Skip to main content

The following is crossposted from the Raging Chicken Press.

The Pennsylvania GOP is – once again – trying to make a concerted effort to change how our democracy functions so future Republican presidential candidates can win the commonwealth, and the idea has been endorsed by the Republican National Committee.  Last year in Pennsylvania and around the country, governors and republican controlled state legislatures in traditional blue states tried to push through a wave of Voter ID bills and changed early voting hours in an attempt to surpress the vote.  After Governor Corbett signed Pennsylvania’s Voter ID, the prevailing thought was that Mitt Romney was going to win Pennsylvania and other states that went through the same voter suppression procedures.  As November proved, that was not the case for the GOP, and since the Republicans weren’t able to win the election through voter suppression methods, they are going to just change the way electoral votes are counted and distributed to win in 2016 and future elections.

This wasn’t the first time the state has flirted with this option.  After the Pennsylvania Assembly of Governor Corbett approved the commonwealth’s newly gerrymandered Congressional districts, Governor Tom Corbett and State Senator Dominic Pileggi proposed a bill that would reform the way the state distributes its electoral college votes.  Instead of a “Winner Take All” system, where the winner of the statewide vote would take all of the electoral votes, their plan would have distributed votes based upon the total number of Congressional districts that candidate won with 2 extra votes going to who won the statewide vote.  In Pennsylvania, the effects of this reform would have been obvious.  For instance, in 2008, President Obama won the statewide race by 10 percentage points, but because of this proposal and the newly gerrymandered districts, Obama would have won 11 of 21 electoral votes – 9 votes coming from the electoral districts he won, plus the 2 “at large” votes for winning the statewide vote.

A little less than a month after November’s election, Senator Pileggi introduced another plan to reform the electoral college.  Instead of dividing the electoral college votes upon what candidate wins how many electoral districts, Senator Pileggi decided that his latest attack on democracy would use arithmetic to distribute Pennsylvania’s 20 votes “proportionally” among the candidates.  Since Obama won Pennsylvania with 52% of the vote, the plan would give – or distribute -52% of the electoral votes to Obama – thus giving Obama 12 out of 20 electoral votes.  In a statement to defend this reform, Senator Pileggi claimed “Pennsylvania uses a winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. My legislation would allocate electoral votes proportionately,” and “[the] advantage of this system is clear: It much more accurately reflects the will of the voters in our state.”  Critics of the bill attacked the obvious fact that in order to win future elections in Pennsylvania – and around the country – Republicans will have to rig the system rather than run competent candidates.  State Senator Daylin Leach told the Philadelphia Daily News “[t]he remedy for losing an election is not to change the rules of that election, but to offer more compelling candidates who actually have a compelling message.”

On the national level, the Republican National Committee is gearing up to push electoral college reforms that are similar to Senator Pileggi’s in traditional Blue states that are in the same situation as Pennsylvania.  A recently released ThinkProgress article “RNC Chair: Rig The Next Presidential Election For Republicans” pointed out that if Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin passed this type of law, Romney would have won the Electoral College even though he lost the popular vote by 4%.  The question remains, is Senator Pileggi taking his marching orders from RNC Chairman Reince Priebus?  In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Reince Priebus endorsed the idea and said “I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at.”

Originally posted to S Kitchen on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 07:13 AM PST.

Also republished by DKos Pennsylvania.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  wouldn't states require state constitution changes (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to do?

    if so, then ^ the saving grace preventing wide sweeping changes happening in time to benefit repubs before the next census and redistricting

  •  As someone noted, the big negative to this is that (0+ / 0-)

    the only reason PA gets attention is that it is a swing state.

    If the GOP pushes this through, then it's no longer a swing state, and PA suffers as a result.

    We don't want our country back, we want our country FORWARD. --Eclectablog

    by Samer on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 08:13:58 AM PST

  •  National Repubs advocating this in swing states (0+ / 0-)

    The high-profile push for proportional electoral votes by Republicans is going on in swing states run by Repubs now. Just enough electoral votes to swing the elections back to Republicans.

    The first argument against this appears to me to be, if you are so concerned about proportional representation, you should advocate for it in all elections. Let's have proportional representation for legislatures--local, state, and federal--as well.

    I can hear the response: "Sputter, sputter, well, you can't have that! That's not how the American system works! That would make us the same as the -gag- Europeans!"

    As opposed to a country run by hypocritical sore losers.

  •  The GOP Roaches keep swarming up from the sewer (0+ / 0-)

    to invade our homes & pollute us all to death.

    I'm just so tired of having to jump all over the place trying to kill them before they kill U.S..

    Something that doesn't make good sense, makes bad sense. That means someone is being deliberately hurtful & selfish. Look for motives behind actions & words.

    by CA wildwoman on Wed Jan 16, 2013 at 09:13:58 AM PST

  •  This would be perfectly fine... (0+ / 0-)

    as long as they also vote for the national vote winner compact.

    •  The National Popular Vote Bill - 49% of the way (0+ / 0-)

      These Republicans are trying to combat the National Popular Vote bill with these proposals to divide state's electoral votes.

      The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

      Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of 'battleground' states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just 'spectators' and ignored after the conventions.

      When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

      The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

      The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founding Fathers in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. Historically, virtually all of the major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

      In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

      The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

      Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site