Nebraska has had at least three congressional districts since 1883. The district's current configuration dates from 1963, when Nebraska lost a seat as a result of the 1960 United States Census. At that time, most of the old 3rd and 4th districts were merged to form the new 3rd District.
The district is one of the most Republican districts in the nation. Democrats have only come close to winning this district three times as currently drawn, in 1974, 1990, and 2006, all years where the incumbent was not running for reelection. Republican presidential and gubernatorial candidates routinely carry the district with margins of 40 percent or more, while Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1936 was the last Democratic presidential candidate to win a plurality within the current district boundaries. Excepting historically Democratic Saline County on the district’s eastern boundary and Dakota County which has only been within this district since 2013, the last Democrat to carry any county within the district at a presidential level was Jimmy Carter in 1976. Although Nebraska's state legislature is elected on a nonpartisan basis, all but two state senators representing significant portions of the district are known to be Republicans. With a Cook PVI of R+27, it is the most Republican Congressional District in the country outside the South.
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