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We did the math: how the GOP will gerrymander [Rig] its way back to the White House

We did the math: how the GOP will gerrymander its way back to the White House

Still reeling from their second straight presidential loss to Barack Obama, Republicans are working to make drastic changes to how electoral college votes are allocated in key swing states.

Republicans in states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Virginia have all proposed scrapping the “winner take all” electoral vote system in favor of plans that would reward the GOP’s recent gerrymandering. The six states considering the varied plans are all swing states that have gone for Barack Obama twice now, and others have been hard fought but ultimately gone blue for even longer.

The plans vary. In Pennsylvania, lawmakers want to siphon off a handful of electoral votes for the runner-up candidate–which has been the Republican since 1992. In other states, the proposal calls for the overall winner of the popular vote to get two votes, while the rest of the votes are distributed by congressional district. That plan is already in place in Maine and Nebraska.

What does that look like when implemented in these swing states? Here’s how it would’ve played out in the 2012 election in a handful of states controlled by Republicans.

In Florida, where Romney lost by only 1%, Obama would have lost even bigger: Romney would have picked up more than half the state’s electoral votes.


In Ohio, where Obama eked out a 2% lead, Romney would have won two-thirds of the state’s votes.


In Wisconsin, Romney would have won half the state’s votes, despite losing the overall vote by 7%.


And Romney would no longer have lost his home state of Michigan, even though he lost the popular vote there by 9%. Instead, he’d have picked up nine electoral votes.


Pennsylvania’s plan, which allocates votes based on the overall percentage, gives Romney his smallest advantage, with only eight extra electoral votes. That’s still a nice bonus for a guy who lost the state by 5% and therefore lost all 20 electoral votes.


The plan advanced this week by a Virginia Senate subcommittee is even more lopsided, allocating the two extra votes not to the popular vote winner, but to the winner of the most congressional districts. The result? Romney picks up 9 of the state’s electoral votes, despite losing the state’s popular vote by 3%.


If the plans currently on the table were implemented in these six states alone, Romney picks up another 60 electoral votes, bringing his total to 266 nationwide, making the race much closer but not ultimately taking the victory away from Barack Obama.

An analysis by Alan Abramowitz for the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics found that if a Maine—or Nebraska—style system had been in place nationwide for the 2012 election, Mitt Romney would have defeated Barack Obama, 276 electoral votes to 262 electoral votes, despite losing the popular vote by 4%. If the plan being pushed in Virginia became the law of the land nationwide, that difference would be even more stark.

This new plan reflects the fact that in all these states, Republicans are in control of the state house and have been since 2010. The successful pro-Republican gerrymandering that took place that year didn’t just protect the Republican control of the House of Representatives, but also laid the groundwork for taking back the presidency. If these plans, which are by most accounts legal (although they could be challenged in court), were to become law, it would be difficult for Democrats to win the presidency in 2016, even if they win by millions of votes.

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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 8:46 PM
Replies (71-73):
by Platinum Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 8:49 PM

As I have stated earlier.

Gerrymandering is a corrupt system that both Political Parties abuse. I am not suggesting it is only bad because Republicans are trying to abuse it at the moment. Democrats have done the same.

The Electoral College is a flawed system that has no place in our current system.  It doesn't matter which side it favors it is bad.

Put Gerrymandering into the equation with Electoral Colleges and you have a system where the people in power can determine who wins the election.

It doesn't matter which Political Party does this-It is wrong. I have stated this before and I will state it again.

Quoting Imacakebaker:

 When Republicans do it, its cheating..

When Democrats do it, its to take into account population and demographics right?


Quoting brookiecookie87:

So you think the better option is to make it so a Political Party can draw districts and then use those districts they drew to their advantage to rig ellections?

That makes more sense to you? One person one vote would mean the candidate that gets the most votes wins.

Quoting Imacakebaker:

 Talking to you is a waste of time. 

I said the cities should get a weighted vote.  One person one vote would mean only a few states would decide elections, so that's again, just people in cities should get to vote.


Quoting brookiecookie87:

So you believe extra land mass and living further apart means your vote should be worth more? Or do you believe if you live close together your vote should mean less?

You do realize if you left it up to me I could recut all those districts so it all looks blue instead of red, right? Because if you divide the major cities up and divy the major cities up with the rural parts away from the major cities the chart would suddenly turn all blue (The wonders of Gerrymandering).

That's why it makes more sense for one person to be one vote. The person with the most votes win.

Larger areas of red doesn't mean more people are voting red (If you don't understand this yet and it seems like you don't).

Do you know what a constitutation republic is? Because if you do you will understand that Constitutional Republic does NOT mean that the people in power get to decide who will be the next President by using ways to rig the system.

Quoting Imacakebaker:

 How would it rig anything if the cities get a weighted vote? 

Again do you see all the RED?  Where is their voice?

The United  States is not a democracy. The United States is a constitutional republic. 

Quoting brookiecookie87:

It's not the cities. It's the people.

If the majority of the people in a state vote for Candidate X, why should candidate Y, win?

What kind of democracy is it where Candidate X can win the popular vote but Candidate Y wins because the system was rig to allow someone to win without needing the popular vote?

Quoting Imacakebaker:

 Then weight the ec votes for the city a little heavier than the other counties.  I live in Florida.. not all the red is rural. Same in Ohio,not all the red was rural.  Its not right that cities now decide presidential elections.

Quoting timeforprogress:

Do you really think rural voters should have their votes carry more weight simply because the is more space between them and their neighbors?

The President won the popular vote in three states in question. That indicates that the states are not red. Ritual votes just tend to be Republican while urban populations trend to be more liberal.

Quoting Imacakebaker:

Did you see all of the states in your example were RED?

Where was the people's voice in the RED areas?   It is a great example why we should split the ec votes.

Quoting brookiecookie87:

You think it's fair that the popular vote can be for Candidate X in a state but Candidate Y can win thanks to Gerrymandering? You think it is fair that the majority of a country can vote for Candidate X but thanks to Gerrymandering and the Electoral College a group can give the Presidency to who they want to win?

How exactly is that fair? Or by fair do you mean, "They didn't have the popular vote but this way they can still win"?

Quoting Imacakebaker:

I think its fair.  Did you notice all of those states were red.





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If they enforced bank regulations like they do park rules, we wouldn't be in this mess

by Silver Member on Jan. 26, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I live in a state that I do not align with politically, never have. Therefore with our current system of Electoral College I feel that my vote never counts.  It is frustrating and has often had me thinking about why I even bother to vote.  

In a Presidential election every single vote should count.

by Ruby Member on Jan. 27, 2013 at 8:44 AM

This really isn't to do with the topic exactly, just thought it interesting. Last night on the news Paul Ryan was making a speech (I missed part of the news bite but it appeared the speech was to Republican leaders) anyway he said something to the effect that, we have to show them we are capable of leading. My first thought was that he missed the memo, it's not that we think they aren't capable of leading, its the path they want to lead us all down that's the problem. If they want votes, they seriously need to choose a different path.

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