Is Omaha Liberal or Conservative?
Nebraska is a red state, and Omaha is a purple city in a red state. But what does that mean when you live here? Here is a closer look at politics in Nebraska.
Omaha (and Nebraska) are pretty interesting when it comes to politics – it’s a mix of different views.
Omaha and Lincoln, the two biggest cities in Nebraska, are more liberal than the rest of the state.
It leans a bit more conservative compared to other cities around and the country overall, but there’s also a good number of liberals.
In general, the city of Omaha is going to be more liberal than the suburbs.
The closer you get to the city core, the more liberal it gets. And that’s pretty typical of most big cities.
So, is Omaha liberal or conservative?
It’s probably moderate. It’s not extremely liberal or conservative.
There are going to be pockets where it will be more extreme one way or the other. But, in general, the city is moderate.
How Does Omaha Vote?
In the last presidential election, Douglas County, where Omaha sits, voted for Joe Biden – 54.4% to 43.1%.
If you look at Sarpy County (Bellevue, Papillion, and Gretna), the results were flipped. Donald Trump won the vote 54.0% to 42.8%.
Technically, the mayor and city council are non-partisan, which means there is no “R” or “D” behind their name at the ballots.
Liberal and Conservative Policies
Conservatives may not love Nebraska’s tax policy. We have some of the highest property taxes in the country. And you can’t blame Democrats because most state and local offices are held by Republicans.
Liberals may not love the policies on abortion and gender-affirming care that were recently passed.
In May 2023, abortion laws in Nebraska were changed. Nebraska bans abortion at 12 weeks of pregnancy.
Nebraska is an “open carry” state, which means most adults over 18 may carry visible guns in most places.
In 2023, lawmakers changed the law to allow people to carry concealed guns in the state without a permit.
Nebraska does require a purchase permit for handgun sales, and there is no waiting period to purchase a firearm.
I wrote a detailed page about marijuana laws in Nebraska.
In a nutshell, marijuana is illegal in Nebraska, including medicinal.
As of 2023, Nebraska has implemented several restrictions regarding gender-affirming care for minors under the age of 19.
That unicameral passed a law in 2023 that prohibits healthcare providers from administering medical interventions such as puberty blockers, hormone treatments, and genital or non-genital surgeries to patients under 19.
Providers are also banned from offering referrals for such treatments, and physicians who offer these services may face civil penalties.
This law is new and there have been emergency regulations to clarify what is and isn’t allowed. By the time you read this, additional provisions or changes might have been made.
Please consult with a medical professional if this is an important topic for you.
All of the federal and statewide officeholders are Republicans.
It has been several years since a Democrat held state-wide office. In 2014, Omaha did elect a Democrat to the US House of Representatives.
House of Representatives
Nebraska District 1
Mike Flood (Republican)
This district covers part of Sarpy County including Bellevue, Papillion, La Vista, and Offutt Air Force Base. It also covers Lincoln, Fremont, and a large chunk of eastern Nebraska.
Nebraska District 3
Adrian Smith (Republican)
District 3 covers a massive part of Nebraska. Mainly western Nebraska.
Lincoln is the capital of Nebraska, not Omaha.
If you watch Jeopardy, you will often see people get this wrong.
Every statewide officeholder is a Republican
Nebraska is the only state in the U.S. with a unicameral legislature.
It is a single-chamber body, meaning it has no upper or lower house. It’s the equivalent if the U.S. got rid of the House or the Senate and had only one lawmaking body.
The Nebraska Unicameral is composed of 49 senators who are elected to four-year terms. There are term limits – you can only serve two back-to-back terms.