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Republicans Not Giving Up On Electoral College Allocation Schemes

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Last year, Republicans in Pennsylvania put forward the idea of changing the way that the state allocates its Electoral Votes in Presidential Elections to the so-called “District Method” in which Electoral Votes are awarded based on which candidate wins the majority of votes in each of a given state’s Congressional Districts, with the remaining two votes going to the winner of the statewide popular vote. The plan aroused much controversy at the time, largely because it was seen as an attempt by the Republicans who control the state legislature to benefit Mitt Romney in the upcoming Presidential election. Eventually, the plan was dropped but Jamelle Bouie now notes that it’s apparently being revived:

Over the weekend, thirteen GOP Pennsylvania Senators, led by Majority Leader Domini Pileggi, introduced a new plan to redistribute electoral votes by congressional district. Under this legislation, the winner of the state’s congressional districts would receive the most electoral votes, even if she lost the popular vote.In other words, it would reward candidates for winning land, not people.

If Pennsylvania distributed its electoral votes this way in 2012, Mitt Romney would have won eight of twenty votes, on account of his strength in rural areas of the state. Indeed, if every swing state allocated its votes in this way, Romney would have won the election, which explains the sudden popularity of proposals like this in various states. In some of them, such as Virginia — which recently introduced a plan to award one electoral vote for every Congressional district — it has been abandoned.

Pennsylvania isn’t the only state where the idea of the District Method is being revived, it’s also happening in Michigan:

Lansing — Republicans handed Bobby Schostak another two-year term as state chairman Saturday and overwhelmingly endorsed a plan to change Michigan presidential electoral vote  rules in a way opponents charge is intended to distort election results in favor of GOP candidates.

By a 1,370-132 margin at the party convention in Lansing, GOP members approved a resolution backing a proposal from Rep. Pete Lund, R-Shelby Township, to divvy-up 14 of the state’s 16 electoral votes according to which candidate got the most votes in each congressional district. The other two would go to the state-wide vote total winner.

That switch from a winner-take-all formula that has been in effect 175 years could water down the dominance Democrats have had in Michigan in presidential elections for the last 24 years.

Critics say the plan would have given Mitt Romney nine of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes last year, although he lost by more than 500,00 votes to President Barack Obama state-wide. With the win, Obama captured all 16 Michigan electoral votes.

Lund introduced a bill to make the revision last year but it was unsuccessful. Hesaid he intends to reintroduce it in 2013, but leaders of the Republican majorities in both legislative chambers haven’t publicly announced a position on it.

As Boulle notes, this was also tried in Virginia earlier this year, but the effort died a quick death after Governor Bob McDonnell and other high-ranking Republicans spoke out against it. What’s particularly galling about these latest efforts, though, is the fact that Republicans don’t seem to be offering any coherent policy arguments in favor of changing the way their state’s Electoral Votes are allocated. Indeed, the only reason that they seem to be in favor of doing is at all is because of the perception that it would help future Republican candidates for President overcome the Electoral College advantage that Democrats seem to have built up over the last several Presidential cycles. Indeed, as one study noted, if the District Method had been in place in all 50 states during the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have won the Electoral Vote despite losing the Popular Vote decisively. Another study showed that Romney would have won a narrow Electoral College victory if the District Method had been used by twelve swing states last year. Whatever one thinks about the Electoral College, one must at least admit with the a few limited exceptions, it has tracked the Popular Vote in nearly every Presidential election held quite accurately. When the two have deviated, it has been in situations where the Popular Vote was incredibly close. A deviation in an election where the Electoral College winner lost the popular vote by 5,000,000+ votes is,  I would submit, an entirely different animal and a major policy argument against adopting a District Method rule nationwide.

The fact that Republicans, at least some Republicans are latching onto this scheme as a way to deal with the fact that they have lost the four out of the last six Presidential elections,  or five out of six if you just count the popular vote, is an indication of just how disinterested they appear to be in actually thinking about what’s wrong with their party. Republicans aren’t going to save themselves by cooking up these Electoral College schemes, they’re only going to change when they realize how badly they’ve fallen out of sync with the public as a whole, how much their own right wing has damaged their brand, and how little they make themselves appear to be in actually governing. Until then, they’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. swbarnes2 says:

    they’re only going to change when they realize how badly they’ve fallen out of sync with the public as a whole, how much their own right wing has damaged their brand, and how little they make themselves appear to be in actually governing.

    You keep saying this, but how is the party of Morduck and Akin and Lowden, and superdestroyer and Tsar going to change? Their policies come from who they are. Tsar is the base, how are you going to stop Republican politicians from being just what he wants them to be? Your pal Bob McDonnell helped to write the Republican national platform. He gets your vote, and the vote of guys like Tsar, what’s going to change?

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  2. An Interested Party says:

    Of course they’re not giving up this shady $hit…with the main demographic that supports them shrinking literally by the day, what else have they got to win elections? I mean, it’s not like they want to change their policies, no matter how unpopular and stupid they are…

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  3. swbarnes2 says:

    It’s just weird, post after post by Doug and James about how horrible the Republican “message” is, but for the most part, they intend to keep supporting that message with their votes. These posts are just some kind of psychological posturing; so that it’s okay if their votes lead to the closing of Planned Parenthood in Virginia, because their hearts are pure.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 0

  4. @swbarnes2:

    You make assumptions about how people vote. I didn’t vote for Romney in 2012, of course I also didn’t vote for Obama. If things stay the way they are, I am unlikely to vote for either candidate for Governor of Virginia in 2013.

    I don’t judge candidates by the party they belong to, but by what they themselves say and have done in the careers. That’s all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

  5. swbarnes2 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    You make assumptions about how people vote.

    You admitted you had no regrets voting for Bob “Transvaginal probe” McDonnell. And you said you would “stand by” your vote for Gary Johnson, who was a Republicans for years, until he lost the primary. You know, the one who said he would not have voted for the Civil Rights Act. It’s not rocket science to extrapolate from that.

    When you vote for the guy who helps to write the Republican platform, you can’t claim to be a wild maverick.

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  6. Dan says:

    I don’t think Doug is a republican, he is a libertarian. But James is a republican and I have yet to hear why he supports and votes for republicans. Is it their economic policies? Because they really SUCK. Is it their foreign policy? That also SUCK big time. Is it the social issues? When I read that James wanted Romney to win last year, I was like “really”? Why does James still votes for republicans? I really want to hear why.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  7. swbarnes2 says:

    @Dan:

    I don’t think Doug is a republican, he is a libertarian.

    I don’t care about labels, I care about the policies that people’s votes support. Bob McDonnell is a Republican. Gary Johnson was a Republican for years, until he lost the Republican primary. And likely, Doug voted for a bunch more Republicans, likely ones who either supported the electoral college change, or who would have had they been elected. If Doug wants to say “My vote kept those kinds of people out of government”, he is free to do that, if that’s accurate.

    Why does James still votes for republicans? I really want to hear why.

    James wrote a very long post. Mostly, it was nostalgia. And not wanting to disappoint old friends. Policy was pretty much not a factor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  8. al-Ameda says:

    Democrats just lack the single-minded ruthlessness that Republicans have. Until Bill Clinton emerged, the last Democrats who were willing to go for the jugular were LBJ and Bobby Kennedy. Democrats lack the killer instinct. They need to wake up, the GOP isn’t going away.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. @swbarnes2:

    You must have a short term memory. Last year, McDonnell intervened in the legislative process. The “transvaginal probe” version of the proposed law never passed.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  10. swbarnes2 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    The “transvaginal probe” version of the proposed law never passed.

    McDonnell supported it at first. Only a national outcry and a lot of mockery about it caused him to change his mind.

    And guess which side of the aisle proposed it and voted to put it on McDonnell’s desk? Hint, “both sides” didn’t do it. Only the side that you predominantly vote for. Did you personally vote for any of the bills supporters? Besides McDonnell, of course.

    Really, don’t you know that no excuse at all is better than a transparently lame one?

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  11. Kylopod says:

    to deal with the fact that they have lost the four out of the last six Presidential elections, or five out of six if you just count the popular vote

    That offhand qualification is probably more important than you realize. Their only candidate to make it to the White House in the last 20 years got there not only while losing the popular vote, but through a highly questionable victory in the Electoral College. Ever since the 2000 recount fiasco, partisan Republicans have stubbornly rejected any statement that casts doubt on the legitimacy of Bush’s win, whether it be arguments against the Electoral College itself (which there’s no particular reason has to be a partisan issue) or about the fairness of the results in Florida. I know this because I’ve spent over a decade arguing with Republicans about this topic, and you wouldn’t believe the rationalizations they’ve come up with to dismiss the importance of what happened and act like Bush simply “won” in 2000, full stop.

    What has struck me is how often they have talked as if Bush’s claim to legitimacy is validated by the simple fact that he ended up capturing the presidency, regardless of the many questions surrounding how he got there or whether it reflected the will of the voters. (For the record, I don’t think it’s inherently “illegitimate” for someone to win an American presidential election while losing the popular vote. For better or worse, the system we have allows for that outcome. But when it does happen, it’s basically the electoral equivalent of winning a legal case based on a technicality.) The circumstances of Bush’s victory have inspired Republicans to show less concern for the subject of fairness in elections, and the fact that Bush was their only successful candidate in a long time has led them to double down even further. Is it any wonder they’re turning to other methods based on the principle of “it doesn’t matter how you get there, as long as you get there”?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0

  12. Just 'nutha ig'rant cracker says:

    @Doug Mataconis: You’re starting to sound sanctimonious in your “I didn’t vote for…I have always been against…” and other such blather that you use to deflect challenges to what you say compared to what you have said that you do (as in “I could never vote for a Democrat”). Give it a rest, Doug; unless you are saying these things to convince yourself, of course.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  13. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Doug, how the dickens could you bring up attempts to jerry-rig the Electoral College without mentioning the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact? It’s a hell of a lot further along towards becoming reality than these notions.

    Oh, yeah. In the 8 states it’s passed so far, it was signed by 7 Democratic governors and over the veto of 1 Republican governor by a Democratic legislature (Hawaii). That’s probably why it escaped your notice.

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  14. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Just ‘nutha ig’rant cracker: Doug isn’t a Democrat. The confusion derives from him being so anti-Republican that Democrats just naturally assume that he’s on their side. And since he spends far more of his energy actively opposing Republicans, it’s easy to overlook that he nominally opposes Democrats too.

    I think that’s why he occasionally tosses out his “a pox on both their houses” schtick — it’s to remind liberals that he isn’t on their side, he’s just… well, he’s too intelligent to justify the term “useful idiot,” but it does come fairly close to describing the relationship.

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  15. matt bernius says:

    Doug’s analysis in the article is spot on. And the fact that these efforts are being pushed for in swing states really speaks volumes about the intent behind this legislation. Its egregious and would be regardless of what party is pushing for it.

    As far as the topic of @Doug, @James, and voting goes, it would not surprise me at all if — depending on the candidates — James was to endorse/vote for the Democrat in the next presidential cycle. Or at least that was what I took away from his post election article.

    Doug presents a different problem. Like it or not sir, you’ve gone on record repeatedly as saying you cannot imagine yourself ever voting for a Democrat (please correct me if I’m wrong). Yet, despite your continual “pox on both houses” and “I vote libertarian,” you have yet to ever express the same thing about current Republicans.

    Not that you (Doug) care, but I suspect your credibility on voting will greatly increase in the eyes of many commenters on the day you renounce both major parties and say you’ll only vote the “Libertarian” line for the foreseeable future.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  16. swbarnes2 says:

    @matt bernius:

    “Not that you (Doug) care, but I suspect your credibility on voting will greatly increase in the eyes of many commenters on the day you renounce both major parties and say you’ll only vote the “Libertarian” line for the foreseeable future. ”

    What do you think the difference would be there in terms of policies? Remember how Gary Johnson was a Republican for years, until he lost the Republican primary, and then ran as a Libertarian? Are you going to argue that this transformation magically made all the policies he’d been supporting for years wonderful?

    Gary Johnson said that he would have voted against the civil rights act. I fail to see how voting for that kind of candidate is much of an improvement over voting for a labeled Republican.
    .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  17. matt bernius says:

    @swbarnes2:

    What do you think the difference would be there in terms of policies? Remember how Gary Johnson was a Republican for years, until he lost the Republican primary, and then ran as a Libertarian? Are you going to argue that this transformation magically made all the policies he’d been supporting for years wonderful?

    You’re entirely correct that, generally speaking, Libertarians (or at least their candidates) typically have more in common with Republicans than Dems (especially since they tend to put economics ahead of everything else). And, yes, typically there’s more ballot crossover there (i.e. Libertarian party endorsing more Republican candidates than Dems).

    However the points where the breaks happen are noteworthy. And for that alone makes a difference. For example Rand Paul (admittedly a Republican, but one who identifies Libertarian) broke with party ranks on the Hagel vote.

    In terms of Gary Johnson, while he was a Republican for years, he was on the Libertarian side. And, pragmatically, it makes sense for a candidate to run on one of the two major tickets. Looking at the voting record is far more important.

    Which gets to the topic of the Civil Rights Act.* I’m not a Libertarian. I firmly believe in the civil rights act. That said, while I don’t agree with the Libertarian objection to the act, I actually can understand the underlying philosophy. And I respect the right of someone to vote their conscience.

    And, if one looks at Johnson’s positions, outside of that topic, many of them are in line with more traditionally “Liberal” positions.

    As @Jenos Idanian #13 correctly points out, for someone who spends a lot of time railing against stupid actions by Republicans, it’s somewhat problematic that Doug doesn’t rule out voting for them out of hand (again something he does for Dems).

    My point was that, for the individual, all one really has in national/statewide races, is the decision to be a partisan or an ideologue. And while Doug claims to be an ideologue (not a bad thing), the problem is that he frames his voting in negatively defined partisan tones. YTou can’t simply rule out one of the major parties without ruling out the other.


    * BTW, it’s worth noting, that outside of the South,** the majority of Republicans (with significantly high numbers, though not as high as Democrats) voted for the Civil Rights act.

    ** And when it comes to the South, it should be noted that a lot of Southern Democrats voted against the Civil Rights act. Which goes to show you that simple formulas as to “good” and “bad” parties often break down when one looks at voting records from other angles.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  18. matt bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:
    Outside of discussing Doug’s posting and voting record, I’m genuinely curious… what do you think of these efforts to change vote allocation procedures in swing states?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  19. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Doug, how the dickens could you bring up attempts to jerry-rig the Electoral College without mentioning the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

    Given that the national popular vote plan will not reward the person that lost the popular vote with an electoral college win, why should it be brought up while discussing GOP attempts to rig elections?

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  20. matt bernius says:

    For those who don’t know that @Jenos is talking about, see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

    Personally, as someone whose a supporter of the idea of a Popular National Vote (vs the current Electoral College System), I’m in support of this.

    Further, I’d be interested if anyone can cite any recent election where — for the states who have signed on — this compact would have *flipped* the election results. In 2000, unless I missed something, Gore carried all of these states. As did Clinton and Obama in their respective elections.

    And. ironically, if this legislation had been in place in 2004, it would have given GW a more decisive EC victory over Kerry.

    This makes it somewhat different than the proposed legislation, which Doug was writing about, which would have flipped at least one Blue State Red (against both the National and the Statewide popular vote).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  21. IzarkHillbilly says:

    Republicans aren’t going to save themselves by cooking up these Electoral College schemes, they’re only going to change when they realize how badly they’ve fallen out of sync with the public as a whole, how much their own right wing has damaged their brand, and how little they make themselves appear to be in actually governing.

    At what point does the GOP realize that they are not immune to “2nd Amendment solutions”? Do they not realize that rigging elections is only going to give justification for “2nd Amendment solutions”? Do they really want to go there?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @IzarkHillbilly: That came from my Arkansas alter ego. He hails from Izard County.

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  23. Woody says:

    The key factor in this business of GOP governors/legislators in blue states perverting the EC system is a dog that isn’t barking.

    I’m much less sympathetic towards GOP philosophy than I used to be, but I’ve always felt the conservative respect towards tradition to be a powerful – and largely admirable – policy. Yes, it isn’t infallible (Jim Crow, for one example), but it’s to be respected.

    These shenanigans should be denounced – loudly – by every Republican who cares about this country (and the national media as well, but good Lord, they’re useless). Instead, the truly anti-democracy machinations continue with few prominent GOP crtics (if any).

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  24. Rob in CT says:

    National Popular Vote Interstate Compact?

    LOL.

    Weak, very weak. The NPVIC, if enacted, would simply do away with the possibility of winning the election while losing the popular vote.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  25. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Rob in CT: It’s a plan to circumvent the Electoral College system without bothering to actually go through a Constitutional amendment. Just because you like the result, t’s backed by Democrats, and it’s a lot closer to coming true than the schemes Doug discussed doesn’t mean it’s something that shouldn’t be mentioned.

    Oh, yeah, I keep forgetting. According to most folks in the commentariat here, that does mean it must never be mentioned. Not even when it would be relevant by any honest standard.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  26. ptfe says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: So your policy objection is to the National Vote Referendum is………..no, really, wait for it because it’s one of the most brilliant objections ever………..“It’s backed by Democrats.”

    Here’s the JI#13 argument in a nutshell: Republicans aren’t doing anything repulsive in trying to change the EC allocation (to one that’s massively less representative, both statewide and nationally, and offers significant rewards for gerrymandering and local corruption) because Democrats are also trying to change the EC allocation (to one that’s wholly nationally representative). This is like saying that the French Revolution couldn’t have been bad because the Americans also had a revolution.

    To corrupt the legal phrase, results ipso locutor.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  27. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @ptfe: If you can’t see the inherent dishonesty in getting all hysterical about a couple of plans at Stage One while pointedly ignoring another plan that’s at Stage Eight, I can’t help you there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 9

  28. ptfe says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Perhaps your blindness to reality is pathological?

    1. Answer these 2 questions:

    – Which do you think is farther along: a bill that needs to pass in 8 states or a bill that needs to pass in 1 state?
    – Which do you think has more relevance: a bill whose passage in 1 state will immediately affect electoral politics or a bill whose passage will affect electoral politics only if 7 other states also pass the same bill?

    Your assertion that the National Vote Referendum is farther along is, to be charitable, exceedingly daft.

    2. Apparently you also didn’t read the post, because it’s largely about how Republicans are not seeking to gain the presidency in 4 years by doing some good old-fashioned deep introspection, but by proposing that the Electoral College should be rigged in their favor. They aren’t suggesting policy implementations that are popular, ideas that have traction outside their sphere, or methods for gaining back voters; they’re suggesting that they need to seize more statehouses, gerrymander districts, and effectively steal national elections instead.

    3. Just to be clear again: the National Vote Referendum is party-neutral. When the public is more liberal, it will favor a more liberal candidate; when the public is more conservative, it will favor a more conservative candidate. Most of us are fine with that. The proposed Republican plans are intended to benefit a single party. They aren’t based on public policy desires, they aren’t based on any sort of Will of the Masses, they’re intended to benefit a single party. They introduce local corruption to the election of the highest office in the country; they ignore both national and statewide sentiment in favor of gerrymandered districts. The passage of this kind of bill in any state will immediately result in that state becoming a beacon of electoral corruption. Most of us are massively opposed to that. So, yes, it’s far more disconcerting that anyone would even propose this scheme than that someone would propose we effectively dump the EC in favor of a national popular vote.

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  29. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @ptfe: In the above-mentioned instances that were the subject of the posting, I see individual states debating how to exercise their Constitutional prerogatives in how they determine their electors. In the NPVIC, I see a plan in several states to reshape the Constitutionally-prescribed process without actually changing the Constitution. In the former, I see a potential shift of up to 36 electors out of 538. In the latter, I see a change that will essentially negate all 538. In the former, I see an attempt to use the system to obtain a desired result. In the latter, I see an attempt to bypass the system entirely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  30. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Shorter Jenos: “One group of people is making plans to have lunch together. Another group of people is making plans to rob a jewelry store and kill all the people inside to. Clearly they are exactly the same, because they are both making plans!!!! Why can’t you stupid liberals understand this very serious point? In fact, the lunch people are much worse, because their lunch break comes in twenty minutes, while the robbery won’t happen for days!!! Those liberals with their lunch plans must be stopped!!!!”

    Shorter shorter Jenos: “Have I neglected to prove that I’m an idiot lately?”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @wr: You are so stupid, you make me positively prescient. I answered your frothings a full one hour and 11 minutes before you asked them.

    What you think is a great metaphor actually reinforces my point — the PA Republicans are the lunch-eaters.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 10

  32. matt bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    In the former, I see an attempt [by one party] to use the system to obtain a desired result [of disenfranchising voters who normally vote against said party and thereby flipping their state and defeating the idea of a popular vote and trying to ensure their side wins the presidency without actually earning it].

    Clearly the only difference in Jenos’ mind is that he supports rigging elections when it’s his side that does it. He hates it when it’s the other side — regardless of the fact that this would have had no tangible effect on any past election, with the exception of Bush v. Gore.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  33. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Shorter Jenos: IOKIYAR

    That’s really all your saying, as you equate a plan to give Democratic voters 3/5 of a vote with plans to reform the Electoral College to reward the popular vote winner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  34. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, the PA Republicans want to institute a plan that would subvert the will of the majority of voters; the national vote people have a plan that will guarantee the success of the will of the majority of the voters. So clearly, the Republicans are the good guys here, and you’ve proved it by typing a bunch of numbers that have nothing to do with anything. You are indeed a crafty super-genius.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0

  35. ptfe says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: No, in the former you see a plan put forth by Republicans that would benefit your preferred party; in the latter you see a plan put forth by Democrats, so (you reason) it must be bad. You know it, I know it, dogs know it.

    Both plans equivalently use the powers granted by the Constitution that allow electors to be chosen by the states in whatever manner they deem appropriate. There is no assertion in the Constitution that all electors in a state must bend to the will of the voting majority in that state. The Constitution gives complete freedom to the states to decide how they want to apportion their electors.

    So then your invented complaint is that, if a state feels that the Electoral College should be replaced with a national vote for president and discusses a collective plan across multiple states, it’s offensive because they’re using Constitutionally-granted powers but aren’t changing the Constitution. Instead, changing the EC in any one state to make it easier to exploit the inadequacies of the EC by rewarding local corruption to keep the minority party in power at the federal level is a-ok because it…um, oh wait, also is performed using Constitutionally-granted powers and also doesn’t get enshrined in the Constitution. By definition they are both “us[ing] the system to obtain a desired result.”* But you apparently feel that multi-state agreements intended to make the president fully democratically-elected are subversive in a way that enabling local corruption in that process isn’t (!).

    In summary, for district-based voting you’ve offered no sound policy prescriptive argument, no historical argument, not even some vague hand-wavy Originalist argument; there’s just a puddle of partisan vomit and mutterings about “only 36 electoral votes!” Your argument doesn’t hold up to the most basic scrutiny. It’s a sham, and you’re well aware of it.

    Also, you continue to ignore the critical element of the post — namely that the opposition party for the current majority would rather subvert the electoral process for purely partisan gain than actually appeal to voters.

    * Yes, there is an anti-collusion clause in the Constitution, but the Supreme Court has previously indicated that it exists to prevent states from encroaching on federal authority, not acting on their own Constitutionally-granted authority (such as here). Short of a change in that opinion, it would be hard to see a legal hurdle to the compact.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  36. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    Actually, I didn’t say anything about whether or not I approve of the PA and MI plans. On the surface, since Congressional districts are supposed to be as equal as possible by population, it shouldn’t make much of a difference. In effect, though, it offsets population advantages where one party wins overwhelmingly in certain districts, and rewards those who win closer races. So it’s a way of countering sheer numbers by weighting the counts. It reminds me of proposals to grant certain protected groups “extra votes” to compensate for historic discrimination.

    So, while I respect the state’s rights to change their rules as they see fit, I find it offensive and think it’s a very bad idea. It’s seeking to change the rules to gain advantage, and I think the current rules are fair enough. Even though they haven’t been exactly beneficial to my side of late, I think they’re pretty fair overall. Hell, looking long-term (say, since 1950), it’s gone for the Republican nine times and Democrats seven times, and that seems pretty well balanced.

    I still find the Interstate Compact idea more repulsive, though. For the reasons I cited above.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  37. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    I still find the Interstate Compact idea more repulsive, though.

    To sum up, you think it’s worse to try and make sure the electoral college winner matches the popular vote winner, than it is for the GOP to rig elections. That’s one effed up value system there.

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  38. wr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “So, while I respect the state’s rights to change their rules as they see fit, I find it offensive and think it’s a very bad idea.”

    But you’ll still use it as an excuse to whine about something that’s entirely unrelated, because if people aren’t paying attention to you, you have no reason to exist. Thanks for clearing that up!

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  39. Barry says:

    Doug: “A deviation in an election where the Electoral College winner lost the popular vote by 5,000,000+ votes is, I would submit, an entirely different animal and a major policy argument against adopting a District Method rule nationwide.”

    But one which the GOP would happily live down. Do you think that if you showed them proof that this would win GOP Gov [Insert Name Here] the presidency in 2016, despite a 5 million popular vote deficit, that they wouldn’t be more eager to do it?

    The GOP is already strongly against democracy, just look at the voter suppression efforts. This is just taking it to a wholesale level.

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  40. Barry says:

    Doug: “Until then, they’re just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.”

    This could buy them a presidential election, meaning 8 years of power and money. That’s not ‘just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.’

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  41. Sejanus says:

    @swbarnes2: I wouldn’t say that Tsar is representative of the Republican base. While he often makes stupid comments (I’m not sure if this stems from his actual beliefs or from his need to troll) he does call out the more crazy and obnoxious members of his team, and he’s not big on social issues. If there’s any commenter here who represents the base it’s that guy with the demon/troll thing as an avatar. His social views are the same as Santorum’s and unlike Tsar, I have yet to have seen exhibit any signs of reason.

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  42. matt bernius says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    On the surface, since Congressional districts are supposed to be as equal as possible by population, it shouldn’t make much of a difference. In effect, though, it offsets population advantages where one party wins overwhelmingly in certain districts, and rewards those who win closer races.

    Wow… can you explain to me how winning a gerrymandered district can be considered a “close race?” Perhaps if congressional districts were designed to create close races this might have some merit. But given the current electoral system, this is an absurd claim (unless I’ve misread your point).

    It reminds me of proposals to grant certain protected groups “extra votes” to compensate for historic discrimination.

    Can you present evidence of any of these proposals getting the serious consideration that current Republican plans have?

    And, for the record, I completely object to any proposal that grants protected groups “extra votes.”

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  43. Rhonda Lee Starr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: The NPVIC does not require a Constitutional Amendment because states are permitted to allocate their Electoral Votes as they see fit.

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  44. Rhonda Lee Starr says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: “So it’s a way of countering sheer numbers by weighting the counts.” So you’re saying that candidates that have the most supporters (i.e. sheer numbers) shouldn’t necessarily win. The truth comes out. You don’t believe in one man, one vote.

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  45. superdestroyer says:

    @swbarnes2:

    I am not a Republican. The establishment Republicans believe that they can appeal to Hispanics by putting an idiot like Rubio out front. The establish Republicans are the one who believe that the opinions and position of Sheldon Adelson are more important than the middle class. The establishment Republicans are the one who believe that more entitlement spending is good even though it just produces more automatic Democratic Party voters.

    I seem that you believe that anyone who points out how stupid the Democrats can be is automatically a Republican.

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