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View Diary: John Nichols unearths yet another Republican-backed Electoral College-rigging push (116 comments)

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  •  No, this is quite different ... (0+ / 0-)

    What's been discussed recently is a plan that would award electors according to the votes in congressional districts within the states.  Through traditional gerrymandering of congressional district boundaries, Republicans have been able to win a majority of congressional seats in states where they win a minority of votes on a statewide basis.  Award electors on this same basis and you run the same risk that a candidate could win the popular vote but lose the electoral college vote within a particular state.  That cannot happen today.  It can happen on a national basis, but it can't at the individual state level.

    The plan Nichols writes about is trickier.  Instead of awarding all the electors in a state to the candidate who won the popular vote in the state, this plan would award the electors in proportion to the popular vote -- if a candidate won 60% of the popular vote in a state, that candidate would win 60% of the electors and the loser would get the other 40%.  On the face of it, it all sounds very fair and above board.  In fact, at the state level it really is much fairer than the current system. If electors for all states were awarded on this basis, the split of the electoral college would be almost identical to the split of the national popular vote.

    The problem comes in when you mix the two systems, and specifically if Red states maintain the current winner-takes-all system while Blue states (specifically those controlled by Republican legislatures) adopt the proportional award approach.  You'd now have a massive shift of electoral votes on a national basis from the Blue column to the Red column, with no corresponding shift in the other direction.

    Personally, I'm skeptical that this plan will go anywhere.  Effectively, what the Republican legislators in those Blue states would be saying is "In order to prevent the Democrats from winning lots of electors in our state, we're gonna just withdraw from national elections.  Don't come here and give speeches.  Don't have election events here.  Don't set up offices here and spend money here, because the welfare and economy of our state is less important to us than (maybe) winning national elections." I think that would be a pretty hard sell for most legislators.

    •  I see it essentially as one and the same (0+ / 0-)

      In other words, we'd be screwed royally either way.

      If something like this passed in blue-leaning states, Republicans would either get a significant minority of those states' electoral votes (proportional) or even a majority in some (based on CD).

      If it happened in a state like PA, under either scheme, we'd only win the presidency in blowout years.

    •  Oh, and on DKE, (0+ / 0-)

      we've been talking about the proportional plan for a while. So that's also why it sounds like a retread to me. Nichols isn't breaking new ground here.

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