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John Nichols, a columnist for The Nation, has exposed yet another Republican-backed scheme to rig the electoral college.

The scheme involves six states, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida, all of which voted for President Obama in 2012 but have Republican-controlled state legislatures and governorships, proposing and enacting state laws changing the way it allocates its electoral votes from the "winner-take-all" system, in which the Presidential ticket that receives the most number of votes in any state that allocates its electoral votes that way win's all of that state's electoral votes, to a "closed party list" system, in which electoral votes are allocated roughly in proportion to the percentage of the vote that each presidential ticket receives in any state that implements such a scheme.

Here's how Nichols described this latest GOP-backed scheme:

Priebus initially talked up the idea of to having Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania abandon the current model of assigning electoral votes to the winner of the state and instead implement a model where the allotment would be based on the winners of congressional districts. That plan, which would have allowed the loser of the popular vote in many states to "win" most of the electoral votes, was such a blatant rip-off that shamed Republicans in Virginia, Florida, Wisconsin and other states abandoned it.

But they did not abandon the basic premise laid out by Priebus -- that states that are "controlled red" by the Republicans should game the rules so that they are less "consistently blue" in presidential politics. They've just shifted strategy.

Under the plan now being entertained by Pennsylvania Republicans, electoral votes would be distributed based on the percentage of the vote received by the contenders. Had the plan been in place in 2012, President Obama, who won 52 percent of the Pennsylvania popular vote, would have gotten 11 or 12 electoral votes, while Republican Mitt Romney would have gotten 8 or 9.

That looks like a more reasonable result than under the plan for allocating by congressional district results, which would have given Romney most of Pennsylvania's electoral votes despite Obama's popular vote win.

But here's where things get tricky. If Pennsylvania and other swing states that tend to back Democrats move to the proportional model, while big states such as Texas and Georgia that have been voting Republican stick with a winner-take-all plan, they will lock in a national advantage for the Republicans.

The Pennsylvania initiative may not be quite as "sweet" for Republicans as the initial Priebus plan. But if states that vote Democratic assign substantial numbers of their electoral votes to the Republican loser, while states that vote Republican make no such concession, it will be a lot easier to chart a course where a Republican nominee who is trounced in the national popular vote might still "win" the electoral vote and the presidency.

Republican Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi says that he will introduce legislation that would change the way Pennsylvania's electoral votes are allocated from the winner-take-all system to the proportional system.

Once again, Republicans are plotting to steal the 2016 presidential election. Let's hold them accountable another time!

Originally posted to Aaron Camp on DailyKos on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:23 AM PST.

Also republished by Pittsburgh Area Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (243+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elwior, Chaddiwicker, dear occupant, theKgirls, DCDemocrat, Cartoon Peril, Creosote, ItsSimpleSimon, Tinfoil Hat, zephyr108, rtaylor352, bumbi, eeff, sodalis, jbob, NancyWH, chloris creator, carpunder, grrr, nomandates, Vatexia, limae, dpwks, Rogneid, SaintC, se portland, cordgrass, Getreal1246, brae70, psnyder, enemy of the people, marina, peacestpete, Egalitare, semiot, NBBooks, blueoregon, Foundmyvoice, commonmass, Dobber, a2nite, TheLizardKing, NM Ray, TracieLynn, AnnieR, IL clb, NJpeach, MarciaJ720, wader, zerelda, RockyMtnLib, MKinTN, rasbobbo, NonnyO, IreGyre, gizmo59, fugwb, blue aardvark, jasan, madmsf, Eddie L, Byron from Denver, cybersaur, ewmorr, Regina in a Sears Kit House, pamelabrown, greycat, concernedamerican, rapala, toom, maybeeso in michigan, hubcap, mconvente, lcrp, Sun Tzu, mbh1023, Gowrie Gal, prettygirlxoxoxo, myeye, Mac in Maine, Its a New Day, Alma, mrsgoo, Its the Supreme Court Stupid, karmsy, avsp, USHomeopath, RUNDOWN, bleeding blue, Arahahex, Mighty Ike, sap, Sylv, Betterthansoap, n8rboy, dewtx, boatjones, Liberal Mole, LilithGardener, CoolOnion, sostos, Simplify, countwebb, luckydog, thomask, No one gets out alive, Siri, EricS, elziax, newinfluence, ColoTim, JVolvo, mungley, OregonWetDog, Cat Servant, wasatch, chicagoblueohio, exNYinTX, jediwashuu, yoduuuh do or do not, political mutt, stevenwag, cpresley, niteskolar, cherryXXX69, Loudoun County Dem, Carlo, northerntier, Caddis Fly, arealniceguy, tommyfocus2003, Puddytat, TechBob, Tod, Dianora, LillithMc, fumie, Cronesense, Anthony Page aka SecondComing, susakinovember, FogCityJohn, Aaa T Tudeattack, SheilaKinBrooklyn, janmtairy, exterris, buckstop, trumpeter, prfb, howabout, ER Doc, leftynyc, anodnhajo, LakeSuperior, outragedinSF, missLotus, Lujane, Nica24, Aureas2, Shockwave, Bob Duck, xomnow, ChemBob, annan, TomP, VirginiaBlue, fixxit, Lefty Coaster, aughtomatic, shortgirl, Shadowmage36, oldpotsmuggler, mph2005, mofembot, WisVoter, RagingGurrl, OIL GUY, Sharoney, wdrath, MidwestTreeHugger, tecampbell, gypsytoo, fabucat, Nicci August, SilentBrook, Mr Robert, highacidity, llbear, PBen, monkeybrainpolitics, triplepoint, akze29, Jeff Y, uciguy30, defluxion10, MJ via Chicago, savano66, slowbutsure, ladywithafan, annetteboardman, ardyess, itzadryheat, annominous, happy camper, pragmaticidealist, LamontCranston, TheDuckManCometh, Bluesee, MRA NY, deha, Beetwasher, Born in NOLA, Quicklund, ptanow, dragonlady, Grandma Susie, remembrance, madgranny, tofumagoo, Habitat Vic, jayden, Clive all hat no horse Rodeo, SadieSue, pat bunny, OHeyeO, SanFernandoValleyMom, kerflooey, BrianParker14, ARS, Judgment at Nuremberg, bsmechanic, badlands, lostinamerica, Loose Fur, zukesgirl64, Yosef 52, sidnora, David PA, Ignacio Magaloni, ATFILLINOIS, DuzT, ScottAC, jcrit, DvCM

    Friend of the Wisconsin Uprising from East Central Illinois! IL-15

    by DownstateDemocrat on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:23:55 AM PST

  •  I don't think these have much change of passing (48+ / 0-)

    Although they do show how intellectually and morally feeble the Republican Party is.

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

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:31:54 AM PST

      •  We should fight fire with fire (35+ / 0-)

        If Republicans want to be "fair" Democrats should agree and propose that PA's electoral votes go to the winner of the national popular vote.  The only practical way to reform the Electoral College to be fairer is if all states did this.  Republicans who plan to tinker with the Electoral College should be made sorry that they did.  Since they've opened the door, we should push through it and embrace the fairness argument.  A proposal like the one above isn't susceptible to cherry-picking to steal the election, since the national vote winner would reap the benefit wherever the reform is put in place.

        Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

        by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:19:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  that may be true (14+ / 0-)

          but the whole point of changing it is to make it easier to rig overall, IMO.

          Thus, their "reforms" should be stopped. Period. And we need to not tinker with the EC, either. That's part of the overall picture in "dumbing down" our system.

          It is time to #Occupy Media.

          by lunachickie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:24:37 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  An alternate proposal is another line of attack (33+ / 0-)

            "We know what you're doing with the EC bill, and we know why you're doing it.  Now, if you really want to be fair, we could do this.  That would honor the people's will nationally, unlike your proposal which is intended to cheat your opponents."

            It's important to refute the rationale for the bill, not just say "Nuh-unh!"

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:27:47 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Hell, really (10+ / 0-)

              what they're saying is the votes should be divided by percentage. To me we need to push it all the way and do away with the EC and use a national popular vote.

              "If fighting for a more equal and equitable distribution of the wealth of this country is socialistic, I stand guilty of being a socialist." Walter Reuther

              by fugwb on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:00:46 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Requires a Constitutional Amendment (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Lujane, ardyess, SadieSue

                ... which smaller states would never pass.  If you generate a political movement to have states make their electors vote for the national popular vote winner, you move toward the same goal without the need for an Amendment.

                Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

                by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:04:34 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  You can run an end run around the 'constitutional (14+ / 0-)

                  amendment' requirement by agreeing to the National Popular Vote Compact, which if agreed to by states which comprise 270 or more Electoral Votes, would trigger the Compact's objectives.  

                  The Compact goes into effect if adopted by states with 270 or more EV.  Currently states with 132 EV have signed on.

                  The down side is that if, only 270 sign on, or a number near that, and one state pulls out and the number falls below 270, then Compact would fall apart.

                  There should be language in the compact's laws which says that it can not be changed within 6 months or 1 year of a national presidential election.

                  •  Withdrawal is Not Possible Jul 20-Jan 20 (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    dragonlady, Yosef 52, shenderson

                    The National Popular Vote bill says: "Any member state may withdraw from this agreement, except that a withdrawal occurring six months or less before the end of a President’s term shall not become effective until a President or Vice President shall have been qualified to serve the next term."

                    This six-month “blackout” period includes six important events relating to presidential elections, namely the
                    ● national nominating conventions,
                    ● fall general election campaign period,
                    ● Election Day on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November,
                    ● meeting of the Electoral College on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December,
                    ● counting of the electoral votes by Congress on January 6, and
                    ● scheduled inauguration of the President and Vice President for the new term on January 20.

                    Any attempt by a state to pull out of the compact in violation of its terms would violate the Impairments Clause of the U.S. Constitution and would be void.  Such an attempt would also violate existing federal law.  Compliance would be enforced by Federal court action

                    The National Popular Vote compact is, first of all, a state law. It is a state law that would govern the manner of choosing presidential electors. A Secretary of State may not ignore or override the National Popular Vote law any more than he or she may ignore or override the winner-take-all method that is currently the law in 48 states.

                    There has never been a court decision allowing a state to withdraw from an interstate compact without following the procedure for withdrawal specified by the compact. Indeed, courts have consistently rebuffed the occasional (sometimes creative) attempts by states to evade their obligations under interstate compacts.

                    In 1976, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland stated in Hellmuth and Associates v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority:

                    “When enacted, a compact constitutes not only law, but a contract which may not be amended, modified, or otherwise altered without the consent of all parties.”

                    In 1999, the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania stated in Aveline v. Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole:
                    “A compact takes precedence over the subsequent statutes of signatory states and, as such, a state may not unilaterally nullify, revoke, or amend one of its compacts if the compact does not so provide.”

                    In 1952, the U.S. Supreme Court very succinctly addressed the issue in Petty v. Tennessee-Missouri Bridge Commission:
                    “A compact is, after all, a contract.”

                    The important point is that an interstate compact is not a mere “handshake” agreement. If a state wants to rely on the goodwill and graciousness of other states to follow certain policies, it can simply enact its own state law and hope that other states decide to act in an identical manner. If a state wants a legally binding and enforceable mechanism by which it agrees to undertake certain specified actions only if other states agree to take other specified actions, it enters into an interstate compact.

                    Interstate compacts are supported by over two centuries of settled law guaranteeing enforceability. Interstate compacts exist because the states are sovereign. If there were no Compacts Clause in the U.S. Constitution, a state would have no way to enter into a legally binding contract with another state. The Compacts Clause, supported by the Impairments Clause, provides a way for a state to enter into a contract with other states and be assured of the enforceability of the obligations undertaken by its sister states. The enforceability of interstate compacts under the Impairments Clause is precisely the reason why sovereign states enter into interstate compacts. Without the Compacts Clause and the Impairments Clause, any contractual agreement among the states would be, in fact, no more than a handshake.

                •  Most of the states aren't going to pass the (6+ / 0-)

                  proportional distribution system, either. The states that are already reliably red aren't going to pass it. Texas doesn't want proportional representation. This controversy is specific to a number of states that have been swing states and usually blue in recent presidential elections, but are controlled by Republican legislatures & governors: Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, & Virginia. These laws won't pass elsewhere. You can use the "fairness" argument to shame the swing states out of passing this stuff, but you won't get it passed universally, any more than you'll get the Electoral College eliminated.  

                  -7.25, -6.26

                  We are men of action; lies do not become us.

                  by ER Doc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:47:18 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  National Popular Vote is 49% of the Way (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Loose Fur, ScottAC

                    To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

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

                    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.

                    NationalPopularVote       
                    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

                    •  It's not going to happen (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      ER Doc

                      It is by design an end-run around the Constitutional need to get 2/3s of the states to agree to an Amendment. Some clever lawyer is gong to point this out before the SCOTUS.

                      •  National Popular Vote only changes state laws (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Loose Fur, ScottAC

                        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), to a system guaranteeing the majority of Electoral College votes for, and the Presidency to, the candidate getting the most popular votes in the entire United States.

                        The 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.

                        The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

                        The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution, and enacting National Popular Vote would not need an amendment. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

                        Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors . . ."   The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as "plenary" and "exclusive."

                        The constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected.  Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation's first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet).  Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

                        Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation's first presidential election.

                        In 1789, in the nation's first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

                        The current 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method (i.e., awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in a particular state) is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. It is not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, the debates of the Constitutional Convention, or the Federalist Papers. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method.

                        The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding the state's electoral votes.

                        As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and frequently have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Maine and Nebraska do not use the winner-take-all method– a reminder that an amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not required to change the way the President is elected.

                        The normal process of effecting change in the method of electing the President is specified in the U.S. Constitution, namely action by the state legislatures. This is how the current system was created, and this is the built-in method that the Constitution provides for making changes. The abnormal process is to go outside the Constitution, and amend it.

                •  Small States Want a National Popular Vote (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Loose Fur, ScottAC

                  Now political clout comes from being among the handful of battleground states.  80% of states and voters are ignored by presidential campaigns.

                  In 2008, of the 25 smallest states (with a total of 155 electoral votes), 18 received no attention at all from presidential campaigns after the conventions.  Of the seven smallest states with any post-convention visits, Only 4 of the smallest states - NH (12 events), NM (8), NV (12), and IA (7) -   got the outsized attention of 39 of the 43 total events in the 25 smallest states.  In contrast, Ohio (with only 20 electoral votes) was lavishly wooed with 62 of the total 300 post-convention campaign events in the whole country.

                  In the 25 smallest states in 2008, the Democratic and Republican popular vote was almost tied (9.9 million versus 9.8 million), as was the electoral vote (57 versus 58).

                  Now with state-by-state winner-take-all laws (not mentioned in the U.S. Constitution, but since enacted by 48 states), presidential elections ignore 12 of the 13 lowest population states (3-4 electoral votes), that are non-competitive in presidential elections. 6 regularly vote Republican (AK, ID, MT, WY, ND, and SD), and 6 regularly vote Democratic (RI, DE, HI, VT, ME, and DC) in presidential elections. Voters in states that are reliably red or blue don't matter. Candidates ignore those states and the issues they care about most.

                  Support for a national popular vote is strong in every smallest state surveyed in recent polls among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group.  Support in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK -70%, DC -76%, DE --75%, ID -77%, ME - 77%, MT- 72%,  NE - 74%, NH--69%, NE - 72%, NM - 76%, RI - 74%,  SD- 71%, UT- 70%, VT - 75%, WV- 81%,  and WY- 69%.

                  Among the 13 lowest population states, the National Popular Vote bill has passed in nine state legislative chambers, and been enacted by 3 jurisdictions.

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

              •  The plan where all EV votes go to the winner of (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                WisVoter, Dallasdoc

                the national popular vote does that without requiring a constitutional amendment.

                It also has the advantage of removing the built-in advantage the EC gives to small states.

                Also, it immediately makes states that currently have no stake suddenly become important.

                Nobody currently cares about California, Texas or New York because those votes are going where everyone knows they are going.

                But say, if only California's votes were allocated by popular vote instead of state votes, California immediately becomes a state worth fighting for. Even a candidate who knows they can't win California outright, but may be close enough in EC votes otherwise, will decide to fight for a larger minority of California votes if it could move the popular vote over the threshhold and thus get California's 44 EC votes.

                It is definitely to the advantage of larger states to do this.

                Resuming episode.

                My political compass: - 8.38,-6.97

                by pucklady on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:33:49 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  'Dumbing down'? (0+ / 0-)

            That's highly offensive to me.

            The Electoral College is a deeply undemocratic (small D) system by which a small number of states wield ridiculously outsized influence over our electoral system, to the detriment of more or less every major population center in the United States. In combination with the fact that one person in (say) Montana has the equivalent of 40 times as much representation in the Senate as does a person in California, it basically tilts the playing field dramatically in favor of the interests of those in sparsely populated states, and away from the interests of vast majority of the United States.

            Calling a popular vote 'dumbing down' our system is just as offensive as saying the same thing about getting rid of the requirement that voters be landowners. It is a disparaging remark made about a reform that would make our system of government more representative of the actual people who live in our country.

            I understand that small states currently have a great deal of privilege under the current system, and are loath to give it up. And you get the most ridiculous arguments against it, as a result, including the one that says that simply because the electoral college is more complicated than a national representative vote, it is therefore superior. The arguments, in fact, are very similar to the arguments of white (male, straight) people who have a huge amount of privilege and are unwilling to even examine it, let alone give it up.

            But in the end, the inevitable effect of the electoral college, and indeed the only possible justification for its existence, is that sometimes the person who the majority of the US public wants to elect as president shouldn't be president. It's as simple as that. And a more un-democratic result is hard for me to imagine.

          •  The Hell It Is... (0+ / 0-)
            And we need to not tinker with the EC, either. That's part of the overall picture in "dumbing down" our system.
            ...the Electoral College is itself extremely dumb, anti-democratic and anti-progressive.   It needs to be not only tinkered with, it needs to be destroyed.   But it needs to be done so in a way that doesn't constitute rigging the system - it needs to be done so by adopting the popular vote.
        •  But Dems don't control PA legislature. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ER Doc, ardyess
        •  NPV (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          flitedocnm, Dallasdoc, Beetwasher

          You've just described the NPV plan. It is already going forward and says that when enough states to reach 270 electoral votes pass it (and not until then), then those states will allocate their electoral college votes to the national popular vote winner.

          It effectively creates a national popular vote for President while leaving the electoral college as a vestigial appendage (thus not requiring a Constitutional amendment).

          It is already law in states accounting for 132 electoral votes. Those states are: VT, MD, WA, IL, NJ, DC, MA, CA, HI. Notice anything? They're all predominantly Democratic. Republicans "know" that if they go to anything resembling real Democracy they are out of power federally.

          Take it easy, but take it.

          by ltsply2 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:02:42 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  The PA legislature should be forced to answer (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            SilentBrook, Jeff Y, ardyess

            the question of why not just join the National Popular Vote Compact?

            They stay relevant as a state in the current EC system until enough states join and once they do, they get the popular vote like they purported want.

            The problem of course is that they don't really give a damn about the popular vote, it is all just about stealing the next national election.

            Priebus should be made to answer why he isn't pushing the popular vote in red states as well.

            •  78% of Pennsylvania Voters Support NPV (0+ / 0-)

              A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
              Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
              By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
              By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

              NationalPopularVote

          •  Why wait for 270? (0+ / 0-)

            If a single state passed this, its electoral votes would go to the national popular vote winner.  Would that be a bad thing?  Do we want those votes going to the popular vote loser, anyway?

            I like the idea, but on reflection fail to see why it has to achieve critical mass to be put into effect.  The more states that did this, the more effective it would be, but even a few large states would change presidential elections.

            Citizens United defeated by citizens, united.

            by Dallasdoc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:29:19 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Gurantees Presidency to Candidate with Most Votes (0+ / 0-)

              The purpose of the compact is to achieve a nationwide popular vote for President and Vice President. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the presidency to the candidate with the most popular votes in the country only when states with 270 electoral votes agree.

              No single state would ever be likely to unilaterally enact a law awarding its electoral votes to the nationwide winner. For one thing, such an action would give the voters of all the other states a voice in the selection of the state’s own presidential electors, while not giving the enacting state the benefit of a voice in the selection of presidential electors in other states.
              Enactment of such a law in a single state would encourage the presidential candidates to ignore the enacting state. Such unilateral action would not guarantee achievement of the goal of nationwide popular election of the President.

              If the states participating in the arrangement possess a majority of the electoral votes, the system operates in an even-handed and non-partisan way without regard to the political complexion of the enacting states. With an electoral majority threshold, the political complexion of the enacting states becomes irrelevant.

            •  Because of Red states intransigency (0+ / 0-)

              What you've described is the Republican's dream. "Blue" states, like California, give roughly 50% of their electors to each party, while "red" states, like Texas, give 100% of theirs to the Republican. This is why it doesn't work unless everyone (or at least enough to make a majority of the electoral college) does it.

              Take it easy, but take it.

              by ltsply2 on Wed Feb 06, 2013 at 08:41:10 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

        •  Republicans aren't interested in a popular (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ardyess, Grandma Susie

          vote plan, they're interested in rigging the presidential elections so that Republicans "win" even when they lose.

          "I'm so happy 'cause today I found my friends, they're in my head. Light my candles, in a daze 'cause I found god." - Kurt Cobain

          by Jeff Y on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:47:54 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think the opposite-- these have a big chance (10+ / 0-)

      of passing.  If Republicans are in control and they are coordinating across states with radical changes as they did following the 2010 elections, this will certainly have a big chance of passing.

      That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

      by concernedamerican on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:27:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's the attention that these schemes (11+ / 0-)

      are getting that are making passage unlikely.  Oh, and the other reason is that all those Republican Governors in Blue States are trying to look like moderates for their 2014 re-election bids.  They don't want to remind voters of how extreme they were the first year they took office.

      Yes, continue to expose what these clowns are up to.  It's the only way to continue to show how they're rigging elections.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:43:49 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  If we do not get the word out they will chip away (9+ / 0-)

      our voting rights and then just vote based on who they get the most money from. Republicans do that most of the time anyway but at least try to act like they don't and listen to voters if it looks like they might lose an election at least for now. If they can trick the system we lose all our reason to vote. Then wall street tricksters will run a puppet govenment.

      Our money system is not what we have been led to believe. The creation of money has been "privatized," or taken over by private money lenders. Thomas Jefferson called them “bold and bankrupt adventurers just pretending to have money.” webofdebt

      by arealniceguy on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:45:54 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Why do you say they don't have much chance (6+ / 0-)

      of passage?   Here in Michigan Republican's pass anything crap that they want.   They will pass this too.

      I think you've got to take this as a very serious and imminent political threat.

    •  "Sore Losers Laws" is how we ought to refer (4+ / 0-)

      to them in all discussions, letters to the editors, etc.  Not my idea, but one I endorse.

    •  I so want you to be right about this. Definitely (0+ / 0-)

      going to be a problem due to gerrymandered state districts that for some reason the Justice Department totally ignores.

  •  I think only Pennsylvania where this could be law (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bumbi, NancyWH, Cartoon Peril, dougymi, ardyess

    but I doubt that this would happen on other states.

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

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:12:04 AM PST

    •  But what if PA is now just the "beta test" state? (26+ / 0-)

      This notion of "Redistributing The EV Wealth" started with one state and quickly spread to six -- and in doing so got a lot of pushback across and above the board.

      So five of them now say they're backing off - but one (PA) says "what the heck have we got to lose?" and lets things run their course through the legislature and, if passed, probably through the courts.

      This gives 'em all plenty of lead time before '16 to work out the kinks and roll with "Plan A" (if PA's method survives) or come up with a Plan B (or C or D) if it doesn't.

      These fsckers aren't through by a long shot :/

      [Exception: undefined object]

      by here4tehbeer on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:33:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I just don't see any changes, because whoever (8+ / 0-)

        wants to be elected to governor or senator has to run statewide, and if you just decided to screw over (sorry but it's appropriate here I think) 55% of the presidential electorate, that's not gonna get a lot of votes from the people who's presidential electoral power you just diluted.

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

        by Cartoon Peril on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:39:05 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well, that would be the *sensible* thing -- (8+ / 0-)

          but these guys are like a tea-fueled Hydra virus attacking an already battered firewall virtually non-stop :/

          And realistically - how many states would they actually need to reapportion in this scheme of theirs? Two? Four? Will that plus the continuing onslaught of voter suppression do the trick - especially if they can scrounge up a candidate marginally less crappy than Romney?

          Damned if I know.

          [Exception: undefined object]

          by here4tehbeer on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:01:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  PA Governor has run amok and the legislature too (8+ / 0-)

          Changes are happening quickly here.  In the course of one month, they privatized the lottery, it is now being run by British Run Camelot and Liquor stores will be privatized or privately privatized soon.  Union workers are losing their jobs rapidly and education funding has been cut to the bone. We also will have a new gas tax shortly. Changes are happening rapidly and this electoral vote appears to be happening soon. Plus PA is pushing hard to be a Right to Work for Less state. All of these changes have been happening fast in the last 2 months or so. And he has sued the NCAA which is so stupid and worthless and a waste of money and time.

          The Governor is being investigated by Kathleen Kane, new AG for why it took him 3 yrs to arrest Sandusky and why he told the victims an arrest would be happening but told the public there was not enough evidence to arrest Sandusky.

          The Governor's approval rating is going fast into the crapper...his poll numbers are lousy.  

          Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

          by wishingwell on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:22:15 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I think that the people would not want... (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          SilentBrook, ardyess, badlands

          to diminish their overall delegate value.

          If you take a state like Pennsylvania, who has 20 delegates; that's a lot of say in who becomes president.  If you equally proportion the delegates, you effectively go from 20 delegates to a net of at most four (with a 25 point margin) if not zero with a near tie.  

          Who do you think will care what Pennsylvania thinks anymore?

          "Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not YET sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favour..."

          by Buckeye Nut Schell on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:45:51 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I said that about "right-to-work" in IN... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mkor7, WisVoter, SilentBrook, ardyess

      but then it happened in my home state.  Once publicans get a majority of a legislature in a state, all bets are off. They have no sense of morality when it comes to acquiring power.  

      I think they've made it abundantly clear over the last few years that they don't regard all votes as being equal. Some people (like women, blacks, Latinos, and young people for example) shouldn't be allowed to vote.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:17:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  The problem with doing this for these (38+ / 0-)

    states is that they will no longer be SWING states when the outcome from the state is essentially known.  What that means when a state is no longer a swing state is that candidates don't come to your state and they don't spend millions upon millions of dollars in advertisement and visiting your state which means that the economy of that state will be affected in a negative way.

    Many of these Republican governors will be up for election in 2104.  A Democratic nominee will make this a HUGE issue and may be the MAIN issue of the election.  I think that many of these governors will be defeated and the victor governor will DEMAND a vote do make that state back into a swing state for 2016.

    I think it is really short sighted to screw your own state just to try and rig the presidential election.

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

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:19:38 AM PST

    •  I think in PA (8+ / 0-)

      the GOP in the Legislature see Corbett as dead in the water so they are trying to get this done BEFORE he is ousted.  Then it would be difficult to block/remove.  And they think they have bolstered their power (through some hideous gerrymandering)at least for a stretch of time so that they can continue running the legislature.

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

      by newfie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:27:36 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  His poll numbers are in toilet and the new AG (7+ / 0-)

        is a Democrat who won by the largest margin of any candidate in PA on the ticket in some time.  One of the things that made her popular is investigating Corbett's handling of the Sandusky matter and the Penn State scandal and what he knew and failed to act on, etc.

        I listened to a PCN call in show and Republicans and Democrats were calling in pissed off at him. Republicans are mad over the new gas tax and his failure to do anything about poperty taxes and Demcorats are made because he is privatizing everything in sight and bashing unions.

        Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

        by wishingwell on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:24:38 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Two Things (14+ / 0-)

      Two things to keep in mind regarding the consequences for Republicans in passing these Electoral laws:

      1) Wing Nut Welfare - the money to be made is not by holding public office but in being a lobbyist or lecture speaker, or fellow at some conservative think tank.  If you pass these Republican rigging laws you may lose the next election but are a "made man" in the conservative wing nut welfare system.

      2) Trojan Horse - What is to stop the Republican politicians from winning 2014 elections by campaigning as being reasonable and not supporting the Electoral rigging legislation, and then after getting elected in 2014 signing rigging laws before the 2016 elections.  Think Synder, Michigan.

      I could be wrong, but I don't see the Republicans giving up on this Electoral rigging, especially based on election consequences.  

      Poor man wants to be rich. Rich man wants to king. And the king ain't satisifed until he rules everything. B.Springsteen

      by howd on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:15:20 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Does this mean that the PA GOP has determined.... (14+ / 0-)

    that their state will forever more have a majority of voters vote democratic and the republican candidate has no chance to win the state and get ALL of the EVs?

     I've read enough Nate Silver to know it's unlikely PA will ever be a turning point state but, if this atrocity goes through, it would be the best karma ever for a GOP candidate to win PA but the 9 EVs going to the Dem be enough to put the Dem over 270.

     I'd pay money to see that, actually.

    •  Pretty much the case in Pa (6+ / 0-)

      As  long as AA vote democratic the republicans have no chance of carrying the state even though the republicans carry 80% of the counties.
      Pa also has an older than average age so the state over time will probably get more democratic. Still cheating isn't the way to go. We need a uniform system nationwide and not cherry pick states that help one party.
      I have no problem with proportional awarding of electoral college because it seems fair, Better yet just change the constitution to the winner of the election is the one with the most votes.

      •  Only fair if (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IreGyre, SilentBrook, MRA NY

        all States follow that path.  If all States did so then it would greatly reduce the chances of a person winning the popular vote and losing the electoral.  But if only "chosen States" do so then all it serves is to take that State out of contention for any influence - a very unwise move I think for a State to pursue.  But no one ever said the GOP was wise so there's that.

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

        by newfie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:30:43 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Except, of course that it would have happened (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ardyess

          last year, with Obama winning the popular vote but losing the electoral vote.

          The only way it would be fair is if you had every district designed to minimize both compactness and partisan variability (i.e., make every district as "swingy" as possible).

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

          by Samer on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:13:57 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No that is based (0+ / 0-)

            on assigning electoral votes by Congressional District win  and only in the 7 GOP controlled "swing" States and not all States but if each State apportioned by percentage of State winner.  I do not believe that has been reviewed but I think it would be closer to popular vote than going by District.  

            Actually ditching the Electoral Vote (that was established to a great deal to appease slave owning States) would be fairest.

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

            by newfie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:35:38 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  They are working on that without a change to (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ardyess

        the constitution.  It is called the national popular vote compact and once it is passed in enough states then the winner of the national popular vote will get at least 270 electoral votes thus making every single vote count.

        You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

        by Throw The Bums Out on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:11:56 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  PA has not been a red state for President since 88 (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SilentBrook, ardyess

      Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

      by wishingwell on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:26:22 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I doubt that Florida, Ohio, or Virginia would (14+ / 0-)

    go for this new plan for the simple reason that a Republican nominee CAN win those states and thus ALL of the electoral votes.  Thus why would a Republican legislature vote to end their state from being a swing state and thus less important at the same time potentially giving less electoral votes to a potential Republican nominee who could win the state?

    Perhaps this makes sense in Pennsylvania and Michigan for Republicans for Democrats routinely win those states but not make sense in Florida, Ohio, or Virginia where it could go either way.

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

    by Drdemocrat on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:23:09 AM PST

  •  To all ye who doubt (30+ / 0-)

    don't stick your head in the sand.  When we doubt states will do something, we get blindsided.  This behavior is unacceptable.  Action must be taken to stop the rethugs from stealing elections.

    being mindful and keepin' it real

    by Raggedy Ann on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:52:27 AM PST

  •  Wack a mole. (11+ / 0-)

    We shame them into dropping one scheme, they move on to a new one.  Where do these people get their "work ethics"?  Don't they have some kind of public service to attend to?  Not Preibus, of course.  Being a jerk IS his job.

    "The light which puts out our sight is darkness to us." Thoreau

    by NancyWH on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:11:10 AM PST

  •  Not a legal.... (5+ / 0-)

    Expert, but is this constitutional?   I mean guess its done in the framework of the electoral college system, but it also systematically thwarts the will of the people in a given state.

    •  Probably. (6+ / 0-)

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

      by Cartoon Peril on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:23:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  In all likelihood it is. (6+ / 0-)

      The Constitution leaves it up to the states how to divvy up their electoral votes.

      "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

      by JamesGG on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:43:40 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Article II section 1 paragraph 2: (6+ / 0-)

        Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress:  but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.
        (Emphasis mine)

        So constitutional, yes.  It would only be a good idea, however, if proportional allocation were extended to all states, and this would require a constitutional amendment.  As some commenters have noted, deeply red states would not want to give a portion of their electoral votes to the blue minority.

        Even so, there would be possible scenarios where the popular vote winner could be the electoral vote loser.

        •  err (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          brae70, ardyess

          Not to be "that guy" but:

          It would only be a good idea, however, if proportional allocation were extended to all states, and this would require a constitutional amendment.
          The National Popular Vote compact has found a way around the need for a Constitutional Amendment. (Assuming that you work out states withdrawing from the compact and faithless electors.)

          But you're right that the problem with getting the NPV to go forward is largely the "red" states.

          Take it easy, but take it.

          by ltsply2 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 10:08:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  How so? (17+ / 0-)
      it also systematically thwarts the will of the people in a given state.
      This is just flat out wrong.  The problem with this scheme is not that it fails to reflect the will of the people in the state -- in fact, arguably it reflects the will of the people in the state much better than does the current winner-take-all approach.  If all states adopted this system, the national distribution of electors would be very close to the distribution of the national popular vote -- a good thing IMHO.  

      The problem here comes in when you mix the two systems.  In effect, the Republicans want to take all the Democrats' share of electors in Red states (via winner take all) and and still get the Republicans' share of electors in Blue states (via the proportional model).  In neither case is "the will of the people in a given state" being thwarted (though many people might argue that the winner-take-all approach does thwart the will of the people) -- but the will of the people on a national basis could well be thwarted by the mix of the two systems.

    •  In Nebraska and Maine (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ardyess

      This is already done in Nebraska and Maine, so why wouldn't it be perfectly legal elsewhere?

      I actually like this system, if ALL states did it. That would be closer to a popular vote, and make the big slice of each state competitive for campaigners.

      I like it better than the idea that a state would allocate its electoral votes to the national popular vote winner. I think the state should represent the votes of its residents, not the votes of the country as a whole.

      For electoral votes, I like everyone to be winner-take-all, or split according to percentage of vote received, or abandoned in favor of a popular vote.

      What I don't like is some states who split, and some who don't. That is really problematic. But it's already true for two states, so how can we stop it?

      Obama argues for "a pragmatic and patriotic progressivism." David Brooks

      by Katydid on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:48:55 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  NE and ME do it by congressional district (0+ / 0-)

        Proportional division of electoral votes based on statewide vote totals for each candidate is not the same as dividing electoral votes according to candidate wins by congressional district. Generally, congressional districts are currently gerrymandered for Republicans until 2020 Census results are in and states redraw districts. Democrats could do the same after 2020 if they control the legislatures of key states.

        There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. - Sun Tzu

        by OHeyeO on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:33:58 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Basically they want to dilute the AA vote. (11+ / 0-)

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

    by Cartoon Peril on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:22:44 AM PST

  •  I don't see OH, VA, FL, or WI doing this. (13+ / 0-)

    I could be wrong about that prediction, but I don't see why a "true" swing state, where Republicans are competitive, would go through with this... because it's pretty much a one-way ticket to presidential campaign irrelevance.

    How much money poured into Ohio from the two campaigns and the outside groups during the 2012 election with the campaign offices, the ad spends, the candidates and surrogates barnstorming across the state?

    How much of that money would have poured into the state if it wasn't about winning all of Ohio's electoral votes, but rather about eking out maybe a 1- or 2-vote swing? Probably not so much.

    I see this as a sign that Pennsylvania knows they're not going red anytime in the near future, and that Republican candidates are going to stop even contesting the state.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:49:40 AM PST

    •  I think you've hit the nail on the head ... (7+ / 0-)

      At the individual state level, the value of proportional distribution of electors is a clear negative, since it reduces the net gain a presidential candidate can expect by winning the state.  In fact, as you point out, it turns the current system on its head -- the closer the contest in a particular state, the lower the value of winning that state in terms of net electors gained.  

      This only makes sense as a coordinated national strategy, and its hard for me to imagine individual Republican-led states agreeing to the degree of local sacrifice that such a national strategy would involve.  Individual sacrifice for the sake of the greater good is really not part of the Republican DNA.

    •  It's possible here in OH; we are vigilant nt (0+ / 0-)
    •  Wonder About the Math (0+ / 0-)

      I couldn't find the maps from last fall but it seems to me that the Democrats actually held a structural advantage in safe states.  The Republicans have Texas (who knows for how much longer) but the Democrats have California and New York.

      If the Democrats hold a 20 or 30 EV advantage in safe states then the Republicans have to come close to running the table on the swing states to get to 270.  If you change the rules so that most of the swing states get split 55/45 then it's hard to see how the Republicans could get to 270.  If you give the Democrats a 30 EV head start and then split down the middle from there that's the end of the story.

  •  easiest way to counteract these schemes (15+ / 0-)

    Flip Texas and Georgia.

    After that these shenanigans will be pretty much moot.  The Democratic Party needs to pour tons of resources in republican states like TX, GA and AZ.  Put the election so far out of reach that even if the GOP steals a few EV's here and there it won't matter.  

    Hillary Clinton in 2016 will be the likeliest bet to achieve this but the Dem Party should focus like a laser on these states.  If the GOP is going to try and do this in OH, PA, FL, MI, WI and VA that frees up alot of resources.  The Dems won't have to dump as much into those states as they normally do.  Once the GOP sees the Dems playing offense in their back yard they may think twice about trying to rig the elections.

    This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

    by DisNoir36 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:06:58 AM PST

  •  sigh, here we go again. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a2nite, wasatch

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:14:06 AM PST

  •  I think DOJ is waiting to pounce on this... (8+ / 0-)

    The RNC is being way to overt about this and the fact they are not talking about this for all Republican controlled States is too brazen even for the GOP.  

    I mean why not at least pretend to push this scheme for all GOP controlled states and then have the Texas', Alabama's, Georgia's and the like all say they're not interested.

    Keystone XL Pipeline - Canada gets the money, Asia gets the oil, America gets the toxic refinery pollution and the ecological disaster pipeline leak risk.

    by Jacoby Jonze on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:31:33 AM PST

  •  I'm so sick of these Rethugs.... (5+ / 0-)

    I feel confident that the majority of Americans would go absolutely apeshit if we had a President "installed" into office after losing the popular vote by millions. If the rethugs think they can get away with rigging the Electoral College, they must realize that they will incur the wrath of the majority of the voting public.

    I'm pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-environment, pro-universal health care, pro-labor, and unabashedly Liberal!

    by Liberal and Loving It on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:32:09 AM PST

  •  Dumb (9+ / 0-)

    This is dumb.  Not only because of obvious cheating, but because no candidate will spend money at all in the state.  The most it will swing is 55-45% either way, so the winner will get 11 electoral votes and the loser 9 electoral votes.  They are essentially fighting over adding 2 electoral votes to their total as opposed to 20 for the whole state.

    This will make PA even more "worthless" than Montana with 3 electoral votes.

  •  Flip Texas blue, and this all goes away. -eom- (5+ / 0-)

    The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

    by TheOrchid on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:34:24 AM PST

  •  The possibility of backlash is high (7+ / 0-)

    What they are going to do is make people who normally only vote for President realize that the other elections count just as much.

    Please proceed, GOP.

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

    by blue aardvark on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 06:56:40 AM PST

  •  The one silve rlining if they did this is... (5+ / 0-)

    that, with the ratio of electoral votes in swing states pretty much set, give or take one or two, much of the Democratic money spent in swing states would instead be poured into states like Texas, Georgia, Missouri, Arizona, Indiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, Kentucky, and West Virginia.

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

    by JackND on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:22:27 AM PST

  •  The republicons know that they can't win a fair (6+ / 0-)

    election, so they try to game the system, and have been very sucessful at this strategy.  It got George W. Bush elected twice, to the bane of the United States of America.  It is very obvious to me that the republicon party has zero integrity, and an ideology that only works for the rich people.  Unfortunately, for us, and for them, there are a lot more poor people than rich people in this country, largely due to republicon policies like "free trade", that harm the many, and reward the few.  Logical thinking would be to lift the people at the bottom up a few notches, and perhaps get some legal votes.  But, the republicons won't do this, because their greed won't allow them to raise the minimum wage to a livable wage.  I hear one republicon politician after another preach that people should work hard to get ahead, and lift themselves out of poverty, but they have rigged the system against this sort of thing happening for the masses.  If you weren't born in a gated community, your chances of ever living in one are damned slim.  

  •  From watching MSNBC (8+ / 0-)

    It sounds as if all the states but PA have given up on this idea. If true then tons of cash and pressure should be being brought down on PA by the Dems now. Shine a big light on them.

    "The scientific nature of the ordinary man is to go on out and do the best you can." John Prine

    by high uintas on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 07:39:57 AM PST

    •  Slight change in the idea... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ardyess, high uintas

          The original plan was to award the EC votes by Congressional district. These states had already gerrymandered their Congressional districts so that Democratic voters were heavily concentrated in a few districts, while most of the districts were +5 to +10 Republican, leading to Congressional districts that are mostly Republican. Under that system, the 'Pubs would have gotten most of those EC votes.
           This system gives the EC votes out proportionately to the popular vote. The Dems would get the majority, but the 'Pubs would get a large share of votes they wouldn't have under the "all or none" system they use now. It would be fair if everybody did it, but that's not going to happen. It's only the six or so swing states controlled by Republican legislatures and governors.

      -7.25, -6.26

      We are men of action; lies do not become us.

      by ER Doc on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:01:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Miserable, crotchety old has-beens (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dagnome, wasatch, SilentBrook, ardyess

    should set out to win the REAL way, by crafting a winning message, or else they should fade from view. Sigh.

    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 Feb 05, 2013 at 08:20:05 AM PST

  •  Title makes this seem new (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    MPociask, Samer, ardyess

    But this is what we've been talking about for the last couple months, isn't it? The mechanism might be slightly different (how the votes are awarded), but it amounts to the same thing, no?

    •  the mechanism isn't even slightly different (5+ / 0-)

      This is the exact plan that has been discussed for several months[or at least was first floated several months ago].  They already knew the by CD plan was dead in the water since they had tried it in early 2012.

    •  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.

  •  It never ends with these guys (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, SilentBrook, ardyess

    To quote Mad-Eye Moody: "Constant Vigilance!"

    Why do I have the feeling George W. Bush joined the Stonecutters, ate a mess of ribs, and used the Constitution as a napkin?

    by Matt Z on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 08:53:50 AM PST

  •  Does anyone read history? GOP does! (5+ / 0-)

    The GOP is following in lock-step with the pattern/plan implemented in the past.

    Chapter 7, "The NAZIFICATION of Germany" in "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich," by William L. Shirer.

    Pages 188 to 230 lays out their plan control states' governments,  then the opposition parties, and then to eliminate the opposition parties.

    Passing laws to enable NAZI control of government and elections and then to totally eliminate opposition.

    They went after the State Governments first. Controlling them let them rig the government and elections in NAZI favor. With control of goverment they went on to complete the NAZIFICATION.

    The American Corporate leaders of the period  were the backer/funders that empowered the NAZI party. They hated American Unions and Unionization so they back the NAZI. Henry Ford, all the big Banks, and Standard Oil are doumented in the book, "Trading with the Enemy, The NAZI-American Money Plot 1933-1949."

    When the GOP quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, well it is a duck.

    In this case case the GOP is following the same plan the NAZI used to complete the NAZIFICATION of Germany to permanently rig elections to maintain power and to eliminate the Democratic Party.

    This is so wrong on so many levels.

    The GOP is a criminal organization and it needs to be treated as such. Every Democrat and Independent needs to go after every GOP funded Organization and the GOP supporters and money backers of the criminal enterprise.

    Go after the GOP the same way they went after the KKK.

    GOP = KKK

    They are criminals.

  •  I think there is a good chance this happens in PA (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommyfocus2003, SilentBrook, ardyess

    We have been hearing talk of this for close to a year now.

    We have Voter ID, a big push to privatize nearly everything, a huge push and plan to make PA a Right to Work for Less State,.

    There is a saying in PA that the State Capitol is up for sale to the highest bidder and if Gov Corbett could privatize every aspect of state governnment, he would.

    That could be why his approval ratings are in the toilet and his handling of the Penn State scandal is not helping him and why PA elected a Democrat to the Attorney General's office.

    Follow PA Keystone Liberals on Twitter: @KeystoneLibs

    by wishingwell on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:32:46 AM PST

  •  New GOP Motto (7+ / 0-)
    If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em
    From Gerrymandering to Voter ID to putting so many holes in the safety net.. its the GOP Way

    Why do Republicans Hate Americans?

    by Caniac41 on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:44:39 AM PST

  •  At this moment, Michael Steele (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mkor7, SilentBrook, defluxion10

    is blabbering about the rules of voting and how it is "the perception" that the Republicans are changing the rules after losing the last elections that is a problem - his word "perception," as if they really are not cheaters and liars and deceivers and they are not anti-democratic, they are just perceived to be.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, the Republicans today are an existential threat to the voting power of minorities and to future fair and just elections in the United States.  As a Floridian, I was appalled at the fiasco caused by Florida Republicans and our inept and vile governor during the last election.  There is a new report to the governor of Florida to expand early voting to fourteen days.  Scott appointed a group to look at why voting was a problem in Florida last year???

    Shine a light always on the cockroaches in our midst.  They scramble and hide.  Vigilance about their schemes is required (watch Priebus - he is a snake). Steele is also shaky and untrustworthy - just listen to him talk

  •  If we move away from the electoral college (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    exterris, oldpotsmuggler, ardyess

    and allow a popular vote to rule, and at the same time institute sweeping election reforms based on paper ballot counting and ease of ballot access, and a national vote registration process, then we might have a viable democracy in a generation.

    of course, that would preclude the two party system as the republicans absolutely require low voter turnout to keep their people in office.

  •  Revolting (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SilentBrook, ardyess, Quicklund

    Reince Priebus is a real piece of work.
    Piece of something anyway.

  •  Been suggested before (0+ / 0-)

    It got shot down by the Republicans themselves on the grounds that it would make the state entirely irrelevant at the presidential level; the difference between the winner and loser of the state would become guaranteed two or three net EVs. The local Republicans don't want to lose out on the resources they can pull in by claiming that THIS year the state is competitive.

    NH4JL DIT '04, NHDP DIT '08!

    by realnrh on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 11:21:33 AM PST

  •  Romney still would have lost (5+ / 0-)

    Even if they implemented this in all of those 6 states Republicans still would have lost.

    And more to the point, the battle grounds would ahve changed - with no more than a couple of EVs up for grabs in any of those states Democrats would have shifted their resources to places like Missouri or Arizona. Who knows how those states would have turned out if the Obama campaign played for keeps there like they did in these other states.

  •  if Republicans spent just ten percent of the time (4+ / 0-)

    they devote to trying to scam the American people...and used it to actually, you know...address real problems, perhaps we would make more progress.

    It seems like Republicans lie awake at night just drying to scheme up new ways to...blatantly disrespect the American public.

  •  A reason this latest scheme would probably be less (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    defluxion10, ardyess, Boppy, Quicklund

    positive for the GOP then it seems is arithmetic. Assuming all of Pa., Ohio, Michigan, Wisc., Virg. and Fla did so, and Democrats won the popular vote in  about half of the six...then democrats have 280+ evs. And NC and Georgia would be THE toss-up states (red in 2012). So the ev count would be closer but give Republicans very little chance of a majority.

    Also, there's the, as discussed above, the probable blowback in statewide offices (senator, gov., ag, etc.) and selected cong. districts. It could well tilt sub. Phila. districts (esp. Bucks County) Democratic.

    "They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy. The full faith and credit of the United States of America is not a bargaining chip."

    by TofG on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 12:47:05 PM PST

  •  Crickets From The Tea Party About This Tyranny (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, Boppy, Quicklund

    Where's the Gadsen flags now?

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 01:58:20 PM PST

  •  Every Day Bow Towards Your Koch Kansan Overlords (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boppy

    Basically the Kochs have created a shadow national government run from Kansas.

    This need to be a theme of states being occupied by Kansas.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:05:46 PM PST

  •  Democratic Pennsylvania Politicians (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ardyess, Boppy

    please be on board with this plan ONLY IF  
    Congress is also proportioned this way as well

    So that means instead of current House split  
    where democrats only have  5 of the state’s 18 congressional seat

    the democrats would have now have   10

    "Although it is not true that all conservatives are stupid people, it is true that most stupid people are conservative." - John Stuart Mill

    by smartone on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 02:15:18 PM PST

  •  How can they not see (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Boppy, Quicklund

    how this looks to normal people, who play by the rules?

    "A lie is not the other side of a story; it's just a lie."

    by happy camper on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 03:05:14 PM PST

    •  It looks just fine ... (0+ / 0-)

      to "normal people who play by the rules." In fact, it looks much fairer than the current system, where the votes of 49% of the people in a state are totally ignored in awarding electoral college votes.  And at the individual state level, it is much fairer, no question about it.  But at the national level, the mix of proportional and winner-take-all states can potentially be toxic.

  •  World War Z (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, DownstateDemocrat, jayden

    Zombie Repubs just keep on coming.

    This post is dedicated to myself, without whom, I'd be somebody else. Though I'd still be an asshole. My Music: [http://www.myspace.com/beetwasher]

    by Beetwasher on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 04:20:03 PM PST

  •  I have an even better idea... (0+ / 0-)

    Why doesn't the winner of the national popular vote become the President?

    "There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible but in the end they always fail. Always." -Gandhi

    by Grandma Susie on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 05:28:51 PM PST

  •  Who "unearthed" what? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    machka

    Pileggi was proposing this for PA last year. The plan has been covered to death in the last week or two -- literally.

    Somehow the Nation just "exposed" it?  Huh?

    Coming Soon -- to an Internet connection near you: Armisticeproject.org

    by FischFry on Tue Feb 05, 2013 at 09:15:13 PM PST

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