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The GOP / Republican's Plan to Rig the Next Election
So, obviously, November of last year did not quite go the way Republicans wanted it to. They lost by over 5 million votes and 126 electoral votes. That's a drubbing by any definition. How does a party usually come back from that? The rational response it to look at the statistics and determine how and why you lost. Some Republicans, such as Bobby Jindal, the Governor of Louisiana, Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, and others are actively doing just that.
Some are up to something else entirely. Certain State-level congressional Republicans around the country (specifically in Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, which are all states Obama won) are seeking to change the way electoral votes are allotted. That is what I will delve into in this article.
The obvious question is how exactly does their plan rig the election. Well, here's why. The proposed change is to the electoral process. Each candidate would receive electoral votes based upon how many congressional districts they won. In Virginia, two electoral votes would be given to the candidate who won the most districts. Statistically, Republicans tend to live in more rural areas.
Normally, this wouldn't have been catastrophic, but the Republicans gerrymandered (see my article about that for more info) the districts using redistricting that the majority is allowed to do in the House. This means that Obama would have won the popular vote, but lost the election. That's similar to the result of the 2012 House races. Democrats received nearly 1 million more votes, but the Republicans got more seats.
So, Republicans end up winning more districts, but usually lose the popular vote in states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia, and Ohio, etc. Here's what the electoral map would've looked like had the gerrymandered district plan before the 2012 election.
Yes, you saw that right. This "plan" of the Republicans would have changed the result of the election and Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office last Monday. This is dangerous to our democracy and must be stopped.
Why This Must Be Defeated
This plan will change our electoral process forever, and not for the better. Some Republicans (included the RNC Chairman, Reince Priebus) see this as a way to come back to electoral prominence. Republicans have lost the popular vote in 5 of the last 6 elections. Instead of actually changing their views or just taking a hard look at why they lost, some are taking the sore loser approach. But, it is dangerous and can't just be shrugged off as a radical ploy. This is getting traction with many high-ranking Republicans.
The Good News
Luckily, there are sensible Republicans who see this as undermining our democracy. The Governor of Virginia, Bob McDonnell, has come out against the plan in the Virginia legislature. He's just one of many. Thankfully, there are Republicans who still respect the system like Former Mississippi Governor, Haley Barbour, who recently came out against it when talking with Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC.
The battle is not over, though. Michigan is the only state that actually looks like it will pass a bill enacting this electoral "reform." The more national attention this gets, the less likely it will happen. It's a shameless attempt to change the odds in your favor just because you lost badly last time.