell Redmond) | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/f7162eebfea0947c8b3f80f2de847239/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) speaks during a campaign stop in Asheville, North Carolina on October 5, 2008. (UPI Photo/Nell Redmond) | License Photo

OMAHA, Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Campaigners for Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama say they are focusing attention on Omaha, trying to "stretch" the party's electoral map.

Only two states, Nebraska and Maine, award electoral college votes based on individual congressional districts rather than in winner-take-all fashion. And while Nebraska overall hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential nominee since 1936, advisers for Obama, a U.S. senator from Illinois, sense an opportunity in the state's only heavily urban district in Omaha, The Washington Post reported Monday.

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Obama's campaign has sent 15 paid staff members to Nebraska hoping to secure an electoral vote from its 2nd Congressional District, which could be crucial in a close race, they say.

"One of the keys is going to be stretching the map. If we can put all of these states into play, that will make a difference," Jon Carson, Obama's national field director, told the Post, adding that the more competitive Obama can be, the more traditionally Republican territory GOP opponent John McCain, a U.S. senator from Arizona, will be forced to defend.

McCain campaigners are employing the same strategy in traditionally Democratic Maine, where they are hoping to win a largely rural congressional district.

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