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House Rs Resurrect Congressional-Based Electoral College Plan

State Reps. Robert Godshall (R-Montco) and Seth Grove (R-York) want Pennsylvania to divvy ups its electoral college votes by congressional district. It’s a plan originally pitched by Sen. Dominic Pileggi in 2011 and would have nullified President Obama’s Pa. advantage had it been in effect in 2012.

In their co-sponsorship memo, they essentially concede that Pa. is no longer a competitive presidential state.

“I believe that the Congressional District Method will increase voter turnout and encourage candidates to campaign in all states rather than just those that are competitive,” the two wrote. “Most importantly, this method of selecting presidential electors will give a stronger voice to voters in all regions of our great Commonwealth.”

Read: Republicans are tired of voting for candidates who don’t win Pa.

Once a reliable battleground state, Pennsylvania spent most of the 2012 presidential campaign on the sidelines.

The plan would give one electoral vote to the winner of each congressional district plus 2 for the winner statewide.

Obama won Pa. by about 310,000 votes – 5.4 percent. But it looks like he won just 5 congressional districts, giving him 7 electoral college votes (including his 2 for winning statewide) to Mitt Romney’s 13.

That’s because Republican map-drawers packed Democratic voters into high concentration urban districts. The state’s 13 Republican members of Congress won by an average of 19.5 percent; the closest margin, CD-13, was 3.4 points. The state’s 5 Democratic members of congress won by an average of 52.5 percent; the closest margin, CD-17, was 20.6 points. That’s an average difference of 33 points.

Editor’s note: we’re keeping our eye on the DailyKos tabulations of presidential vote by congressional district which so far have just 4 of 18 districts. The 6th, 7th and 15th districts are the only ones represented by a Republican Congressman where Obama conceivably could have won. The most interesting so far: Romney narrowly won Mike Fitzpatrick’s 8th congressional district, 49.4 percent to Obama’s 49.3 percent.

Pileggi’s plan lost steam back in 2011 and he recently introduced a modified version that would allocate electoral votes proportionally with no relation to congressional districts.

Meanwhile national Republicans are encouraging GOP state legislators to tinker with electoral college allocation in blue states like Pa., Michigan and Wisconsin.

Democratic critics note that no such effort is taking place in reliably Republican presidential states like Texas, where the same proposal would benefit Democratic candidates.

10 Responses

  1. This is the GOP raising the White Flag in PA. It is very sad that between the tea party and what is happening in DC, the normal PA GOP moderate is left without a home.

  2. @Republicans. You guys spend more time and energy trying to rig the system than actually reaching out to the growing populations of minorities and young people. As a Dem, I’m overwhelmed with joy by these actions. It only reaffirms that the Republicans are a dying breed that only look out for the interests of the 2%.

  3. The problem is that Republicans come out to vote consistently and vote for Republicans more consistently then Democrats and independents. The Republicans stay on message and repeat it ad nauseum. The Democrats don’t show up to vote consistently for Democrats and lack a coherent narrative, message and don’t stay on that message. The Republicans have more money than Democrats. The Republicans can pay their people to be at the Polls on Election day. But despite money, more direct mail, ads and attack ads on TV, robo calls, we can win if we have a message, enough of us volunteer and go door to door, have a strong and simple message, we can win. PA State Representative Steve Santarsiero was able to do that in the last election by over 5,435 votes after winning only 2 years ago by 163 votes. He did that against a Tea Party candidate who had Citizens Alliance Of PA, Freedom Works, State & Cty GOP, Americans for Prosperity and other Koch Brothers funded astroturf groups. He won in every single precinct in his PA Assembly District . He won in Precincts where no Democrat has ever won before in the history of the Lower Makefield Township. He won more votes in some Precincts than Obama and any other Democrat on the ballot. We can do this with the right candidate, message and organizational strategy.

  4. I cant see how this will help the Republicans. Everytime they open their mouth they soot themselves in the foot

  5. Wow. I read these articles and comments and think, “Why are our men and women in uniform dying for American democracy when our lawmakers dishonor them by doing everything they can to take away the keystone of our democracy, OUR VOTE?” This is a very dangerous game and sacrifices the soul and spirit of what America stands for. Votes are not spoils for the taking.
    I am tired of our PA governor, senators and house members behaving like carpet baggers and divvying up PA as spoils. News flash… OUR STATE AND OUR VOTES ARE NOT FOR SALE!
    Our votes in PA are funneled through our Redistricting and our Electoral College Processes which should be handled as importantly as the money in our bank accounts… by the numbers and safe from political interference and theft.
    But, instead PA Redistricting is handled in back rooms by Republican politicians who do what they can to RIG the SYSTEM to make sure they stay in power… and now they want to add our Electoral College to clinch it. No one person or party should have this power and WE should vote to STOP this process.
    Any person or party who can’t win on their merits but has to RIG the SYSTEM and CHEAT to win are COWARDS and THIEVES and don’t belong in office.
    This plan to steal PA votes is by its very nature Un-American… and I would hope Unconstitutional and illegal. These attempts disgrace PA, disgrace America, and DISHONOR our BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN who put their lives on the line for ALL of us and not just for those “special” people who CAN RIG the SYSTEM — those who are in power and those who hide in the shadows and fund their campaigns… those people who call those who disagree Un-American and who aren’t satisfied with their spoils, but who believe their positions give them the right to trade PA’s citizens to the highest bidder and take away Our precious AMERICAN RIGHT TO disagree and VOTE THEM OUT.
    Shame, shame, shame if we let them do it.

  6. I don’t really care how PA does it, as long as every state in country awards their electoral college votes the same way. If this plan is such a great idea for PA, it should be a great idea for Texas where Democratic candidates would like pick up electoral college votes around population centers like Houston, Dallas, and Austin (same for Georgia around Atlanta, Lousiana around New Orleans, and so on). This state by state crap doesn’t hold water as a good idea and comes off as sour grapes. There is one cure for losing – winning – not changing the rules, just win.

  7. Love Republicans; instead of addressing their problems with women, blacks, hispanics and young voters, they’re simply trying to rig the system in their favor. It will, inevitably, backfire and we can enjoy Clinton ’16

  8. A survey of Pennsylvania voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
    Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
    By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year
    olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
    By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and ignored after the conventions.

    When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in recent closely divided Battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM– 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in Small states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and Border states: AR – 80%, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: AZ – 67%, CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes – 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  • Does the NYC Verdict Make You More or Less Likely to Vote For Trump in 2024?

    • Less Likely (36%)
    • More Likely (34%)
    • Makes No Difference (30%)

    Total Voters: 112

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