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Blog of Mass Destruction

Next Up: Gaming The Electoral College

By The Reverend Published: January 3, 2013

Republicans have had a hard time winning the presidency in the last 20 years. Five of the last six presidential elections have seen Republican candidates lose the popular vote. And, as I have mentioned before, with a Republican president and at least 34 Republican senators out of a total of 100, Republicans can have their way on just about everything.

The 34 or more senators is not a problem for the GOP, but winning the presidency is another story. What to do? Change the rules.

Republicans alarmed at the apparent challenges they face in winning the White House are preparing an all-out assault on the Electoral College system in critical states, an initiative that would significantly ease the party's path to the Oval Office.

Senior Republicans say they will try to leverage their party's majorities in Democratic-leaning states in an effort to end the winner-take-all system of awarding electoral votes. Instead, bills that will be introduced in several Democratic states would award electoral votes on a proportional basis.

Having lost the respect of American voters during the glory days of the Bush/Cheney era, state Republicans conspired to undermine the election system through state voter ID laws meant to suppress Democratic votes. Voter ID laws were passed in over 30 GOP controlled statehouses and signed into law by GOP governors. These laws were said to be counters to in-person voter fraud.....which doesn't exist. The intention of the various ID laws was to suppress Democratic votes. But it didn't work. Democratic President Obama was re-elected and Democrats even gained seats in both congressional chambers.

What to do next?

Game the electoral college system.

...if more reliably blue states like Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin were to award their electoral votes proportionally, Republicans would be able to eat into what has become a deep Democratic advantage.

All three states have given the Democratic nominee their electoral votes in each of the last six presidential elections. Now, senior Republicans in Washington are overseeing legislation in all three states to end the winner-take-all system.

As it is now in all but two states, whoever wins the majority of individual votes in every state wins all of that states electoral votes. In the case of Ohio this past election, Obama won 2,827,621 votes to Romney's 2,661,407 votes.....which translated into Obama taking all 18 of Ohio's electoral college votes. Winner take all.

If Ohio would have had in place the current GOP plan for states to game the electoral college by appropriating electoral college votes by district instead of state vote winner takes all.....Romney would have received 8 electoral college votes from Ohio and Obama 10.

Yes, all is fair in love and war....and politics is war by other means....but wouldn't it be better for our national democracy if the Republican Party simply made itself more attractive to modern day American voters? I mean, rather than tear our states apart one by one hoping to game a game-able system?

During the totally lawless days of the Bush administration, political operative Karl Rove conspired to remove specific-state U.S. Attorneys for allegedly failing to prosecute cases of voter fraud. Voter fraud that did not exist. Rove was seeking to game the system, creating a crisis where none existed. Since that time, GOP-controlled states gamed their states voting systems with over 30 voter ID laws to protect against......voter fraud which does not exist.

Having failed to gain the presidency through phony voter fraud efforts, the GOP is now embarking on another project to, this time, game the electoral college system in states where they can get away with it.

Perhaps this time the GOP efforts to cheat will work.....but at what cost to the nation?

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