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2008 presidential results by congressional district
Reid Wilson at the National Journal has an extended look at a coordinated GOP scheme to rig the electoral college; even though a prominent attempt died on the vine in Pennsylvania last year, Republicans in Washington are organizing efforts in several blue-leaning states to forge ahead once again. As we've written before, these plans typically revolve around splitting a state's electoral votes by congressional district, which of course is wonderful if you're the GOP and you've drawn the state's congressional map to your liking. For instance, even though Barack Obama won Michigan handily, Republican control over the mapmaking process meant Mitt Romney prevailed in nine of the state's 14 districts.

Along with Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan make the most tempting targets because they're all blue states which (temporarily, we can pray) are completely controlled by Republicans, thanks to the 2010 wipeout. Virginia's also a possibility, but it remains in play for the GOP on the statewide level, so Republicans might continue to prefer winner-take-all there. (After that, you're talking about Ohio, Florida and North Carolina—states the GOP almost certainly doesn't want to carve up.)

But it's far from automatic. BeloitDem points out that Republican margins in the state legislatures in MI, PA and WI are fairly tight and it wouldn't take many defections to derail this scheme. (In Virginia, it would take just one: Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, who casts tiebreaking votes in the evenly-divided state Senate. And he's pretty incensed at the establishment these days.)

The reason this very same scheme ran aground in the Keystone State is instructive, too: Republican members of Congress were extremely wary of turning their individual turfs into national battlegrounds every time a presidential election rolled around. GOP leaders in Pennsylvania are therefore pushing an amended plan now, one that would award electoral votes based on the total popular vote share in the state. This method would have given Obama 11 electoral voters and Romney 9 in Pennsylvania, instead of the full 20 being awarded to Obama outright. And of course, this plan would also damage Democratic chances at the White House in the future because similar changes obviously won't be made in large red states like Texas.

This modified Pennsylvania approach worries me the most, since it'd probably be the easiest to pass. Democrats therefore need to keep pressure on wobbly Republican lawmakers in each of these states—and to make as big a stink as possible about how shameful these shenanigans are. I'll bet newspaper editorial boards won't like these hijinks one bit, and I think ordinary voters can be convinced that the GOP is playing political games with their right to vote.

What's more, changing the system will also jeopardize the swing state status of each of these states. Under the new PA plan, no one would bother contesting the state as you'd need to win 56 percent of the total statewide vote just to move the needle from an 11-9 split to 12-8. No one's scored that high in Pennsylvania since the Nixon landslide of `72—not even Obama in 2008—so the state would go from a frequent battleground to an afterthought. To be clear, I don't care for the electoral college one bit, but if appealing to any sense of "swing state pride" helps scuttle these efforts, I'm all for it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Elections on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 03:28 PM PST.

Also republished by Pittsburgh Area Kossacks, DKos Pennsylvania, and Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is scummy stuff. (34+ / 0-)

    And if they believe "that almost everyone would agree proportional or CD is more representative and maybe more fair than the current winner-take-all," as Anuzis is quoted, then they should take their "strong, righteous argument" to Texas first.

  •  It might help them short term (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Satya1, stevenaxelrod, BRog

    but once Texas goes blue, those states wouldn't matter as much. It might even help accelerate Texas blue going status, as the Dems would likely start pouring lots of resources there to turn out the dormant Latino vote. We saw how well voter suppression helped the Republicans this time, it totally boomeranged right back at them in the form of equal turn out as 2008 by minorities, partially propelled by anger at what the Republicans for what they were trying to pull.

  •  We Need To Get This Rec'd (6+ / 0-)

    Get this on the recommended list!

    Ohio, we can overturn I think with a ballot initiative.  

    Michigan, we might be able to if we get 8% signatures in the last Gov election?

    PA, there is no ballot initiatives.

  •  Actually, Husted of Ohio was playing up that idea. (10+ / 0-)

    Repubs not only gerrymandered Ohio to hell and back, but managed to knock out one of the already very few blue districts this last time, giving them an even greater advantage in electoral votes in Ohio if they manage to pull such off here.

  •  The Republican Party: (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    NoMoreLies, chujb, Matt Z

    Representation for dollars and real estate, but not actual people.

    From now on James Dobson shall be referred to ---son. I'm not sharing three letters of my last name with that s.o.b.

    by Dobber on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:15:15 PM PST

    •  Unfortunately it is not going to happen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Expect to lose seats in the Senate and possibly even the Senate (which is why I think handing Brown a Senate seat from MA again is ridiculous).

      Also expect to lose seats in the House again.

      I wish I could be more optimistic but considering how badly the House and Senate Republicans behaved these last 2 years and how they still held onto the House, I hold out no hope.

      That doesn't mean we shouldn't try our hardest to keep as many Dems in Congress as possible, it just means not deluding yourself into a big letdown.

      •  Republicans have to gain six seats in the Senate (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        stevenaxelrod, NMLib, Matt Z

        To give you an idea how unlikely that is, that's all they were able to pull off in 2010.

        Also, don't assume that Brown will win the special election; as an incumbent, he lost by several points to a first-time candidate in 2012.

        If life was fair, we wouldn't need unions.

        by ScottyUrb on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:47:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I keep hearing this talk (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          of how hard it is going to be for Brown to win his seat back and I laugh since it is the same overconfidence that got him elected in the first place.

          I have a feeling Brown will be back in the Senate again very soon and then he'll be there for good.   His next re-election after that would be not be a Presidential election year and after that he'll have been in the seat for a long time and would be very hard to oust.

          •  We do have to work like heck in MA (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Matt Z

            My point is that he is no shoe-in for the seat, as some people fear. (Just like a Democrat would not be a shoe-in.)

            Furthermore, people aren't as complacent as they were in 2010.

            If life was fair, we wouldn't need unions.

            by ScottyUrb on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:54:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you--if the Senate doesn't (0+ / 0-)

          cut Social Security or Medicare.

          if they do, all bets are off.

          A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

          by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:31:11 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  The only way we "hand" Brown a Senate seat (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KingofSpades, Matt Z

        is if the Democratic candidate is constantly making gaffes when not sleepwalking, and the party takes everything for granted.  I wouldn't bet on either this time.

        In fact, it's at the very least certain that there will be a Democrat in there for five months or so given the fact that Gov. Patrick can appoint.  (If MA had a GOP guv then maybe we would be handing him the seat, at least temporarily.)

        37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

        by Mike in MD on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:13:22 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  And the GOP has the gall to sell it as "fairness" (8+ / 0-)

    But are not pushing proportional EC votes in Red controlled states like Texas, all of the old South, Arizona, Alaska, Indiana etc.  

    If it was about fairness why are they only pushing to do this in traditionally Presidential Blue States where they currently have total control?

    If it's good for Michigan, Ohio and Pa why is it not good for Texas?

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:19:11 PM PST

  •  It's got to be defeated by organized effort (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Any Republicans that are in legislative districts that Obama won this should be tied heavily to any measure that proposes to rig the system. A lot of these Republicans want to keep their seats and if they feel like supporting the measure will put their re-election at risk, they will not vote for it.

    26, Male, CA-24 (new CA-26), DK Elections Black Caucus Chair.

    by DrPhillips on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:20:44 PM PST

  •  I believe this plan is unconstitiutional (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mark Mywurtz, evangeline135

    It violates the 14th amendment's equal protection clause since voters have their votes counted differently when they are in separate districts despite being in the same state and are voting for the same elected office. These laws should definitely be taken to court.

    But before that ever happens, there is a good chance Republicans will be wary about this since it will look like sore losers doing a power grab and will face a major bipartisan backlash from the voters and media.

  •  My guess is none of these go anywhere (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    They tried this in PA before this past election and it went nowhere because the GOP House delegation hated the idea for the reasons listed here. It'll be no different here.

    That's not to say it's not something to keep a careful eye on, however. And if they do try it, don't just knock it down, make sure they pay for it in 2014.

  •  It's a good idea (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Mark Mywurtz

    a GREAT idea, really.

    The key is to pass the law so it only goes in effect when the other states impose the SAME law..then instead of SOME states doing it (Haay Neb), it's a light-switch where all do it at once.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:38:26 PM PST

    •  Tying the presidential election to gerrymandered (0+ / 0-)

      congressional districts is a horrible idea. It is completely undemocratic.

      President Obama at Madison Rally 9/28/2010 - "Change is not a spectator sport."

      by askew on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:19:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Maybe if it were decreed nationally (0+ / 0-)

      that all states would do this then it would work.  But that would require an act of Congress or a constitutional amendment, and the chances of those are respectively slim and none.

      Until that changes, fuck that whole idea.  And any Democratic goo-goos wanting to split blue states they control to make their electoral vote more "representative" should shove it, until we see serious efforts from Texas, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina (to name a few) to split their EV's.

      37, MD-8 (MD-6 after 2012) resident, NOVA raised, Euro/Anglophile Democrat

      by Mike in MD on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 09:17:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Shift From VoterID Jim Crow To Dred Scott District (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Shockwave, stevenaxelrod

    I think there are already tons of quotes out the about how changes in are intended to give greater proportional voting power to the "real Americans" in the rural area.

    It does seem like this wouldn't hold up under "equal protection."

    As if they were being shortchanges because South Dakota gets 2 senators for having the same population as baltimore!

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:50:18 PM PST

  •  republicans (5+ / 0-)

    hate democracy.

    The cold passion for truth hunts in no pack. -Robinson Jeffers

    by Laurence Lewis on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 04:54:12 PM PST

  •  Go to straight popular vote. (7+ / 0-)

    The GOPbaggers turn pale white (even more than usual) when you suggest that, because given current demographic trends it would mean they would lose, and lose, and lose, from now until the end of time.

  •  the republicans are always looking to take (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IndyScott, PlinytheWelder

    the "easy" route. A republican would ask," why pay for it, if i can steal it?"
    Dems have got to start treating the republicans the way a homeowner would treat a burglar with a record of repeated offenses, a thief with a history of theft, a tax cheat with a record of evasion, and a liar with a history of prevarication.
    Don't ever trust a republican. They are no good. They lack good citizenship.

    The Democrats now own everything from the center right to the far left. the republicans and the filthy robberbarons occupy the extreme right fringe.

    by longtimelurker on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:01:19 PM PST

  •  PA was an after thought this year, too. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    PA awarded its voted uncontested during this cycle.

    Get the fact straight before you post.

  •  Is there a comittee within the Democratic Party... (7+ / 0-)

    ...keeping track of the GOP strategies and tactics to turn America into some Gerrymandered unrepresentative quasi-democratic system?

    Is there a "war room" somewhere?

    This is a continuing war that we need to fight.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:06:33 PM PST

    •  yeah, I'm kind of tired of us (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      unpaid amateur liberal base types having to do all the worrying and all the work on this sh*t.  Is the Party intending to do anything, or are they just going to wait for us to bring it up, organize against it, fight it, etc etc etc?

      A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

      by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:32:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The citizens of these states (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    chuckvw, HeyMikey

    need to be educated to the fact that if they go to a popular vote strategy that they are screwing themselves out of importance unless all of the other states were to do this as well.

    In fact, they should be educated to the fact that if they want to go this route a better way of going about it is to have their state sign up to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (

  •  Yeah I actually like the electoral college, partly (0+ / 0-)

    because of the issue illustrated above, and partly because it ensures a clear winner in elections, as a general rule (the supreme court thievery in 2000 to the contrary notwithstanding). Yes, it does mean an irritating all consuming focus with 'swing states' like Ohio and Iowa, but I also think it modulates the parties. I think it is good for minority representation as well.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:09:40 PM PST

    •  State-by-State Winner-Take-All Issues (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      The precariousness of the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes is highlighted by the fact that a shift of a few thousand voters in one or two states would have elected the second-place candidate in 4 of the 14 presidential elections since World War II.  Near misses are now frequently common.  There have been 7 consecutive non-landslide presidential elections (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012). 537 popular votes won Florida and the White House for Bush in 2000 despite Gore's lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide. A shift of 60,000 voters in Ohio in 2004 would have defeated President Bush despite his nationwide lead of over 3 million votes.    

      With the current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes, it could only take winning a bare plurality of popular votes in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 23% of the nation's votes!

      With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically.
      Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics. Candidates would have to appeal to a broad range of demographics, and perhaps even more so, because the election wouldn’t be capable of coming down to just one demographic, such as waitress mom voters in Ohio.

      The influence of ethnic minority voters has decreased tremendously as the number of battleground states dwindles. For example, in 1976, 73% of blacks lived in battleground states. In 2004, that proportion fell to a mere 17%.  Just 21% of African Americans and 18% of Latinos lived in the 12 closest battleground states.  So, roughly 80% of non-white voters might as well have not existed.

      The Asian American Action Fund, Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action, NAACP, National Latino Congreso, and National Black Caucus of State Legislators endorse a national popular vote for president.

      •  Good points, but I do think (0+ / 0-)

        That a nationwide popular vote has the risk of splitting a progressive voting bloc, say, if there are more than two candidates. Gore probably would have won FL if Nader hadn't been there. And of course it means that if you are a Floridian your vote is extremely important (wonder how many Dems and even progressives still regret not voting that year). I would worry that someone then wins the Presidency with a plurality, not a majority someone could even win with less than 40% of the vote.
        Sure you could have a runoff, but do you really want to go through an election twice?
           I can't resist pointing you - and anyone else interested in this issue  - to a summary of the work of Kenneth Arrow, who proved that there is actually no way of reliably deriving aggregate social preference from individual preference. What this means is that there is no perfect way of electing a president in a Democracy and thus it really comes down to a choice of flaws we all are willing to live with


        An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

        by MichiganChet on Wed Dec 19, 2012 at 07:05:25 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Under the current state-by-state system (0+ / 0-)

          Under the current state-by-state system of electing the President (in which the candidate who receives a plurality of the popular vote wins all of the state's electoral votes), minor-party candidates have significantly affected the outcome in six (40%) of the 15 presidential elections in the past 60 years (namely the 1948, 1968, 1980, 1992, 1996, and 2000 presidential elections).  The reason that the current system has encouraged so many minor-party candidates and so much fragmentation of the vote is that a presidential candidate with no hope of winning a plurality of the votes nationwide has 51 separate opportunities to shop around for particular states where he can affect electoral votes or where he might win outright.  Thus, under the current system, segregationists such as Strom Thurmond (1948) or George Wallace (1968) won electoral votes in numerous Southern states, although they had no chance of receiving the most popular votes nationwide.  In addition, candidates such as John Anderson (1980), Ross Perot (1992 and 1996), and Ralph Nader (2000) did not win a plurality of the popular vote in any state, but managed to affect the outcome by switching electoral votes in numerous particular states.  

          With the current system of electing the President, no state requires that a presidential candidate receive anything more than the most popular votes in order to receive all of the state's electoral votes.

          Not a single legislative bill has been introduced in any state legislature in recent decades (among the more than 100,000 bills that are introduced in every two-year period by the nation's 7,300 state legislators) proposing to change the existing universal practice of the states to award electoral votes to the candidate who receives a plurality (as opposed to absolute majority) of the votes (statewide or district-wide). There is no evidence of any public sentiment in favor of imposing such a requirement.

          If an Electoral College type of arrangement were essential for avoiding a proliferation of candidates and people being elected with low percentages of the vote, we should see evidence of these conjectured outcomes in elections that do not employ such an arrangement.  In elections in which the winner is the candidate receiving the most votes throughout the entire jurisdiction served by that office, historical evidence shows that there is no massive proliferation of third-party candidates and candidates do not win with small percentages. For example, in 905 elections for governor in the last 60 years, the winning candidate received more than 50% of the vote in over 91% of the elections. The winning candidate received more than 45% of the vote in 98% of the elections. The winning candidate received more than 40% of the vote in 99% of the elections. No winning candidate received less than 35% of the popular vote.

          Since 1824 there have been 16 presidential elections in which a candidate was elected or reelected without gaining a majority of the popular vote.--  including Lincoln (1860), Wilson (1912 and 1916), Truman (1948), Kennedy (1960), Nixon (1968), and Clinton (1992 and 1996).

          Americans do not view the absence of (instant) run-offs in the current system as a major problem. If, at some time in the future, the public demands run-offs, that change can be implemented at that time.

          And, FYI, with the current system, it could only take winning a plurality of the popular vote in the 11 most populous states, containing 56% of the population of the United States, for a candidate to win the Presidency with a mere 23% of the nation's votes.

  •  We know this is coming and we have to be on our (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:


    The GOP has already gerrymandered many Blue States districts for Congress and Legislatures. And we need to reverse those already.

  •  Why stop there? (7+ / 0-)

    Given that the Republican Party has done nothing but piss all over democracy my entire life, I'm just waiting for some of these wingnut legislatures to pass laws that will award their state's electoral votes to the GOP candidate -- regardless of the popular vote anywhere.

    Why study when you can just cheat on the test, huh?

    These fuckers don't have an ounce of honor or morality. Never have. Never will.

    They've done studies, you know. 60% of the time, it works every time. -- Brian Fantana

    by IndyScott on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:15:21 PM PST

  •  Good lord. (7+ / 0-)

    Do they have to make their hatred of democracy so damn transparent?  These people can never be assumed to be acting in good faith--the GOP really is just straight-up evil.  

    We are possibly one more presidential election away from having demographics permanently bar republicans from the White House.  We have to hold off this assault on democracy--as well as the others they will surely mount--until then and let the Republican Party shrivel into permanent minority status.  

    I dream of the day they lose all branches of the federal government and start losing state governments.  I desperately hope to see the rest of the country "Go Minnesota" in the next few election cycles.....

    Political compass: -8.75 / -4.72

    by Mark Mywurtz on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:16:45 PM PST

  •  This could backfire as soon as 2016... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gttim, BKGyptian89

    Chris Christie should play really well in the rustbelt.  

    Not to mention that it makes these states valueless to the national stage politically.  Pa was desperate for attention the whole GE, if they passed this, they'd NEVER see a candidate in PA and their news outlets would lose millions in lost ad revenues.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:17:07 PM PST

  •  Bush would have lost election in 2000 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if this existed in Ohio then.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:18:29 PM PST

  •  But...wait a minute...If they are trying to do (0+ / 0-)

    this in blue states, how does it get passed and made law?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:21:40 PM PST

    •  Many so-called blue states (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      llywrch, mike101, sapelcovits

      Have rethug controlled state leges and rethug governors. The DNC is an organization of by and for the Village.

      Those who do not move, do not notice their chains. Rosa Luxemburg

      by chuckvw on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:27:14 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Gee, it sure would be nice if we had a DNC (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mike101, chuckvw

        chair that recognized the power of putting money and effort into developing the Democratic party at a state level, perhaps even into all 50 states...oh, wait.

        We had one of those didn't we? I'm sure he must be employed at some really high level doing really important work now...oh, wait.

        A thousand Sharkeys are invading a thousand Shires every day across our country.--James Wells

        by SouthernLiberalinMD on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:34:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I usually rail against the intelligence of the (0+ / 0-)

    American electorate, but most non-comatose voters can see that this is another Machiavellian end-run around the voting process. And many won't like it. This is the legacy of the conservative "revolution," one thrust of which was to create a series of think-tanks about how to grab power, and how to fucking STEAL power. I see that these bastards are despicable, and here's hoping that increasing numbers of citizens can see that, too.

    What's next, kidnapping voters and hypnotizing them?

    "They come, they come To build a wall between us We know they won't win."--Crowded House, "Don't Dream It's Over."

    by Wildthumb on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:23:25 PM PST

  •  I suppose we should be happy that at least (0+ / 0-)

    they haven't decided to assign all of the electors to the Republican candidate in advance.  

    Christ, is there any good news today? :(

    Ok, so I read the polls.

    by andgarden on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:25:11 PM PST

  •  We can't fix stupid (0+ / 0-)

    Or can we? Stupid is as stupid does.

    Kos is Kind, Smart and Important.

    by Stop Pandering on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:30:27 PM PST

  •  why is everyone so afraid (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mike101, Major Kong

    to call the gop what it is a fascist party, america still has worse things to say about liberals than it does the gop who are as anti democratic and fascist as any party in memory, instead of showing the gop respect they should be castigated as the criminal thugs they are, if and when they are able to overthrow the democratic system in america and take control of the govt all of america will rue that day and realize their apathy was responsible.

  •  This would serve (0+ / 0-)

    to make the 270 pact all the more attractive.

    Small varmints, if you will.

    by aztecraingod on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:39:32 PM PST

  •  I'm sick and tired of hillbilly hayseed savages (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Kong, this just in

    over ruling the decent majority of Americans.  The rubes have forced gun violence, religious tyranny and reactionary economics on us for decades.  And it time to stop them not give them more power.

  •  THe modified PA plan is close enough to (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Cat Servant, HeyMikey

    the national popular vote plan that if it came to a referendum (is that how they would do it in PA?) or just the public debate I would muddy the waters by urging they join the national popular vote coalition of states. It completely steals the reasoning out from under the Republican plan and reinforces an actually good plan.

    "Do what you can with what you have where you are." - Teddy Roosevelt

    by Andrew C White on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:42:45 PM PST

    •  78% of PA Voters Support A National Pop Vote (0+ / 0-)

      A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.

      Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.

      By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.

      By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

  •  If they did succeed (0+ / 0-)

    at doing this, couldn't a future Democratic governor and legislature undo this and return it to a winner take all situation?

  •  Swing state pride (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    It is not only pride at stake here.  There are millions of dollars to be had if a state is a large swing state.  These dollars create jobs and profits in media companies and lots of downstream printing and other jobs.

    For a state to voluntarly take itself out of the race would be to give up lots of money.

  •  Long term this is very short sighted of them (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    White Buffalo, ScottyUrb, llywrch

    Long term it's very short sighted of republicans to try to rig the electoral college in their favor for several reasons.

    1) Giving out electoral vote by congressional district will only spot light just how badly gerrymandered districts are in such unfair ways. If republicans can pass an electoral vote rigging scheme in a state, then guess which party is going to suffer more if judges or voters through constitutional changes start to strike back at the redistricting process?

    2) Democrats won't just sit back and let republicans make it almost impossible for them to win an election they get in a popular vote landslide. They'll most likely change their own laws to give electoral votes to the national popular vote winner.

    3) Blowback from a change like this would strike even a large number of republicans (maybe not a majority, but a big plurality) as unfair and rigging the game, which would help democrats pass laws to counter it in other states to switch to a national popular vote.

    4) The electoral college favors the rural states with less population and such, the republican base. And look back at history at who's lost when the popular vote winner lost. All 4 times it's been the democrats or whoever was basically the democrats in that day who lost. Republicans or the opposition party to democrats in that day have ALWAYS benefited from electoral vote and popular vote splits. Given that some states like Wyoming (heavily republican) have 4 times as many people per electoral votes as California (heavily democratic) this could easily happen again the next few decades.

    5) Such redistricting plans in places like Virginia can easily backfire on republicans if the state starts to reverse itself and become more republican again.

    6) If a republican gets elected president under such a system where most of the votes of blue leaning swingish states go to republicans despite the state voting for a democrat that will cripple the republican president before Day 1. Democrats, and even a large number of independents will NOT view them as a legitimate president, neither will much of the rest of the world. Even if the republican would have won anyway under the old rules, turn out could have been heavily effected by people feeling it's too hopeless from republicans heavy rigging of the system.

    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cat Servant, mike101

      For points one and three, few voters care about the process. These measures might be unpopular when polled on, but they're not the issues many voters will decide their votes on.

      As for point 2, Democrats don't control the state government in any Republican leaning states or in enough states for the interstate compact to go into effect. Perhaps eventually it will be passed in enough states and we will have a national popular vote, but this is likely to take some time.

      The electoral college actually doesn't give the GOP an advantage right now. The Democrats have benefited in the last three presidential elections. This could easily change in a few years, so it's worth getting a national popular vote. However, I don't see any inherent GOP advantage in the electoral college.

      It's possible that the GOP could pass such legislation in states that eventually become more Republican than the electoral tipping point, but I don't see any reason to expect this is any more likely than these states trending Democratic. For now, splitting the electoral votes by gerrymandered districts is certainly a boost for the GOP.

      How did that work in 2000? I don't see why a Republican elected through this process would be seen as less legitimate than Bush, and the legitimacy factor didn't stop Bush.

  •  Yes, it's heinous (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and might lead to short term gains but also smacks of desperation which is never a good plan.  If this movement actually gets legs it could backfire and cause the GOP to head back into the wilderness for a long term snooze faster than they are already moving. The bottom line is their plans for governance still suck which could quicken the creation of opportunities that do not presently exist under the current scheme.

  •  Michigan Republicans would NEVER rig an election! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GwenM, LordMike

    Never, never, never, never!

    All sarcasm aside, if this passes and they make my vote all-but-worthless, I just might move in with my aunt in Colorado.

    If life was fair, we wouldn't need unions.

    by ScottyUrb on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:55:33 PM PST

  •  They don't get it (0+ / 0-)

    We have had enough

  •  The 2010... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, TomFromNJ

    election continues to haunt...more people should have voted.

    "It's almost as if we're watching Mitt Romney on Safari in his own country." -- Jonathan Capeheart

    by JackND on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 05:58:25 PM PST

  •  Democrats need to grow balls .... seriously !!! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Oracle2021, Major Kong, skibum59

    The Thugs will do WHATEVER IT TAKES to win. And democrats are still counting on thugs being reasonable. I already hear people NOT wanting to vote in 2013/2014 because of the possible fiscal cliff deals ...
    Republicans will love you all, if you keep staying home.
    We NEED to grow balls and organize, educate, take people to the elections. We need to pressure our legislators constantly... and I mean CONSTANTLY to do the things we want them to do.
    We elect them, then we go to sleep and we wait another  2 years to go vote ... Seriously ... seriously ... seriously ...

  •  Vote During Mid Term Elections (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Erik the Red

    Our collective temper tantrum in 2010 have hurt our prospects within the States.  Need to come out in force in 2014 to regain ground.

    Oracle2021: I live in the reality based world where facts and math do matter!

    by Oracle2021 on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:29:20 PM PST

  •  Now Might be the Time for Direct Election! (0+ / 0-)

    We could solve two problems at once, the old electoral college undemocratic problem, and the one highlighted by this article.

    A constitutional amendment to elect the President by popular vote is what I'm talking about. It would certainly render the GOP the loser every time!

    When fascism came to America, it was wrapped in a flag and carrying a bible.

    by BigBuck on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:35:00 PM PST

  •  I think unintended consequences for GOP of this (0+ / 0-)

    plan could very well be a reduced ev democratic majority but a higher probability of winning a presidential election. it would take out 3 up for grabs states but leave even less of a path for a GOP 269 or 270 ev-fewer swing states. I think I checked and going back to the 19th century only 2004 and 1888 elections would a change of 20-25 or so electoral votes (about the max they'd gain) have changed an election.

    "A young man who wishes to remain a sound Atheist cannot be too careful of his reading. There are traps everywhere ". C. S. Lewis

    by TofG on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:36:15 PM PST

  •  ASDF (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Democrats therefore need to keep pressure on wobbly Republican lawmakers in each of these states—and to make as big a stink as possible about how shameful these shenanigans are. I'll bet newspaper editorial boards won't like these hijinks one bit, and I think ordinary voters can be convinced that the GOP is playing political games with their right to vote.
    This fails to consider one factor: Today's Republican Party is so desperate it doesn't give two shits about public perception when it comes to rigging the system in its favor.

    2012 is looking better and better!

    by Erik the Red on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 06:48:09 PM PST

  •  I hate the Electoral College (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    And I think the winner take all system that we use with it is just as flawed.  But to change it State by State selectively is insane.

    Really, if we want to reform Presidential elections we should move to a popular vote model and get rid of the EC all together.

    "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

    by Quanta on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:05:02 PM PST

  •  Guess it would never occur to D.C. Republicans... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingofSpades adopt policies that the American people would actually vote for.  No, they'd rather just rig the elections.

    I'm too [insert adjective of choice, e.g., sane] to vote Republican.

    by Linus Too on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:07:29 PM PST

  •  If Mi, Oh, Pa and Wi were proportional in 2012 (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gttim, BKGyptian89, KingofSpades

    Pres Obama would have had 28 EV's less, but still won 304-234.  And the time and money spent in these states would have been focused elsewhere.  

    Basically if you look at the four states -

    Pa has 20 EV's so it would have been a 11-9 split
    Mi has 16 EV's for a 9-7 split
    OH has 18 EV's for a 10-8 split
    Wisc has 10 EV's for a 6-4 split

    Basically unless somebody won any state 60-40 each and every state would relegate themselves to a net value worth of +2 EV's.  So they'd make themselves less valuable than every other State given Idaho, North and South Dakota, Alaska and a few others have 3 EV's up for grabs in WTA formats.  

    Ohio had $50M spent in it - nobody will put a dime in it for 2 EV's.  And candidates will only visit for high money fundraising.

    States jockey to move up in primary seasons to make themselves more important and more of a candidate focus.  Changing the EV allotment will do the exact opposite - going from swingstate hotness, to nothingness.  

    The NRA is the Gun Manufacturer Lobby. Nothing more. Their pontification about the second amendment is nothing more than their ad jingle. They're the domestic version of the Military Industrial Complex.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:14:44 PM PST

  •  Media Will Fight This! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LordMike, madmojo

    You think the media in these states will allow this to happen? To lose 10's of millions of dollars in advertising every election? Once a state does this, they are no longer considered a battle ground state. Campaigns will not spend 10's of millions of dollars if the state is no longer all or nothing. Think any party will spend $50 million when the most they can get is a +2 electoral votes? The news media will go apeshit once they figure this out!!

    Signature Impaired.

    by gttim on Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 07:34:56 PM PST

  •  This would be (0+ / 0-)

    some of that Jeffersonian Democracy they're so interested in exporting?

  •  Push Back With a Plan (0+ / 0-)

    The way to deal with this is to convert their states using a better, national redistricting plan, which would require congressional districts to be balanced. My plan here and here would put all districts in range of victory.

    Briefly: Congress should pass standardized election district criteria that require districts to have balanced representation where the difference between registered members of the two largest parties be no more than 5 percentage points.

    Let them chew on that.

  •  GOP Crooks (0+ / 0-)

    Typical.   GOP wants to keep in Winner-Take-All in states that they have a healthy majority and move to district-by-district in swing states that they've managed to gerrymander.

  •  Wierd reading the comments (0+ / 0-)

    For years, it was Democrats moving to proportional EV voting.  Now we're calling it undemocratic?  Or calling it "illegal" even when two states already do it.

    A sense of proportion and history would be good here I think.

    IN GENERAL, there is a lot to say for proportional EVs:

    Instead of having a handful of "swing states" that the candidates spend their time in, they would be visiting a lot more "swing districts".  Money would spread more, and many more states would have swing potential in them.

    Each person's vote is more likely to make a difference.  Currently a vote in TX or NYC (well, in any state but a swing state) is dust in the wind.

    Gerrymanders come and go.  This move would give more power to the people, not less.

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 05:55:24 AM PST

    •  Maine and Nebraska don't do proportional (0+ / 0-)

      they do it by CD.

      and if every state had 2-3 CDs which were pretty much fixed in place (and ungerrymandered), that might work. but your argument is dishonest. people have already debunked the notion that proportional votes are more democratic - and at any rate, we are not talking about NY and TX, but rather D-leaning swing states like Michigan and Pennsylvania.

      Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

      by sapelcovits on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 07:05:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  All or nothing (0+ / 0-)

        In the past when this was discussed, it was all part of the "all or nothing" plan:  either everyone did it, or noone did.  Don't several states already have that in place:  "If everone else does it, we do too."  It's shelved until everyone passes the law.

        Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

        by lostboyjim on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 09:32:42 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Not really (0+ / 0-)

          If Democrats ever advocated nationwide electoral vote allocation by congressional district, 'tis news to me.

          The National Popular Vote plan via interstate compact is another thing. Once state legislatures totalling 270+ electoral votes sign up, then the election would be decided via a national popular vote.

          But these are not the same thing, given that the first would, if implemented in 2012, make Willard Romney president-elect despite a deficit of approximately four million votes.

          They're not only not the same thing, they're . . . oh, what's the word? Oh, yes. Opposite. That's it.

          Brave Wingnut Jimmy ran away. Bravely ran away, away.

          by TruthOfAngels on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 11:48:35 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  that's for nat'l popular vote (0+ / 0-)

          not proportional by state...which is what this article is reporting on in the first place.

          Living in Kyoto-06 (Japan), voting in RI-01, went to college in IL-01.

          by sapelcovits on Tue Dec 18, 2012 at 03:40:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Proportional Issues (0+ / 0-)

      Any state that enacts the proportional approach on its own would reduce its own influence. This was the most telling argument that caused Colorado voters to agree with Republican Governor Owens and to reject this proposal in November 2004 by a two-to-one margin.  

      If the proportional approach were implemented by a state, on its own, it would have to allocate its electoral votes in whole numbers.  If a current battleground state were to change its winner-take-all statute to a proportional method for awarding electoral votes, presidential candidates would pay less attention to that state because only one electoral vote would probably be at stake in the state.

      The proportional method also could result in third party candidates winning electoral votes that would deny either major party candidate the necessary majority vote of electors and throw the process into Congress to decide.

      If the whole-number proportional approach had been in use throughout the country in the nation’s closest recent presidential election (2000), it would not have awarded the most electoral votes to the candidate receiving the most popular votes nationwide.  Instead, the result would have been a tie of 269–269 in the electoral vote, even though Al Gore led by 537,179 popular votes across the nation.  The presidential election would have been thrown into Congress to decide and resulted in the election of the second-place candidate in terms of the national popular vote.  

      A system in which electoral votes are divided proportionally by state would not accurately reflect the nationwide popular vote and would not make every vote equal.  

       It would penalize states, such as Montana, that have only one U.S. Representative even though it has almost three times more population than other small states with one congressman.  It would penalize fast-growing states that do not receive any increase in their number of electoral votes until after the next federal census.  It would penalize states with high voter turnout (e.g., Utah, Oregon).  

      Moreover, the fractional proportional allocation approach does not assure election of the winner of the nationwide popular vote.  In 2000, for example, it would have resulted in the election of the second-place candidate.  

      A national popular vote is the way to make every person's vote equal and matter to their candidate because it guarantees that the candidate who gets the most votes in all 50 states and DC becomes President.

  •  The electoral vote . . . (0+ / 0-)

    is a Dodo... needs to be pushed off the cliff.  The electoral was setup to make appointment faster instead of waiting months for vote counting to come in.  With this thing called, I think, technology, the counting of votes a bit faster now a days.  

    So, go to the original "he who gets most votes, wins".

    I'm sorry, if every votes counts, why in the world are the ones running for office only going to a very select few states.  It's stating those people are more important than you, their vote counts more than yours.  

    I say, everyone vote first Tuesday of November, and then December 1st announce the winner.  No election day rushing around, nada.  Close all the polling data bull.  Send the states info to a central location where they hold the results until the Dec 1st announcement.  Put up the numbers then reveal the photos in front of them to show winner.  Make it the biggest party of the year.  Put both party's in the same room.  Have both sides give their speeches on the same stage.  Turn the propaganda of foxnews around by showing both sides can be civil toward each other.  Actually show good sportsmanship about things instead of spoiled brats.

    Bottom line - why in the world should we have someone as president that don't get the popular vote?  Get the electoral's and not worry about the majority of people who did not vote for you.  This needs to change now, or make every other election from mayor on up the same electoral voting system.

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