Nebraskans could be heading to the polls in 2016 a month earlier than usual for the primary election. Some state lawmakers and leaders of both major political parties have begun talking about the possibility of moving up the primary for the next presidential election year. State Sen. John Murante of Gretna is promoting the idea because, he said, an earlier primary could attract more attention from presidential candidates. Nebraska’s current primary — scheduled for the first Tuesday after the second Monday in May — is one of the latest in the presidential race. “By the time Nebraska rolls around, the race for president is almost always over,” Murante said. “We are at the end of the process. Therefore, we are irrelevant.”
He wants to move the primary to the first Tuesday after the second Monday in April — which would put Nebraska closer to the middle of the presidential race. Murante said he is finding many people warm to the idea. “The more we talk about it, the more steam it is picking up,” he said.
Murante, a Republican, said there is interest from both Republicans and Democrats. Support from both parties would be needed to change the state law setting the primary date. Vince Powers, chairman of the Nebraska Democratic Party, said he has long favored the move.