When we vote in local elections, we vote directly for our local and state representatives – one man, one vote. But for the most powerful office in the country, President of the United States, that rule does not apply. He is elected by the electoral college, winning the majority of American votes does not count. …
Tag: Electoral College
Jan 18 2013
If you can’t win the White House unless you have 270 electoral votes, then you need to fix it so you do, legally, by gerrymander and voter supression. That is the GOP strategy to win the White House in 2016. Since gerymandering was the way that they succeeded in holding their majority in the House, they may well succeed.
The GOP’s Electoral College Scheme
by Reid Wilson, National Journal
Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party’s path to the Oval Office.
Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party’s majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis.
Already, two states — Maine and Nebraska — award an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district. The candidate who wins the most votes statewide takes the final two at-large electoral votes. Only once, when President Obama won a congressional district based in Omaha in 2008, has either of those states actually split their vote.
But if more reliably blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were to award their electoral votes proportionally, Republicans would be able to eat into what has become a deep Democratic advantage.
All three states have given the Democratic nominee their electoral votes in each of the last six presidential elections. Now, senior Republicans in Washington are overseeing legislation in all three states to end the winner-take-all system.
Rachel Maddow reports on a new initiative by state level Republicans to rig the Electoral College in the states they control to better advantage Republican presidential candidates and subvert popular political will.
RNC’s Priebus Endorses Plan To Rig Electoral College
by Henry Decker, The National Memo
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.
That appears to be Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus’ philosophy when it comes to rigging elections in the GOP’s favor. In 2012, the strategy was suppressing votes through voter ID laws, ending same-day voter registration, and clamping down on early voting, among other restrictive legislation. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, 25 laws and two executive actions were passed in 19 states over the past two years with the aim of making it harder to vote.
In 2013, the plan appears to be changing the way that votes are counted. Priebus has stepped forward as the latest Republican to support a proposal that would split Wisconsin’s electoral votes by congressional district.
On Monday, seven Pennsylvania Republican state representatives introduced a bill to make this vote-rigging scheme a reality in their state. Under their bill, the winner of Pennsylvania as a whole will receive only 2 of the state’s 20 electoral votes, while “[e]ach of the remaining presidential electors shall be elected in the presidential elector’s congressional district.”
Pennsylvania is a blue state that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every single presidential race for the last two decades, so implementing the GOP election-rigging plan in Pennsylvania would make it much harder for a Democrat to be elected to the White House. Moreover, because of gerrymandering, it is overwhelmingly likely that the Republican candidate will win a majority of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes even if the Democrat wins the state by a very comfortable margin. Despite the fact that President Obama won Pennsylvania by more than 5 points last November, Democrats carried only 5 of the state’s 18 congressional seats. Accordingly, Obama would have likely won only 7 of the state’s 20 electoral votes if the GOP vote rigging plan had been in effect last year.
I don’t think this is what the founders planned when they created the Electoral College. I know some will argue that the Electoral College insures that even small states with small populations have a say in the selection of the president but this ploy by the GOP would end that voice, too. Has the electoral College outlived its purpose? It amy well be time to consider a direct election of the President based on the popular vote.
Sep 16 2011
Or how to cheat to win by rigging the system:
Republican state legislators in Pennsylvania are pushing a scheme that, if GOPers in other states follow their lead, could cause President Barack Obama to lose the 2012 election-not because of the vote count, but because of new rules. That’s not all: There’s no legal way for Democrats to stop them.
The problem for Obama, and the opportunity for Republicans, is the electoral college. Every political junkie knows that the presidential election isn’t a truly national contest; it’s a state-by-state fight, and each state is worth a number of electoral votes equal to the size of the state’s congressional delegation. (The District of Columbia also gets three votes.) There are 538 electoral votes up for grabs; win 270, and you’re the president.
Here’s the rub, though: Each state gets to determine how its electoral votes are allocated. Currently, 48 states and DC use a winner-take-all system in which the candidate who wins the popular vote in the state gets all of its electoral votes. Under the Republican plan-which has been endorsed by top GOPers in both houses of the state Legislature, as well as the governor, Tom Corbett-Pennsylvania would change from this system to one where each congressional district gets its own electoral vote. (Two electoral votes-one for each of the state’s two senators-would go to the statewide winner.)
Some Republicans in the House see a downside to this thus hitting a snag:
With next year’s presidential election expected to be hard-fought, even sapping some electoral support from Barack Obama in Pennsylvania could have a major impact on the national results. But to several Republicans in marginal districts, the plan has a catch: they’re worried that Democrats will move dollars and ground troops from solid blue districts to battlegrounds in pursuit of electoral votes – and in the process, knock off the Republicans currently in the seats.
Suburban Philadelphia Reps. Jim Gerlach, Pat Meehan and Mike Fitzpatrick have the most at stake, since all represent districts Democrats won in the last two presidential elections. They and the rest of the Republicans in the delegation are joining with National Republican Congressional Committee officials to respond and mobilize against the change.
“Any proposed change to the election laws shouldn’t be done under the radar,” Fitzpatrick told POLITICO. “If every vote matters, everyone should have a chance to discuss this.”
State GOP chairman Rob Gleason is also opposed to the plan.
As David Nir at Daily Kos points out the electoral college is unfair as it is but there is a solution:
(T)he only way to fight back is to push for the national popular vote, something which can be achieved via an interstate compact between states. The states in the compact would all award their EVs to the winner of the national vote, but the law would only take effect once enough states signed on (i.e., states with 270 electoral votes between them). Several states have already signed on (including big boppers like California and Illinois), and this way, no constitutional amendment is necessary.
If the GOP presses forward with their Pennsylvania plan, we’ll have to respond somehow, and I think the national popular vote is the best plan.
As John Aravosis at AMERICAblog notes:
If the Democrats tried this, the Republicans would be rioting in the street. They’re quite literally trying to steal the presidential election. How will the Democrats respond? The word feckless comes to mind.
Oct 30 2008
Everyone and their uncle seems to be puttin’ up one of those fancy color-coded electoral maps lately, and I’m seeing a trend in a lot of them. They’re BIASED!!! The liberal polling elite are falling all over themselves to see who can show the biggest lead for Mr. Socialism. But one American hero is brave enough to put out a patriotic electoral map that shows what is REALLY happening in this race. That patriot is Bill O’Reilly of the Fox News Channel.
Dec 13 2007
The EC: prudent system established by the founding fathers to prevent tyranny of the majority, or obsolete system that waters down the influence of voters in more populace states? Recent history, of course, would incline liberals to disfavor the EC, but what about the big picture? What’s your opinion, and what evidence is it based upon?
We’re hosting an experimental debate to investigate the Electoral College. The debate includes essays (which anyone is encouraged to write; we’ll add the links to the list) and a structured platform created at the neutral third-party site cruxlux that permits point-counterpoint debate. If you’re interested in hammering out the strengths and weaknesses of the EC, or arguing your case to an audience with diverse political viewpoints, check it out. (I have nothing to do with cruxlux and can’t moderate or otherwise control the debate there, it’s all user-driven.) Below the fold, I’ve reproduced the explanatory post from SC.