the respect it deserves.
If the system he wants had been in place nationwide in the past, we would never have had a President Carter or a President Kennedy, and we would have had a President Hancock and a few others not now on the roster.
Near every presidential election, there is a flurry of talk about doing something about the Electoral College, from tweaky reform to outright abolition. A few weeks after Election Day, the talk usually goes away.
In Husted's case, that seems unlikely. His proposal, as noted by Plunderbund, would follow the general lines of the Maine/Nebraska system. The winner of each congressional district using that method is awarded the district's electoral vote. Whoever wins the statewide vote gets the remaining two electoral votes. With modifications, this method has been used in Maine since 1972 and in Nebraska since 1996. Only once has one of these two states split its electoral vote; Nebraska gave one to Barack Obama in 2008.
Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett sought to get that system set up in the commonwealth this year, but he failed. That isn't deterring Husted. If we've learned one thing about these guys that we should emulate, it's their relentless pursuit of their objectives.
[Husted] says we should make Ohio less important in the election by dividing up our electoral votes by Congressional district.That alone wouldn't, of course, have given Romney the presidency. But if just five other states where Obama won the popular vote—and thus all the Electoral votes—had adopted this system, look at what the results would have been:
This is huge and should raise giant red flags. Under the current winner-take-all system, Obama won all 18 of Ohio’s electoral votes. Under Husted’s plan, 12 of those 18 electoral votes would be handed to Mitt Romney, the popular vote loser.
• Florida's 29 Electoral votes for Obama, split 17-12 in favor of Romney
• Michigan's 16 votes for Obama, split 9-7 in favor of Romney
• Ohio's 18 votes for Obama, split 12-6 in favor of Romney
• Pennsylvania's 20 votes for Obama, split 13-7 in favor of Romney
• Virginia's 13 votes for Obama, split 8-5 in favor of Romney
• Wisconsin's 10 votes for Obama, split 5-5 in favor of Romney
Romney, who only received 206 Electoral votes under the current system, would have gained another 64 votes. Total: 270. Just what he needed to step into the winner's circle. Gerrymandering by GOP-dominated legislatures had a lot to do with how those congressional districts turned out. And it will until the presidential election of 2024.
If the system Husted and Corbett and other Republicans would like had been installed for nationwide for this election, Romney would have received even more Electoral votes. Republicans won House seats in at least 233 districts, with seven not yet decided. Add in two Electoral votes from the 24 states where Romney won statewide and the total count would have been 281 to Obama's 257. Even with Democratic wins in the seven undecided districts, Obama could not have won.
In 2008, such a change wouldn't have made John McCain president. He lost by 365 to 173 in the Electoral College. Shifting to a Husted/Corbett approach nationwide would have generated 237 votes for the Arizona senator against Obama's 301.
A far better system is the proposed National Popular Vote, which won't require a constitutional amendment to get a fix. As Markos noted here, making this happen is a matter of getting an interstate compact in which states agree to cast their Electoral College votes for winner of the popular vote. To activate the compact takes agreement from states with 270 Electoral votes. So far, we're not quite halfway. Nine states with 132 Electoral votes have signed on: California, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont and Washington.
The Electoral College may have made sense once. Without it or something like it, there might never have been a Republic. But in the 21st Century, it's an anachronism, and the National Popular Vote is a means of deep-sixxing it without going down what is most likely a losing path of trying to adopt a constitutional amendment to abolish it.