Electoral College Roundup

Following up on the Pennsylvania GOP’s move to award electoral votes by Congressional district, here’s some commentary:

* Stephen L. Taylor offers three reasons for abolishing the electoral college.

* ED Kain explains how this could happen in other “trifecta” states.

* Nate Silver has a extremely thorough analysis of why this might not be the best idea for Republicans. Overall, though, he thinks the Electoral College benefits Republicans.

I live in a blue state and will be re-districted into a blue district, so a lot of the activists in this area end up being bused to swing states like Ohio or Pennsylvania to do GOTV there. Like a lot of other voters in this area, I’m well aware that my vote for President doesn’t “count” in the same way swing state votes do. I think that’s anti-democratic, and abolishing the Electoral College would increase voter engagement by keeping those activists home and also making voters feel like they’re more engaged in the process.

Update: Something really funky happened to WP and it ate half this post and turned off comments. I think we’re back now.

Debate Reaction

I didn’t watch the debates, but it sounds like T-Paw was true to his nature and wimped out, and Michelle Bachmann was able to speak in complete sentences and therefore has stolen the critical MILF vote (or more accurately, the vote of those who will vote for women they consider MILFs) from Palin.

The other big news is that the predictable Pawlenty fizzle, which means Romney is the only David Brooks-approved candidate, means that we’re going to start hearing about the heretofore well-hidden gravitas of Rick Perry, who’s talking to the tea party in Iowa and attending anti-gay rights prayer meetings.

Nobody Doesn’t Like Mitt

Nate Silver:

Since this race is a “least objectionable wins” situation, Mitt and T-Paw are looking pretty good.

Member of Congress

As we watch Nancy Pelosi and Steve Israel beat the Wenis into a bloody pulp, consider this: Weiner’s district is a D+5 District in Brooklyn and Queens. It was previously represented by Schumer and Ferraro (in her prime, before she was reduced to ugly PUMA racism). Though it’s mainly white and older, it has an above-average percentage of college-educated residents, a much higher-than-average percentage (40%) of foreign-born residents, and whole bunch of traditionally Democratic Jewish voters.

In other words, NY-9 has been an incubator for quality Democratic politicians, and if Weiner quits at the end of his term, it’s pretty likely that another quality Democrat, hopefully with a little better Twitter-fu, will take his place. This isn’t NY-29, where Eric Massa’s extraordinary two-cycle race garnered an against-all-odds win in a tough R+5 district, and Massa’s resignation almost guaranteed a turnover. A Republican hasn’t represented NY-9 since 1923, so it’s pretty easy for leadership to push Weiner under the bus without thinking twice.

Another Hothouse Flower

I just watched Chris Wallace interview Sarah Palin from her Arizona home (apparently the bus tour is over?), and her poor grasp of Paul Revere’s ride is the least of her problems:

  • She said that she “tried as much as possible” to get the government out of healthcare in Alaska. Here’s the Anchorage Daily News two weeks before she quit:

    State programs intended to help disabled and elderly Alaskans with daily life — taking a bath, eating dinner, getting to the bathroom — are so poorly managed, the state cannot assure the health and well-being of the people they are supposed to serve, a new federal review found.

    The situation is so bad the federal government has forbidden the state to sign up new people until the state makes necessary improvements.

    No other state in the nation is under such a moratorium, according to a spokeswoman for the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

  • When asked about the 250,000 emails that are about to be released, and about Frank Bailey’s book based on 50,000+ emails he has, she said that nobody can understand the context of the first set of emails, and that Bailey was a bad, bad man. One reviewer:

    “Blind Allegiance” is so full of Palin’s pettiness and incompetence that it defines her as little more than a small-town politician at a loss on the larger stage.

  • She referenced her “years” of executive experience.

Wallace is playing under Fox rules, so he just asks the initial question and moves on, but none of Palin’s answers would have lasted past a well-informed follow-up. Since she has Mitt Romney in her sights, he at least will provide those follow-ups if this diva ever participates in a debate. But she won’t — her line is that she’s going to spend the next “weeks and months” deciding about a run for President. The nominee will be decided well before her charade ends.

Decisive Hochul Win in NY-26

The AP has called NY-26 for Kathy Hochul, who’s holding a 6 point lead over Jane Corwin. Current Tea Partier and former Democrat Jack Davis has about 8 percent. It’s pretty hard to cast Davis as a spoiler with those kind of numbers in a R+7 R+6 district. This election was brought to you by Kathy Hochul’s solid campaign, Jane Corwin’s clown car shitstorm fail parade, and Paul Ryan’s party-destroying Medicare vouchers.

GOTV in NY-26

Ian Murphy, who writes for the Buffalo Beast and is running on the Green Party line in NY-26, got a buzz cut, put on a polo shirt, and did some volunteer calling as “Steve” for his Republican opponent Jane Corwin at her local headquarters:

“Hi, sir, my name’s Steve and I’m a volunteer for the Jane Corwin campaign–”

“Jesus!” a guy screams at me. “You know, I was thinking about voting for Corwin, but this is too much! You people have called me a dozen times in the last two days! I am sick of it!”

“But Jane Corwin wants to rule over you with an iron fist,” I calmly relay. “Don’t you crave strong leadership?”

“What?!” he balks. “An ‘iron fist’?”

“Yes,” I assure him. “These phone calls are just the beginning. When Jane’s in Congress she will do everything in her power to crush you mentally and physically.”