A Sure Way to Beat Obama
You may think Barack Obama is a great guy with a winning smile and a vision to take America on a wonderful new path. Or you may consider him to be a fundamentally decent man who has had his fair chance and now is way over his head. Or, if Gallup polls are to be trusted, you might be among the 20% or so of Americans who think he’s a closet Muslim foreigner hell-bent on destroying the America we all hold dear. Opinions vary.
Well, for Americans in that 20%, I have some great news for you. There is a completely legal, peaceful and constitutional way to ensure that President Barack Obama will not be returning to the White House in January 2013. And it won’t involve violence or coercion or even the mildest form of voter fraud. All Republicans need to do to virtually ensure that President Obama’s reelection bid fails is legislation at the state level. I’m talking about amending state law to influence the way that electoral votes are allocated.
The Constitution gives states the power to determine exactly how their electoral votes are to be won or lost in a presidential campaign. There’s nothing in the US Constitution dictating how electoral votes are to be allocated; that’s up to the states to determine as they see fit. As things stand now, 48 states determine their electoral vote winners on a winner take-all-basis. The only question that matters is who receives the most votes state-wide. If I win 4 million votes in California, and you only get 2,999,999, suddenly I get 55 electoral votes in my pocket, while your voters might as well have stayed home.
The only two states that do things differently are too small to generally change the national equation. Maine and Nebraska do it by congressional district. If you win one out of three congressional districts in Nebraska but lose the other two, you get one electoral vote from the state, with your opponent winning one electoral vote per district carried and a bonus two electoral votes for winning statewide. The Obama team proved that these rules can matter, when they unexpectedly picked up one electoral vote in Nebraska in 2008.
These two states, with nine EVs between them, don’t really change the game in the nationwide battle to reach 270. However, if other states were to follow suit, the presidential election would be turned on its head. Think about Michigan; it’s thought of as a must-win state for Democrats, who will be relying on all seventeen EV’s from the state to hold the White House. But Michigan is controlled at the state level by Republicans, and the state has been gerrymandered to have more Republican congressional districts. If Republicans changed the electoral rules in Michigan to be like those of Maine and Nebraska—something that is easily within their power—Democrats would be lucky to get more than half of the electoral votes in a state they are counting on winning outright.
The possibilities for Republicans don’t stop there. GOP gains in November 2010 were so sweeping they found themselves fully in control of several traditionally blue states. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin are both must-wins for Obama that are also currently run by Republicans. Tweaking electoral laws in those states would be the equivalent of automatically denying Obama a prize swing state like Florida.
And there’s one other thing…who said that electoral laws have to be even remotely democratic? If you’re really anxious to defeat Obama, and you control a state government, you can constitutionally and legally predetermine how a state’s electoral votes will go. If Florida Republicans who run the legislature want to change the law to give their Republican governor Rick Scott the power to give the state’s 29 EV’s away as he sees fit, Democrats would have no legal remedy to stop it.
All told, Republicans have complete control of state government in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Wisonsin and Wyoming. These states total 222 EV’s—within striking distance of the 270 needed. Of course, if they’re a base for the eventual GOP nominee, it’s virtually impossible for Democrats to prevail. After all, they are counting on winning several of these states that would fall into the GOP column, and the few states they do control and could manipulate electoral laws in are already in their column to begin with.
Of course, there are some valid objections to this idea. It doesn’t seem to be a move in the spirit of fair play. It’s certainly not true to the democratic process. It would create substantial ill will, especially if Obama captures the popular vote. So taking this path to guarantee that Obama loses is unfair, immoral and undemocratic, but…
He’s a socialist, un-American who will destroy our country if we don’t stop him. So GOP legislators, what’s stopping you?