by Dan Gibson
This won't likely come up in Arizona, since Romney got the electoral votes here, but the Republican plan that Josh Marshall described on TPM yesterday is some wildly sinister stuff:
To review, here’s how it works. The US electoral college system is based on winner take all delegate allocation in all but two states. If you get just one more vote than the other candidate you get all the electoral votes. One way to change the system is go to proportional allocation. That would still give some advantage to the overall winner. But not much. The key to the Republican plan is to do this but only in Democratic leaning swing states — not in any of the states where Republicans win. That means you take away all the advantage Dems win by winning states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and so forth.
But the Republican plan goes a step further.
Rather than going by the overall vote in a state, they’d allocate by congressional district. And this is where it gets real good, or bad, depending on your point of view. Democrats are now increasingly concentrated in urban areas and Republicans did an extremely successful round of gerrymandering in 2010, enough to enable them to hold on to a substantial House majority even thoughthey got fewer votes in House races than Democrats.
In other words, the new plan is to make the electoral college as wired for Republicans as the House currently is. But only in Dem leaning states. In Republican states just keep it winner take all. So Dems get no electoral votes at all.
I might be one of the few people who actually believes the Electoral College largely works in its existing form, but this sort of super-gerrymandering is ridiculous. Here's a simpler pro-tip for the Republican Party: if you'd like to win the presidency, don't run somewhat-clueless candidates that don't reflect modern America. Might be a bit easier than rewriting state constitutions across the country.
Actually, maybe not. I take it back, this might be the best strategy, even though it sucks.