Rachel Maddow sounded the alarm on this effort earlier this week. Now it has taken hold in “mainstream media” reports as well…
Republican politicians have a big problem. Their massively unpopular policiesand offensive rhetoric about minorities, women, and LGBT people havealienated vast swaths of the electorate, making it increasingly difficult for them to win national elections. And these problems are only getting worse as the country’s attitudes evolves and its demographics change. In fact, the Republican candidate has lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 presidential elections. The Republicans’ Solution: Re-Write the Rules to Game the System and Rig Elections Instead of addressing their fundamental problems, Republican politicians have instead devoted themselves to re-writing the rules and rigging the game:
- Make it Harder to Vote: Republican politicians are engaged in a systematic campaign to change voting laws and election procedures in order make it harder for young people, minorities, and others likely to vote Democratic to vote.
- Gerrymander: Because of partisan gerrymandering after the 2010 Census, Republicans have a structural advantage when it comes to the House of Representatives. Even though more than a million more people voted for Democrats for the House in 2012, Republicans still managed to hold on to the House with a 15-seat majority.
- Rig the Game: Now Republican-controlled swing states are trying to rig the Electoral College in order to steal the White House.
How It Works
- Red States Stay the Same: Truly red states keep the current winner-take-all system, thus delivering all of their electoral votes to the Republican candidate.
- Swing States Get Divided Up: Swing states currently controlled by Republicans (VA, OH, WI, MI, PA, NC, and FL) will award their electoral votes by Congressional District. Through gerrymandering, Republicans have managed to pack Democrats into a small number of districts, giving the GOP a large advantage in the aggregate number of House seats they hold in these states.
- Bonus Votes for Republicans: In some versions of this plan, the two remaining electoral votes in each state that are not associated with a House district would still be awarded to the winner of the state’s popular vote. Virginia, however, has an even more pernicious plan; its plan would award the other two votes to the winner of a majority of the state’s congressional districts. If other swing states adopted this plan, it could shift an extra dozen or more electoral votes to the Republican candidate — a number equivalent to the electoral votes of Virginia or the votes of Iowa and Nevada combined.
The Result — President Romney
The GOP plan to rig the Electoral College means that even if a Democrat wins the popular vote in a state by a comfortable margin, the Republican candidate could still walk away with as many two-thirds or even three-quarters of the state’s Electoral College votes.
If Republican-controlled swing states had put this plan into effect before the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would likely be the president today thanks to the shift in electoral votes in key states. If all of these states chose the Virginia model that gives Republicans two bonus electoral votes per state, then Mitt Romney would definitely have been the one to be sworn in this past Monday.
This Threat Is Real & Is Happening Now
This GOP plan to rig the Electoral College and steal the White House is not simply theoretical in nature. It’s a real threat to our democracy. Republicans — including two GOP governors — are actually considering this plan in several of these states, including Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. Republicans in the Virginia Senate are trying to pass just such a plan right now. For more information on this scheme, please see the full report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund.
BOTTOM LINE: Instead of trying to win fair and square by persuading voters that their values and ideas are the best for America, Republicans are now instead trying to re-write the rules in order to rig the system in their favor and steal the White House.
- If you can’t beat ’em, gerrymander away their electoral votes (tv.msnbc.com)
- How Republicans Plan To Rig The Next Presidential Election, In Six Pictures (thinkprogress.org)
- How to Win States and Disenfranchise People: The GOP’s Electoral-Vote Plan (theatlantic.com)
- Group Working To End Electoral College Condemns GOP’s ‘Indefensible’ Virginia Scheme (tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com)
- Maddow warns GOP’s presidential vote rigging plan ‘is gathering steam’ (rawstory.com)
- Joe Scarborough: Republicans Only Kept House Majority Because Of Gerrymandering (kaystreet.wordpress.com)
- How to siphon votes away from blue states, Virginia edition (washingtonpost.com)
- If you can’t win elections, rig them (maddowblog.msnbc.com)