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View Diary: Colorado may change EV allocation (108 comments)

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  •  Fed gerrymandering, or Bordering on Ridiculous (none)
    Wild idea here:

    Thinking along these lines of proportional vs winner-take-all representation...It's not just the electoral college, but also the US Senate that's skewed in this way.  Thus an expanse of near-empty grassland such as WY gets 2 senators just as CA or NY does.  And although the House is largely proportional, even the least populous states are guaranteed one at-large representative.

    This built-in rural bias got me thinking about a disturbing prospect:  given Repub presidents and governors, compliant state and federal courts, and sufficient GOP majorities (i.e., veto-proof, filibuster-proof) in the US Congress and in the applicable state legislatures, what's to stop them from carving a state like WY (which Bush carried by a 40% margin in 2000) into an arbitrary number of new Delaware-sized states by mutual agreement?  Sure, you'd get a bunch of complicated, useless bureaucracies on the state level, and the local effect would be a bit ridiculous, on the whole.  But each of these new statelets would get 2 senators and at least 1 at-large representative in the House.  This could also increase the number of "Red" electors, since each would get at least 1 vote.  Et voila, a permanent majority for the GOP.  

    I suppose Democrats could try to respond by doing something analogous to a big blue state, but the blue votes are typically concentrated in big cities, so splitting off chunks of these states would just hand the GOP even more representation unless it were very carefully done.  And since the blue states are crowded with people, the inherent advantage of non-proportional representation at near-zero population size is much harder to exploit:  Split a state with 50 EV's and 20+ US Reps in half, and you gain nothing in the House or the College.  Also, since the big-prize blue states have comparatively huge, complicated economies, the internal division would be fraught with practical complexities far beyond those you'd encounter when dividing up a few parcels of sparsely inhabited Wyoming ranchland.  

    Normally I would say, "They'd never try something this brazen or transparent," but after watching the Texas redistricting unfold, I'm no longer convinced of that.

    So, am I crazy, or could this happen?

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