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Remember that time our candidate won a half million more votes for President and was never inaugurated? Bad times. But for Katrino Trinko (real name!) at NRO those were great times and she has advice on how future GOP candidates can win with even bigger popular vote deficits.

No need for the GOP to reconsider its platform. No need to expand the party beyond old, white and heterosexual voters.

Just change the rules. Romney would have won, she writes, if GOP governors had said, as she does, that "it’s time to overhaul the system itself."

Imagination land lies below the puffy orange cloud.

What if we lived in a land where the GOP could gerrymander not just congressional districts but the whole presidential election? Well that land would be one where...

President-elect Romney would be planning his inauguration right now.
Trinko can almost see it. All it would take, she writes, is:
If states stop awarding votes on a winner-take-all basis, Republicans could also win — and without necessarily getting more votes. Determining Electoral College voting by congressional districts represents one obvious opportunity for Republicans: In that scenario, the effect of urban Democratic strongholds (such as those Philadelphia precincts where Obama was supported by 99 percent of voters) would be isolated. Instead of shifting the entire state’s electoral votes, those precincts would only influence their congressional districts.
Pretty simple. There are a lot of rural low population counties that vote Republican and a smaller number of large population counties that vote Democratic. If the GOP can change the rules to take advantage of this then the 47% of Romney supporters could lord over the 53% of non-Romney supporters. Genius!

Trinko's column cites research by FairVote.com which is ironic since that group is specifically working against systems (including the electoral college) which skew the value of different citizen's votes. In fact, Fairvote is warning against what Republicans might do. They present six ideas that would improve GOP prospects and make winning possible when losing the popular vote:

it's all predicated, of course, on something I fervently hope isn't true: that Republicans in these six key states would be willing to ignore the large majority of voters who prefer a level playing field in our elections - an attitude we call on all elected officials to reject with our Stand with Voters pledge.
But Trinko is excited about these six plans, especially two which would have given Romney electoral college wins of 274-264 and 280-258. Both are based on changing rules in Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Virginia and Florida to award electoral votes proportionally by congressional district. These are states with Republican governors and legislatures.

But if these ideas won't fly, Trinko suggests a look at Fairvote's goal: a national popular vote. As she puts it, that way the GOP could win even if the number of red states declines. I think she's wrong but now might be the best time to propose this constitutional change [EDIT: See Kos's comment below]. Currently our system grants disproportionate power to small population states because they all get 3 electoral votes regardless of how small they are.

Either way, you know the GOP is heading down the wrong path if, instead of soul searching and making real changes, they are looking to game the system.

Originally posted to tremayne on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM PST.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (143+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MoDem, grrr, Dobber, SilentBrook, Polly Syllabic, Tinfoil Hat, Chaddiwicker, TheGreatLeapForward, mookins, Supavash, Louisiana 1976, anastasia p, anonevent, karmsy, mama jo, Viceroy, Dave1955, arizonablue, Carol in San Antonio, David PA, petesmom, howabout, DefendOurConstitution, Aaa T Tudeattack, MRA NY, notrouble, chantedor, BentLiberal, Blue Bell Bookworm, Gemina13, WI Deadhead, Andrew C White, greenomanic, domestic goddess, Lujane, doingbusinessas, HighSticking, Vatexia, FloridaSNMOM, tobendaro, anyname, ColoTim, stormicats, Massconfusion, bnasley, aitchdee, Chinton, kyril, MartyM, IM, radarlady, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, MadRuth, Robynhood too, DCDemocrat, Ahianne, Lily O Lady, DuzT, Creosote, ItsSimpleSimon, copymark, elginblt, BenderRodriguez, leftynyc, ChemBob, theKgirls, Cedwyn, PBen, Beetwasher, ER Doc, concernedamerican, Mighty Ike, a2nite, citizen dan, dear occupant, Texknight, Iberian, mofembot, cherish0708, NewDealer, sawgrass727, PrahaPartizan, Matt Z, kerflooey, cybersaur, blue aardvark, papercut, tampaedski, TracieLynn, TX Freethinker, BB10, lawyernerd, AreDeutz, Involuntary Exile, Molly Weasley, redlum jak, xynz, NBBooks, marleycat, BadKitties, anodnhajo, MKinTN, DBunn, royce, Fishgrease, collardgreens, linkage, The Nose, Bonsai66, CoolOnion, gizmo59, greycat, prettygirlxoxoxo, No one gets out alive, shortgirl, ForestLake, dsb, sostos, rmabelis, MisterOpus1, VTCC73, chimpy, blackjackal, Texdude50, lcbo, Nebraskablue, BachFan, dotsright, Sylv, TheDuckManCometh, sc kitty, Colorado is the Shiznit, tgypsy, eeff, volleyboy1, DWG, Debby, Penny Century, brentbent, zinger99, ATFILLINOIS, Ginny in CO, MadEye

    Confusing stuff in italics at the end of my comment.

    by tremayne on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:10:48 PM PST

  •  Good catch (38+ / 0-)

    I was going to write about this too.

    What is amazing is that Trinko does not consider the one real flaw with this system: the President would not have been elected with a majority of the vote.  

    Exactly, what would that mean for such a person to govern.  And, let's not forget the howls that would set off by the majority in having their person not winning.  

    Remember this appeared in the political journal of the American right.  In other words, by people committed to traditional values.  Oh...wait... when the majority is made up of takers, there is no desire to respect what they want.

    Mit der Dummheit kämpfen Götter selbst vergebens.

    by MoDem on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:20:15 PM PST

  •  I'd hope Federal Government would step in some how (21+ / 0-)

    It's one thing to gerrymander the shit out of house districts to rig the system, but to do that to rig the Presidency is treasonous.  

    Imagine a candidate wins the pop vote by 3-4% or 4M total votes but loses because of the EC.  How would they have any legitimacy let alone a mandate.  

    And this bullshit about only doing this "fair" plan in current states where GOP controls the states in otherwise blue states but not in Texas or any other Red State is so bloody brazen in their end game.

    President Obama would have been a Republican in the 1980's.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:28:57 PM PST

  •  Mitt who™? n/t (13+ / 0-)

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 12:47:35 PM PST

  •  it's not that far out there (14+ / 0-)

    there have been DK diaries about how, i think, Pennsylvania and other states are considering bills changing the way they allocate electoral votes. The bills are specifically designed to give rural counties much more power.

    •  I have no problem with vote-by-district **IF** (18+ / 0-)

      the districts are independently drawn in a non-partisan way.

      But I think it is unacceptable, period, to have EVs determined by district when those districts are subject to gerrymandering and packing.

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

      by Samer on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 01:47:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I agree. Eliminate the gerrymander. (10+ / 0-)

        Congress could pass laws governing line drawing for congressional districts.  Art. 1 Sec. 2 says congress shall be elected by the people of the states but it doesn't say how.   Art. 1 Sec. 4 says the states will make the rules for national elections, but congress can regulate or alter those rules.  Congress has, to a limited extent, done so in the past, but you would have to get a majority in Congress that wanted to change the districting rules before you could change the rules by act of Congress.  Pretty circular.

        Congress can only legislate with regard to congressional districts.  If you could change the state legislatures making them more representative you might also end up with better congressional districts.  You would also end up with better state legislatures.  I would like to see some creative lawyers challenge some of the more egregious gerrymandering in state legislative districts on the grounds that it violates the Art. 4 guarantee of a republican state government.  The arguement would be that the gerrymanders are so extreme that they deny the people of the state a republican form of government because they are designed to ensure a particular partisan outsome regardless of the popular will.   There has been very little litigation under Art. 4 so it would take some fancy lawyering.  Just wishing.

      •  Bullshit (10+ / 0-)

        What is so hard about the concept of democracy?  One president, one district--the country--majority rules.

        Congressional districts have a smidgeon of basis for existing, in the notion of representation for local concerns.  As long as not gerrymandered brazenly.  Otherwise, it's already bad enough that small and rural states get over-represented in the Senate, already bad enough that the filibuster gives an irresponsible minority veto power.

        •  Proportional voting within states... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          lostboyjim, blue aardvark, Samer

          ....could possibly work.

          Voting for President by district would produce the same result as we have in the House, where the majority voted for Democrats, but a majority of Republicans were elected.

          National Popular Vote would result in MASSIVE vote rigging in majority-Republican districts unless there were strongly enforced Federal rules about election access.

          Similar problems would exist for proportional voting within states, of course.

          What I'm getting at is that ANY change is problematic without strongly enforced rules allowing everyone eligible to vote & have their vote counted.

          •  Current System Maximizes Opp and Incentives (0+ / 0-)

            The current state-by-state winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes maximizes the incentive and opportunity for fraud, coercion, intimidation, confusion, and voter suppression. A very few people can change the national outcome by adding, changing, or suppressing a small number of votes in one closely divided battleground state. With the current system all of a state's electoral votes are awarded to the candidate who receives a bare plurality of the votes in each state. The sheer magnitude of the national popular vote number, compared to individual state vote totals, is much more robust against manipulation.

            National Popular Vote would limit the benefits to be gained by fraud or voter suppression.  One suppressed vote would be one less vote. One fraudulent vote would only win one vote in the return. In the current electoral system, one fraudulent vote could mean 55 electoral votes, or just enough electoral votes to win the presidency without having the most popular votes in the country.

            The closest popular-vote election in American history (in 1960), had a nationwide margin of more than 100,000 popular votes.  The closest electoral-vote election in American history (in 2000) was determined by 537 votes, all in one state, when there was a lead of 537,179 (1,000 times more) popular votes nationwide.

            For a national popular vote election to be as easy to switch as 2000, it would have to be two hundred times closer than the 1960 election--and, in popular-vote terms, forty times closer than 2000 itself.

            Which system offers vote suppressors or fraudulent voters a better shot at success for a smaller effort?

            •  My concern is... (0+ / 0-)

              ...that in the deep red states, there would be essentially no oversight (as things currently stand), so thousands or even hundreds of thousands of votes could be suppressed or fraudulently counted.

              Florida was a freaking disaster, but in part that was because the Republicans arranged for rules that allowed counting more votes among their constituencies than ours. And ultimately, they won by shutting down the count.

              And that all happened with lots of Democrats involved in the process and the eyes of the nation on it. Imagine what they could do in states with few Democratic officials and not much outside visibility.

              I'm not opposing NPV -- I'm saying that it MUST come with enforced national standards.

      •  would help Ds in some states (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        we would pick up quite a few EV in places like Texas that are currently a complete zero. Not sure how it plays out with the 2 EV bonus for the overall state winner.

        www.dailykos.com is America's Blog of Record

        by WI Deadhead on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:25:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Disagree (13+ / 0-)

        I have a problem with vote-by-district regardless of how the districts are drawn.

        The bottom line is that no matter how you do it, it would mark a step backwards even when compared to the status quo of vote-by-state.  The problem is that Democratic voters are concentrated in urban areas and will tend to be concentrated in fewer congressional districts even if districts are drawn in a reasonably fair manner.

        If we change from the current system, the only acceptable change should be to national popular vote.  

        Political Compass: -6.75, -3.08

        by TexasTom on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:56:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  There still might be a problem (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        elginblt, The Nose, ahumbleopinion

        Democrats are highly concentrated in large metropolitan areas.  Even if you draw districts on a non-partisan basis, if you try to achieve neutral goals like drawing compact districts that observe local governmental boundaries to the extent possible, there is going to tend to be a Republican advantage -- not nearly as big a one as if they're deliberately gerrymandered, but it will still be there.

        Bin Laden is dead. GM and Chrysler are alive.

        by leevank on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:49:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  This wasn't the case in California (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          The Nose

          When the nonpartisan board redrew districts they turned out to be more favorable to Democrats than the previously drawn districts which came as a result of bargaining between both parties but with Democrats having a bargaining advantage because of majorities in both state houses.

          Of course California has more Democrats and any plan that distributes them more widely aids Democrats. This won't be true everywhere.

      •  But because urban areas are higher population (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        The Nose

        density, even a fair, non-partisan redistricting tends to have fewer safe blue districts than safe red ones.

        Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

        by blue aardvark on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:53:24 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  exactly.... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Minnesota Deb, ahumbleopinion

        I have believed that redistricting should be done by non-partisan means in order to better follow the principles of the Constitution.  Iowa has a model redistricting method for a good starter.   A non-partisan commission proposes a map that is then sent to the legislature for up or down approval.  If it is voted down a second non-partisan map is sent over.  same thing..  up or down.    if down (has never happened) a third non-partisan map is sent that can have minor amendment, but if that fails, it goes to the courts.   Since the law went into effect, there has never been a go at the third amending map step.   And you wind up with districts that are considered based on compactness, fair distribution of population and some effort to preserve traditional representation.  

        So if we go to Electoral Votes by C.D., it needs to be non-partisan and a reflective sampling of populations, effectively non-gerrymandered districts.  

    •  Why should rural counties have more power? (22+ / 0-)

      That has destroyed Ohio. 75% of its population lives in urban areas, yet our legislature is dominated by rural downstate yahoos thanks to gerrymandering.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:32:28 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bc SCOTUS has no guts and ducks these cases. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril, blue aardvark, Hannibal

        'Course, that might change if the weight of 'one vote' varied so dramatically depending on happenstance of 1) what party controlled all branches of a state gov, and 2) it was stupid or brazen enough to ensure the person losing by 4%/5+ mill votes was the winner.

        Or maybe not.  SCOTUS really has no guts.

        The only thing I'm certain of is UncleThomas would vote to uphold if a R won that way and to strike down if a D won.  Such a 'fair and balanced' toady.

    •  Real America, you mean (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      Sarah Palin told me so

  •  Proportional Representation... (7+ / 0-)

    ..is often pushed as a 'fairer' system by minority parties when they finally twig to the fact that their vote share is a) small and b) declining. In countries that actually HAVE PR, the result is usually political instability and stalemate (cf. Italy)

    Sunday Afternoon Composer: Like Monday Morning Quarterbacking, with music!

    by Freelance Escapologist on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:15:42 PM PST

    •  accidental do-nothing govt just as good for cons (6+ / 0-)
      In countries that actually HAVE PR, the result is usually political instability and stalemate (cf. Italy)
      Whether the government believes in sitting back and letting the rich have their way or is just weak and paralyzed from an excess of parliamentarianism, the result is the same.

      Something's wrong when the bad guys are the utopian ones.

      by Visceral on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:25:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Only countries with irregular terms for the PM (7+ / 0-)

      In other words, countries where the party in power could decide when to have elections, and could have a vote of no confidence to depose their PM at any time.

      Also- paralysis is not limited to Parliamentary systems. Our 2 party congress is just as divided and paralysed as any.

    •  Italian political history (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM, blue aardvark

      Italy has always had a fragmented politics. If you look at its pre-proportional representation era, before the First World War, the struggles were between factions of a single Liberal Party but the governments were still short lived.

      During the era of fairly pure proportional representation, in the era of Christian Democratic dominance, the Italian political system contained instability in surface detail (frequently changes in governments) with excessive stability (the government always had to be formed from the same group of parties to exclude the Communist third of the nation from national power).

      In the past few decades the Italians have experimented with various electoral rules designed to modify proportionality. The worst of these ideas is to include a winner's bonus, to guarantee the leading coalition of parties extra seats. This is disproportional representation not any form of proportional representation.

      The truth is that a particular electoral law, applied in different countries, will have different results depending upon the political culture.

      In the United States, the importance of Presidential elections will make a two party or at least two electoral coalition political system most likely. That imperative would not be changed very much, by the proportional allocation of electoral votes.

      There was a constitutional amendment, which Congress seriously considered in about 1970, to allocate electoral votes for each state proportionately down to several decimal places. It would have not been the same as one person, one vote, but it would have been closer to it than any other scheme which preserved the idea of electoral votes.

      There is no man alive who is sufficiently good to rule the life of the man next door to him. Sir Rhys Hopkin Morris, M.P.

      by Gary J on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 10:48:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not true. Plenty of European countries have PR. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM, mightymouse, Algernons Labyrinth

      Italy is in a category by itself because of reasons peculiar to it, not because of proportional representation.

      The Dutch kids' chorus Kinderen voor Kinderen wishes all the world's children freedom from hunger, ignorance, and war.

      by lotlizard on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:22:30 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I prefer the state as a whole (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TexasTom, kyril, Cartoon Peril

    congressional districts can be gerrym,andered to favor candidates. State boundaries are unchangeable.

    "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

    by TLS66 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:22:49 PM PST

    •  I should add (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      happymisanthropy, kyril, Hannibal

      that I'd prefer the state as a whole if the national popular vote compact is not ratified, not as opposed to it.

      "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

      by TLS66 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 02:31:25 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Electing congresspeople from the state as a whole (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hannibal

      means minorities get NO representation, whether the minority is rural people (who have specific needs and do need representation) or POC, or whatever.

      Unless of course you do "instant run off" elections like in Australia and elsewhere.  Then you get six votes for reps for your state, and you can assign them as you wish -- say, three votes for the guy you REALLY want in the House, and the other three for your less favored candidates.  So rural people can focus their votes on a rural candidate, Latino voters on someone supportive of Latino needs, etc.

      --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

      by Fiona West on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:00:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I prefer instant runoff in general (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fiona West

        It's just a fairer system of voting.

        As for the Presidency, it really ought to be by national popular vote.

        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

        by kyril on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 09:42:30 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I prefer the electoral college, because that (0+ / 0-)

          means that the majority must also appeal to minorities, whether we're talking racial majority/minorities, regional populations (rural vs urbanized states), etc.  I think that's healthier.

          Without the electoral college, the Native American vote would be consistently overlooked, because it's small, and the fact that they're clustered in certain states like New Mexico and South Dakota would no longer be relevant.  The Jewish vote is, what, 5%?  If it doesn't matter that they have a big impact in New York and Florida, who cares about the Jewish vote?

          The black and hispanic voting blocs are bigger, and carry considerable weight.  Right now there's a coalition of white liberals, black people, and Hispanics, which won for Obama twice.  But I don't want to bet that coalition can never be split.  If a slightly saner Republican party managed, for instance, to win the majority of Hispanics, then we'd find out how much the black vote could get black concerns attended to, when they could no longer be a decisive force in New York, Pennsylvania, etc.  I doubt either you or I, or the black community, would like the answers.

          I believe that the only time a minority of the popular vote put someone in the White House was in the stolen election of 2000.  So the electoral college doesn't skew things too badly, as long as parties pay attention to the need to build coalitions.  And tHe answer to Florida in 2000 is to have paper trails for ballots, adequate supervision of vote counting, etc.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 04:19:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Electoral Reality (0+ / 0-)

            The 2012 presidential election ignored all of New Mexico and South Dakota and New York.  None of the 10 most rural states (VT, ME, WV, MS, SD, AR, MT, ND, AL, and KY) is a battleground state.  80% of us were ignored.

            In the current system, battleground states are the only states that matter in presidential elections. Campaigns are tailored to address the issues that matter to voters in these 9-10 states.

            Safe red and blue states are considered a waste of time, money and energy to candidates. These "spectator" states receive no campaign attention, visits or ads. Their concerns are utterly ignored.

            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.

            A nationwide presidential campaign, with every vote equal, would be run the way presidential candidates campaign to win the electoral votes of closely divided battleground states, such as Ohio and Florida, under the state-by-state winner-take-all methods.

            The itineraries of presidential candidates in battleground states (and their allocation of other campaign resources in battleground states) reflect the political reality that every gubernatorial or senatorial candidate knows. When and where every vote is equal, a campaign must be run everywhere.

            With National Popular Vote, when every vote is equal, everywhere, it makes sense for presidential candidates to try and elevate their votes where they are and aren't so well liked. But, under the state-by-state winner-take-all laws, it makes no sense for a Democrat to try and do that in Vermont or Wyoming, or for a Republican to try it in Wyoming or Vermont.

            With a national popular vote, every vote everywhere will be equally important politically.  There will be nothing special about a vote cast in a big city or big state.  When every vote is equal, candidates of both parties will seek out voters in small, medium, and large towns throughout the states in order to win.  A vote cast in a big city or state will be equal to a vote cast in a small state, town, or rural area.

            Candidates would need to build a winning coalition across demographics. Any candidate who ignored, for example, the 16% of Americans who live in rural areas in favor of a “big city” approach would not likely win the national popular vote. 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.

            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).

            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.

      •  The president only got 41% of (0+ / 0-)

        the vote from white people yet we know how the election came out. It doesn't seem as if minorities got no representation under the present system. The present system does require that minorities form coalitions to win.

        •  Minorities got representation in this election (0+ / 0-)

          because they're part of an imperfect but effective coalition of center/left whites, blacks, Hispanics, Jews, and increasingly Indians too.  I hope that will always be the case but am not sure we should bet the farm on it.

          Note that Obama won with 51% of the popular vote -- a very slim margin.  The electoral vote gave Obama a wide lead, however.  Why?  Because rightwing/racist whites essentially wasted a lot of votes in the South.  In states like Mississippi or Arkansas, they definitely had enough rightwing white votes to bury any non-white votes (or votes by women turned off by the Republicans, etc), and give the electoral votes to ROmney.  But then they kept piling on those rightwing/racist anti-Obama votes.  I read that in some southern states the white vote was 80-some or even 90-some percent against Obama.  But that couldn't produce any more electoral votes for Romney.  All those extra anti-Black Guy votes were just wasted.

          Anti-Obama votes, and rabidly anti-Democratic votes, aren't limited to the South, but they are in fact intensely concentrated in a limited number of core Southern states.  In other parts of the country, Obama did well enough that he balanced out the Rabid Factor and won.  In the electoral college, he won easily; in the popular vote, barely.

          I hope that the power of the rabid (and racist) right has peaked and will gradually decline; but they aren't going anywhere fast.  I admit that I'm glad the Electoral College gives us something of a sheild.  Just as the EC dictates that you must appeal to more than one racial/ethnic group, it also makes it almost mandatory that you be strong in more than one region.  The Rabid Right is definitely weakened by being so strongly concentrated in a limited number of Southern states.

          COnsider 2016 or 2020 or 2024.  Those will all be bitterly contested elections, with tremendous impact (especially on the climate change front).  It may well be that in one or more of those elections,  only the Electoral College will keep us from being swept over by the tide of fanatical conservatism centered in a core group of Southern states.

          I recognize that it's inconsistent for me to be pleased that the Electoral College strengthens the electoral impact of an ethnically diverse coalition, but also to be pleased because it LESSENS the impact of the rabid right.  I like that it advantages my side, and I like that it blunts the force of the other side.  Yep.

          Still.

          Today's aberrant Republican party is dangerously anti-democratic.  They're dedicated to gaming the system, from their pseudo-pious "voter fraud" campaigns to their shameless gerrymandering to the decades spent deliberately stoking white racial resentment.  ANd they serve the 1%, not the misinformed, manipulated people they claim to represent.  We need every shield we have against their deceit and their massive war-chests.

          So please:  Since we've gone along with the Electoral College for 2 centuries without disaster, let's keep it around for a while longer.  Even if I didn't think it had inherent virtues (which I do), I'd say -- don't kill it off right now.  LEt's see if we can get a ways further down the path to a genuinely multicultural society, and let's get a ways past the peak of the Rabid Right, before we mess with the Electoral College.  It's bias toward coalitions fits our needs as a party and our country's needs as well.  

          And we have a lot of things we need to do.  Give it 20 years -- they'll be busy years -- and we can talk about the Electoral Collage again.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:42:36 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Since 1804 -700 attempts to change Electoral Coll (0+ / 0-)

            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 National Popular Vote bill preserves the constitutionally mandated Electoral College and state control of elections. It ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

            Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states.  

            The bill uses the exclusive 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.  Many believe George W. Bush's presidency, won by the Electoral College, while lost in the national popular vote, was a disaster.

            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.

            NationalPopularVote   
            Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

      •  I'm referring to electing the President (0+ / 0-)

        not Congresspeople. Ideally, it would be by national popular vote.  However, if not, I'd prefer electors by state rather than congressional district.

        "Valerie, why am I getting all these emails calling me a classless boor?"

        by TLS66 on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:00:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree that by congressional district is a toxic (0+ / 0-)

          idea, because they are so badly skewed by gerrymandering.  I can hardly believe that this moderately functional democracy has existed for over 200 years and never developed a non-partisan method of redrawing district lines.  It's insane.

          --------------------- “These are troubling times. Corporation are treated like people. People are treated like things. …And if we ever needed to vote, we sure do need to vote now.” -- Rev. Dr. William J. Barber

          by Fiona West on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 03:31:07 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This would exterminate marginal GOP Reps. (4+ / 0-)

    That's why it won't fly in PA and elsewhere.

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:20:28 PM PST

  •  What are they (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Ahianne, Matt Z, The Nose

    going to do when it changes again?

    In 2020 you have a presidential cycle with a census year, a near 40% minority voting population, and nothing to stop the democrats from gerrymandering the other way since the GOP have opened the floodgates.

    If 2020 is a high turnout year, the GOP will be lucky to have 150 house seats by 2022.

    GOP- Fact Free since 1981!

    by KingGeorgetheTurd on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 03:39:03 PM PST

    •  While I don't approve (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Ahianne, Matt Z

      of either party gerrymandering the other into extinction, right now I am so angry at the way the Republicans manipulated and lied fair redistricting into failing on the ballot in Ohio this past past November that I am thinking "Yeah! Let's go for it." I will probably feel that way even more strongly if the GOP resists efforts to return it to the ballot and tries to defeat it again. If they do this repeatedly until the Democrats take control in 2020 and then scream and wail and try to put the EXACT SAME PLAN on the ballot, I will want us to laugh in their faces and shrink them to a nearly invisible minority.

      Join us now, suckers, or face the blowback.

      Jon Husted is a dick.

      by anastasia p on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:38:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That would be 202*3*, since the new districts woul (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril

      d not take effect until after the Census, i.e., by laws passed after 2020 election.

  •  The National Popular Vote - 49% of the way (8+ / 0-)

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC), without needing to amend the Constitution.

    The National Popular Vote bill would change current state winner-take-all laws that award all of a state’s electoral votes to the candidate who get the most popular votes in each separate state (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states).

    The bill ensures that every vote is equal, every voter will matter, in every state, in every presidential election, and the candidate with the most votes wins, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    Under National Popular Vote, every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in every presidential election. Every vote would be included in the state counts and national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC would get the needed 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states.  The bill would thus guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes.

    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.

    NationalPopularVote   
    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  •  If someone should be accused of treason (11+ / 0-)

    it should be Katrino Trinko, for saying this,

    If states stop awarding votes on a winner-take-all basis, Republicans could also win — and without necessarily getting more votes.
    I'm sorry but could anything be more un-American than salivating over the possibility of winning WITHOUT GETTING MORE VOTES?

    I tell you, these people give me a swift pain. Our secretary of voter suppress ... I mean STATE ... Jon Husted kind of offhandedly suggested this as a possibility at a post-election forum. The negative blowback caused him to say he was just throwing out random ideas not actually proposing this. Yeah, I'll bet

    Jon Husted is a dick.

    by anastasia p on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 04:28:09 PM PST

  •  This is why we have to be working on 2014 (12+ / 0-)

    We have to get all of the Democrats who vote in 2012 to vote in 2014.  We have to balance out the legislatures that skewed badly Republican where they don't reflect their constituencies.

    "But the problem with any ideology is that it gives the answer before you look at the evidence." - President Clinton

    by anonevent on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:09:19 PM PST

  •  Ayup. (7+ / 0-)
    Either way, you know the GOP is heading down the wrong path if, instead of soul searching and making real changes, they are looking to game the system.
    When your core message of austerity and exclusion doesn't "sell" to most voters in the new demographic, maybe some introspection is in order. But, Republicans haven't historically done very well at that.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:12:49 PM PST

  •  Republicans spend 100% of their time in the bubble (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, kyril

    ...fantasizing about how they can further suppress the vote and get away with it. Nothing new about that.

    "Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?" - General Jack D. Ripper

    by wilder5121 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:13:42 PM PST

  •  While these nitwits are at it (8+ / 0-)

    why don't they just propose that the Republican state legislatures simply cancel the election for Presidential electors in their states, and appoint Republican electors instead?

    It seems scandalous, but in fact the Constitution leaves the method of choosing electors up to the state legislatures, and if the legislatures choose to simply appoint electors without bothering to ask anyone to vote about it, they would be entirely within their Constitutional rights.

    The reason they don't, of course, is that it would be outrageous to do so, even to a casual observer.  So instead, they propose to do virtually the same thing, but couch it in different language, so their plan sounds reasonable to the low-information voter.

    "Everybody has won, and all must have prizes." - Lewis Carroll

    by Dave1955 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:20:00 PM PST

  •  WI ReTHUGs are already talking up this electoral (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, kyril, Ahianne, mightymouse

    change; they are going to try it...yes, they are!  

    There were more overall votes for Democratic candidates for the state legislature than Republican, yet ReTHUGs increased seats in the state Senate because of their corrupt redistricting process.  It is a trying time to be anti-ReTHUGlican in Wisconsin!  

    Robber Baron "ReTHUGisms": John D. Rockefeller -"The way to make money is to buy when blood is running in the streets"; Jay Gould -"I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

    by ranton on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:37:13 PM PST

  •  How about white males over 50 w/ income over $100K (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, aitchdee, kyril

    ... votes count three times.

    Then Mitt would be in great shape.

  •  IF A COW HAD BALLS IT WOULD BE A BULL ... n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Matt Z

    Then they came for me - and by that time there was nobody left to speak up.

    by DefendOurConstitution on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:47:10 PM PST

  •  4 states could "fix" this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bobinson, kyril, Matt Z

    4 states with Republican governments controlling all chambers, but who voted for the president:  Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Florida.

    As a note - there is a bill to assign based on congressional district in the Virginia legislature to consider this session.

    The hard-core red states would not pass this - they would still go winner-take all.  So Texas would not give any EV's to the Dem until demographics kick in.  

    The hard-core blue states would not pass this - California, Massachusetts, Illinois.  The split states also wouldn't pass it (New York).  

    This is a real threat - since the Republicans control the entire government in those states there is nothing that the Dems can do to stop it.

    Democrats *do* have a plan for Social Security - it's called Social Security. -- Ed Schultz

    by FredFred on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 05:47:41 PM PST

    •  Support by State for a National Popular Vote (0+ / 0-)

      A survey of Ohio voters showed 70% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
      By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 81% for a national popular vote among Democrats, 65% among Republicans, and 61% among Others.

      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.

      A survey of Virginia voters showed 74% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
      By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 79% for a national popular vote among liberal Democrats (representing 17% of respondents), 86% among moderate Democrats (representing 21% of respondents), 79% among conservative Democrats (representing 10% of respondents), 76% among liberal Republicans (representing 4% of respondents), 63% among moderate Republicans (representing 14% of respondents), and 54% among conservative Republicans (representing 17% of respondents), and 79% among Others (representing 17% of respondents).

      A survey of Florida voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
      By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 88% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among others.

      More than 2,110 state legislators (in 50 states) have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the National Popular Vote bill.

      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 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independents, 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 National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large population states, including one house in Arkansas(6), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), The District of Columbia, Maine (4), Michigan (16), Nevada (6), New Mexico (5), New York (29), North Carolina (15), and Oregon (7), and both houses in California, Colorado (9), Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island (4), Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by the District of Columbia (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (19), New Jersey (14), Maryland (11), California (55), Massachusetts (10), Vermont (3), and Washington (13). These nine jurisdictions have 132 electoral votes -- 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

      NationalPopularVote

  •  By the way, while we're at it, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, kyril

    why don't we make the Senate proportional, as well, so that California doesn't have to have the same number of senators as Rhode Island.  "It's that way because of a historical constitutional compromise, yadda yadda, yadda."  Yes, I know, but it was never in the spirit of democracy, just a fix it to satisfy smaller states and keep them from starting their own clubhouse.

    And, by the way, what are we going to do about statehood for Puerto Rico and D.C.?  I bet most people, if you asked them on the street, would say a 52 star Ol' Glory sounds peachy keen.  Why shouldn't they be able to vote for senators if they want to?

  •  We need to go with a full fledged popular vote. (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, kyril, Ahianne, Val, The Nose, MJB

    The electoral college makes my vote (I live in Tennessee, which is currently reliably Republican) as well as the vote of the vast majority of Americans meaningless.  Why should the votes of a small proportion of the population in our nation in a handful of states like Ohio, Colorado, Iowa, Florida, New Hampshire, ect. count so much more than my vote?  With a national popular vote, everyone's vote would count exactly the same.  The vote of someone living in Los Angeles, California or San Antonio, Texas would be just a meaningful and valuable as the vote of someone living Columbus, Ohio or Denver, Colorado.  

    By the way, when is the last time a Presidential candidate actually campaigned in California, Illinois, Texas, or New York during the heart of the general election.  Despite the fact that these states represent four of the five largest states in our nation, it's been a really long time since that has occurred.  If we had a national popular vote, candidates would have to campaign everywhere in a general election because every vote counts and margins matter.  Barrack Obama would have no doubt campaigned in places that haven't been visited by a Democratic nominee during the general election in years like San Antonio, Texas, Atlanta, Georgia, and Los Angeles California; while Mitt Romney would have no doubt campaigned in places not visited by a Republican nominee in years like Orange County, California, Fort Worth, Texas, and the Jersey shore!  Campaigns wouldn't just focus on the small percentage of Americans living in swing states, but instead would have to focus on ALL Americans, since margins become all important.

    The best way to get a national popular vote is by enacting the National Popular Vote Bill, which you can learn more about here.

    We have nothing to fear but fear itself

    by bhouston79 on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:06:15 PM PST

  •  Obama won the national popular vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Ahianne

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:13:15 PM PST

  •  If Ohio or Florida (or Texas) (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Ahianne, BenderRodriguez, The Nose

    had Congressional District-based electoral votes in 2000, Al Gore would have become president.  GW Bush didn't have a lot of EVs to spare, so he needed winner-take-all EVs from those states.
    The only way Trinko's plan works for Republicans is if they have different rules for different states, continually updated depending on who's ahead where.

    •  Also... (0+ / 0-)

      In order for this plan to work the rules will have to be changed continually to benefit Republicans in states that are majority Democratic.  So, every election we would have states that are majority Democratic bringing legislation to benefit Republicans.  How does she think this is going to work?

    •  ... which is exactly what the Goopers want (0+ / 0-)

      Obviously they don't want EVs awarded by CD in Texas, because in 2012 that would have meant Obama winning about a dozen Texas EVs.  And a few EVs in North Carolina.  And even one EV in Utah.  Etc.

      The GOP wants different rules in different places because they care only about gaming the system, not about rules or principles or ideas.

      Please help to fight hunger with a donation to Feeding America.

      by MJB on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 12:01:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I suspect it would be found unconstitutional. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IM, Ahianne

    Pennsylvania is the most egregious example, I think, with a population that goes roughly 50-50, but which is so extremely gerrymandered their congressional delegation splits 5D - 13R.  If PA had gone with electoral votes by district, they would have given Romney 13 of their 20 votes.

    But this would very clearly disenfranchise the people of Philadelphia, particularly urban blacks, and so might run afoul of the Civil Rights Act.  With the current SCOTUS, the case would probably be decided on partisan grounds - but Obama will probably appoint 1-2 justices who will actually uphold the constitution.

    Early to rise and early to bed Makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead. --Not Benjamin Franklin

    by Boundegar on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:20:03 PM PST

    •  Sorry, no (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      kyril, Inland

      A state can decide how it is going to select its presidential electors. Originally, presidential electors were picked directly by state legislatures with no popular vote at all.

      •  Nitpick: some of them did that, but not many. (0+ / 0-)

        In fact, I believe that in 1788-89, New York was the only one to have its state legislature pick the electors, because the government couldn't get its act together in time to schedule an election. It was quite a while before every state used the popular vote, and state legislature were never the method in more than about a quarter of the country, maybe a third.

        They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

        by Ponder Stibbons on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:18:41 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  They've been gaming the system (5+ / 0-)

    for awhile. It's just that their previous efforts aren't working anymore so they are looking at different and more radical ways of gaming the system as they fall further and further into irrelevance amongst the actual voters.

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

    by Andrew C White on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:26:28 PM PST

  •  Changing the rules so the 2nd place winner wins.. (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KingTag, aitchdee, kyril, a2nite, mightymouse

    would also put Mittster in the WH too ,,, and that idea is no less silly as the ones the wacky-right are coming up with

  •  She's basically admitting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Cartoon Peril, The Nose

    that they do not have a popular majority in the house. They don't.

    Democracy has nothing to do with "majority rules" for them. It's only about who wins.  I can't wait until the GOP, as we know it, is shut down for good.

    "Mediocrity cannot know excellence." -- Sherlock Holmes

    by La Gitane on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 06:51:59 PM PST

  •  How Ironic (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    aitchdee, kyril

    The Party that does winner-take-all in nearly every primary wants to portion out electoral vote in states where they lose by 10-12 points.

  •  This can also (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Chas 981

    Be opposed on a state-by-state basis pragmatically.

    Any single big/swing state that moves to a per-district model for EC allocation will quickly make itself nearly irrelevant as far as advertising and candidate visits.  

    I believe this was significant in warding off an attempt to do this in Pennsylvania a couple years back.  What swing state wants to go from key battleground to sharing the D-list with Maine and Nebraska?

    The Popular vote compact has the right idea in that nothing takes effect until 270 electoral votes worth of states sign on.  Winner-take-all has a certain parochial logic for each state.

  •  it's already a done deal! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Cartoon Peril, The Nose

    http://thinkprogress.org/...

    Thanks To Gerrymandering, Democrats Would Need To Win The Popular Vote By Over 7 Percent To Take Back The House

    You stand here now in the footsteps of so many women who would have liked to have been here but didn't get the shot. You have a band of sisters and we're going to change history. ~ Sen. Barbara Mikulski D-MD speaking to Senator Elizabeth Warren

    by anyname on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 07:20:44 PM PST

  •  This will never fly (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously... there would be serious talk of secession and revolt if someone who lost 51-47 could someone still win and be president.

    This would be immensely destabilizing

  •  Awarding electoral votes by Congressional District (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kyril, Radical Faith, IM, a2nite

    is legal.  It is already done in Nebraska and Maine.

    You better get ready because it is likely coming to PA,OH,WI,FLA and VA.

    It is true and correct that if every state had a congressional district system Romney would have won.

    I hope if the Democrats ever start losing and could legally change the rules to help them win they would.

    Listen people here is the real lesson: STOP TAKING MIDTERM ELECTIONS OFF!!!!

    When people took off 2010 look what happened.  Keep doing it and a minority will be able to legally change the rules to have their President.

  •  I don't understand (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    newfie

    while the President is elected by the Electrical Collie anyway.

  •  give states electoral votes and House seats (0+ / 0-)

    in proportion to their GDP...no more Red State whiners taking our money and calling US unpatriotic and holding our government hostage.  November 6th would have been 80/20 Obama in that world.
    Or proportional to average IQ?  Obama 95/5!  

    •  Come now. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      richardvjohnson

      I know plenty of intelligent republicans.  Some are disgusted by the new flavor of the party, some are intelligent but are not well informed about the nature of the GOP these days (hard to believe but tend to think the blame for gridlock goes to both parties) and others are just flat out greedy.

      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

      by newfie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:53:23 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm afraid most intelligent Republicans are (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        newfie

        in blue states where they're not doing any harm if they vote Republican.  I question that there are many intelligent people of any persuasion in the red states ;)  It's whole states I was discussing, not individuals.  There are certainly plenty of uneducated Democrats too.
        BTW I love your tag line - but in the grand scheme of things, isn't ignorance just as dangerous to everyone else as malevolence?  And isn't ignorance self-imposed in many if not most cases?  I'm not really speaking of IQ but openness to learning - even people with very low measured intelligence can be (and often are) morally superior because they have good emotional intelligence.  That's what I think conservatives lack rather than intellect.  

        •  I would concur. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          richardvjohnson

          And my agnostic children have far better developed moral sense than many "good" Christians I know.

          I know far too many Republicans (in this blue State) who are disengaged with politics due to lack of interest.  I think that this can be more harmful than malevolence because they have the capacity to know better but do not have the initiative to learn.  

          "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

          by newfie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:52:56 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  For the record, it's "Katrina Trinko", her (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Glinda

    idea is wrong, but let's get her name right.  Basically I like a good debate but names of folks, even those with whom we disagree, are something we should make an effort to get right.  

    You have exactly 10 seconds to change that look of disgusting pity into one of enormous respect!

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Jan 08, 2013 at 11:38:39 PM PST

  •  Apartheid also lacked majority white support (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ahianne, a2nite

    Not everyone knows this, but it is an important fact to reckon with as we move forward.

    Apartheid was introduced despite the repeatedly demonstrated opposition of a majority of the white electorate.

    While its racially exclusionary practices, which limited the franchise to white voters(as well as a limited number of mixed race ones between 1936 and 1958) the defenders of South Africa took great pride in arguing that the nation possessed a system that was highly democratic and representative of its voters, the “freest in Africa”. And on paper it was, with a constitution remarkably similar to Australia or Canada. Nevertheless, the election results that brought in Apartheid indicated that the system did an extremely poor job of representing the opinion even of its limited constituency.

    [...]

    The National Party had taken advantages of one of the quirks of the South African system. The first was that seats were allowed to deviate from the population quota by a margin of 15% in either direction in order to accommodate local boundaries and to limit their geographical size. While an average of around 7200 votes were cast per constituency, the National Party only won 2 seats where more than 7200 votes were cast. The United Party by contrast won more than half its seats in districts where over 8000 votes were cast.

    Secondly, the National Party had the advantage of being an ethnic party in a country in which the ethnic balance favored them. Afrikaners, to whom they focused their appeal, made up 57% of the population, and were furthermore, better distributed for electoral purposes, making up the majority in 98 out of 150 seats. The redistricting that followed the Nationalist victory in 1948 only increased this discrepancy...

    Steve Kornacki had an important article on the very real implications of this for the US: http://www.salon.com/...

    And Rachel Maddow also had two amazingly good segments on gerrymandering, on December 12, beginning here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/...

    •  I know a South African (0+ / 0-)

      guy who once told me that to be "English" was also a detractor in South Africa.  He clarified that it was no where near what the blacks faced by any stretch of the imagination but it was present.

      "You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity"

      by newfie on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:58:08 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think only landed gentry should be allowed to... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deha, Iberian, Algernons Labyrinth

    ... vote.

    I'm working on an article now for The Weekly Standard.

  •  Winner take all maxes power of state. (0+ / 0-)

    That's why they tend to do that.

    One piece of free advice to the GOP: Drop the culture wars, explicitly.

    by Inland on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:56:12 AM PST

  •  It's called cheating because that's the only way (0+ / 0-)

    They win.

  •  By district... (0+ / 0-)

    Once upon a time even Democrats thought that proportional by district was a decent way to award electoral votes.

    That was before the gerrymandering of 2000 and 2010, but the thought still holds that a nationwide alteration to "by district" isn't solely a Republican idea.  

    Minority rights should never be subject to majority vote.

    by lostboyjim on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:03:49 AM PST

  •  The counter for that would be to increase (0+ / 0-)

    the number of seats in Congress ... which, unfortunately, would require cooperation from Congress.

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:49:23 AM PST

  •  So let me get this straight (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    According to this woman and her ilk, regardless of how the people vote, the only legitimate outcome is if the Republican wins?

    They don't even attempt to hide this attitude. What a bizarro world we are living in these days.

  •  I see it exactly the opposite (0+ / 0-)

    Gerrymandering needs to stop! Congressional seats cannot be in complete violation to the total popular vote for all congressional seats within a single State. Because without it Obama would also have won the House.

  •  there would be no point to the electoral college. (0+ / 0-)

    one person one vote, then!

    their stupididyit ways makes my head explode.

    "A dollah makes me hollah"-- Stephen Colbert, pretending to be S. Palin

    by stagemom on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:32:21 AM PST

  •  This Would Be In Effect A Coup D' Etat (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DrTerwilliker

    Even IF - a huge enough if to not make this an immediate concern - the GOP pulled this off, it would mark them as anti-democracy forever.

    Looking further down the road, NRO might also find itself overly optimistic about the ability to maintain the system.  People move around.

    "Hidden in the idea of radical openness is an allegiance to machines instead of people." - Jaron Lanier

    by FDRDemocrat on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:42:11 AM PST

  •  Huh? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    Didn't the GOP try to change the rules with numerous voter suppression laws?  It backfired in their faces.  

    So now the GOP doubles down.  But don't call them bat shit crazy.  

    Either way, you know the GOP is heading down the wrong path if, instead of soul searching and making real changes, they are looking to game the system.
    Pass me the crying towel.  The schadenfreude  is so large, it hurts.  

    Is there a doctor in the house:  Can someone die from terminal schadenfreude?  

  •  OK, here's my rule - if you display a Confederate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    flag, you're not a citizen and you can't vote.
    Simple.

  •  The electoral college does not give any power to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Nose

    small states; they may have slightly more votes than they're entitled to by population, but presidential candidates don't give a shit about the problems of any state that won't be close.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 08:16:12 AM PST

  •  It's time for a national popular vote (0+ / 0-)

    I'm tired of our 38 votes in Texas going to dumbass Republicans.  Democrats are consistenty polling at 41% in Texas, and I'd like those votes to go to the Democratic candidate, either by splitting our electoral votes or by popular vote.

  •  Not sure if this was covered up thread but (0+ / 0-)

    the GOP wants it both ways.

    They want winner take all in Red states like Texas but they want to split electoral votes in blue states like Michigan and Wisconsin.

    It should be all one one or the other.  (granted I know about Nebraska and Maine)  Not that I want to see it, but if there is a switch to split votes then I think the districts should be drawn by impartial judges.  (if that is possible)Since they drew the lines they now want to chagne the rules.  

    The GOP is following this strategy to benefit themselves in areas where they don't have the popular vote but control the State Houses or Governor seats.

    They are insane and I can't see how thinking Americans dont see through their shenanigans!!

    It all makes me want to puke......

  •  the president as super speaker of the house? (0+ / 0-)

    Seriously, this plan has some weird side effects.

    If you went through with this, the president would almost certainly be of the same party as the party controlling the house,  and not only that,  but  the election for the presidency would be essentially the same election as the the election for the house of representatives.

    Which means that the house and presidency would be become much more interlocked, and in some ways, that president would be more like a "super speaker", because he'd be much more involved with the fate of his house members and more politically involved with their reelection.

    Very weird, since we already have speaker position.

  •  The Problem With This Plan (0+ / 0-)

    Some people just don't understand politics.  This person wants to change the rules to favor Republicans in states that are majority Democratic.  She doesn't see the pernicious flaw in this otherwise sparkling edifice.

  •  National Popular Vote (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tremayne, Penny Century

    doesn't require Constitutional Amendment. Just an interstate compact by states representing 270 electoral votes to award its EVs to the winner of the national popular vote.

    We're halfway there.

    •  interesting work around (0+ / 0-)

      eliminating the EC would require constitutional amendment.

      How likely are we to get to 270 on this?

      Confusing stuff in italics at the end of my comment.

      by tremayne on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 11:38:58 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Zero as things stand (0+ / 0-)

        There's no way to 270 without going through some Republican legislatures, and the Republicans loathe this idea. In order to bring it to fruition, we'll need to take over some more state legislatures. Which should also be a priority since we have more or less a zero chance of retaking the house until 2022, and only then if we retake some state legislatures and make the districts saner.

        But we aren't prioritizing that, and realistically I don't see that as likely to change until at least 2018. By which time it will almost certainly be too late. (And that's assuming it changes at all.)

        •  R Voters Strongly Support a national popular vote (0+ / 0-)

          More than 2,110 state legislators (in 50 states) have sponsored and/or cast recorded votes in favor of the National Popular Vote bill.

          In 2011, the Republican-controlled New York Senate passed the National Popular Vote bill by a 47–13 margin, with Republicans favoring the bill by 21–11. Republicans endorsed by the Conservative Party favored the bill 17–7.

          The National Popular Vote 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.

          NationalPopularVote   
          Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  •  Romney probably IS planning (0+ / 0-)

    for the inauguration right now.

    ANN Romney, that is.

    What IS she gonna do with that $58,000 dress?


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:33:07 AM PST

  •  Just a request of diarists ... (0+ / 0-)

    This isn't a bad diary, but as someone whose brain just doesn't seem to get acronyms ...

    It would help a lot if, when using one, diarists would at the beginning of their diary at least once spell out what the acronyms stands for -- just for clarity of writing's sake.  Don't assume everyone automatically knows or can figure it out.  

    In this case, rather than being able to focus on the point of the diary, I wasted a lot of energy by going on the mental tangent of trying to figure out what NRO means, and finally had to click the link to see if it would say there.

  •  I think her "Stand with Voters" (0+ / 0-)

    pledge is MUCH better than their last one................

    "Sit with Idiots'


    "A squid eating dough in a polyethylene bag is fast and bulbous..........got me?" - Don Van Vliet

    by AlyoshaKaramazov on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:35:14 AM PST

  •  Romney would also have won (0+ / 0-)

    ...if blacks and women hadn't been allowed to vote.

    America, we can do better than this...

    by Randomfactor on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 10:39:59 AM PST

  •  Don't forget that Obama won a lot of southern CDs (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Penny Century, Chas 981

    particularly in Texas!

  •  So, Obama won (0+ / 0-)

    the electoral vote AND the popular vote so we need a different system? How about Republicans get two votes to every one Democratic vote? Would that be fair enough for them?

    Delusional.

    No, actually, just pathetic.

    An unsuccessful shoe bomb attack resulted in nine years of inconvenience for every flier in the country. It would be nice to think [this diabolical act] might lead to some similar inconveniences. --mrblifil

    by Debby on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 02:48:23 PM PST

  •  I would love for a popular vote (0+ / 0-)

    but I don't trust elections in a lot of red states. As a result, I would prefer we stick with the electoral college. Perhaps it could be modified for some sort of proportionality that eliminates the effect of gerrymandering would work.

    I have never been able to figure out if Fox is the propaganda arm of the Republican party or is the Republican Party the political subsidiary of Fox.

    by Dave from Oregon on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 05:13:24 PM PST

    •  Now Handful of Battleground States Determine (0+ / 0-)

      Now a handful of battleground states determine our elections.

      The trustworthiness of elections is questionable in numerous battleground states, including in Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Pennsylvania.

      A small number of questionable votes in a single state is unlikely to change the outcome of a presidential election conducted on the basis of the national popular vote. It is, however, a historical fact that a small number of votes may affect the nationwide outcome of a presidential election under the current state-by-state winner-take-all system. For example, the 2000 presidential election was decided by 537 votes out of a total of 5,963,110 votes in Florida—one of the numerous battleground states that used direct-recording electronic voting machines in 2012.

    •  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.

  •  Do away with congressional districts (0+ / 0-)

    State legislatures deal with local issues, so there's no need to reinvent that wheel at a Congressional level. Congressional seats should be allocated proportionally state wide allowing voters to chose who they really want, rather than being condemned to zero representation in districts gerrymandered for GOP or Dem ideology.

    For years I had no Congressional reps or Senators because of gerrymandering and districting. It was utterly pointless for me to contact my reps because they were hard right ideologues.

    By ditching districts, people would be able to choose from a field of candidates and those candidates getting the most votes win. To be sure, there quite a few details that would need to be worked out, but once established, there would never again be the need to worry about the ridiculous "system" of non stop gerrymandering and ideological war. We waste so much time and energy on this crap it would be so refreshing if we could focus on solutions rather than all this structural b.s.

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