Archive for January, 2013

Republicans attempt to rig the next election

After two large back-to-back Presidential losses, Republicans have started looking around to try to find ways to put one of their own in the White House in four years. One way of doing this would be to try to adopt more moderate and popular positions that appeal to America’s median voter. But that would mean…becoming more sensible and moderate, so the GOP isn’t interested. Instead, many plan to go with option two: trying to rig the next election so that even if America doesn’t vote for Marco Rubio in 2016, it won’t matter and he will win anyway.

Reince Priebus

Reince Priebus, Chairman of the RNC

 

They will do this by messing with our arcane Electoral College system in selective states. Right now, the candidate who wins a majority of the votes in Pennsylvania wins all of PA’s 20 electoral votes. Get 270 electoral votes  and you win the Presidency. Yes, this system is weird and cooky and it would be much easier to just give the Presidency to the person who gets the most votes across the country. But Republicans aren’t trying to fix this quirk. They’re trying to make it worse.

 

Reince Priebus, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee has just endorsed a scheme that would instead award an electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district in only Democratic states. This ploy would still ensure that the Republican nominee got all 38 of Texas’ electoral votes, but would only give a Democrat 7 of 16 electoral votes in Michigan, even if they win the state handily, as Obama did this last time. That’s right. Republicans could lose Michigan by 10 points and STILL get a majority (9) of the state’s electoral votes under this vote-stealing technique.

Crucially, Republicans are only proposing to do this in states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and Florida. These are states that Obama won last year but that also have Republicans controlling their state governments. If this proposed system had been in place in 2012, Obama could have lost the Presidency even as he won the national popular vote by 4 points.

Republicans can do this because of the big wins they scored in the all-important 2010 mid-term elections. This win (their only winning cycle since 2004) gave them control of the state governments in most swing states. Crucially, this let them re-draw congressional districts in their states so there are no longer more than a handful of competitive congressional elections in our most closely divided states. And now that Republicans have decided that Pennsylvania, a blue state, will always have 5 Democratic and 13 Republican representatives, they want to make sure that no matter how the people vote, their votes always count for the Republican!

These proposed changes are, quite literally, the greatest threats to democracy in America. These proposals have no redeeming qualities. They are simply to make sure Republicans have a huge advantage when electing the next President.

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