Pennsylvania Republicans are going ahead with their cute little plan to steal a bunch of electoral votes in 2016 by splitting the state’s tally along House district lines.
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.
It wouldn’t have made a huge difference by itself in 2012, but if Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Florida had all done it, all states that voted for President Obama with Republican governors and legislatures, you can begin to see the issue here. Taking away a guaranteed 20 in the blue column and giving the majority of the electoral votes to the red guys (thanks to House gerrymandering) is still something of a problem, and pretty blatantly obvious even for the Nutjob Patrol here.
Not sure what can be done to stop this bananas split action, other than to point out to Democrats living in red districts that their votes won’t count for President now, either. Ohio’s been lurking around the edges on this plan, and don’t be surprised if Michigan and Wisconsin try this next.