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RNC's Priebus Proposes to Rig Electoral College So Losing Republicans Can 'Win'

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, congress, elections, dishonesty, ethics, freedoms, government, propaganda, politics, republicans, u.s., usa, constitution, candidates )

- 1957 days ago -
Fresh from claiming the GOP's 2012 run was "a great campaign--a nine-month campaignrdquo; that only went awry at the end, Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus now wants to rig the Electoral College so that when Republicans lose they still

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JL A (281)
Monday January 14, 2013, 3:48 pm

RNC's Priebus Proposes to Rig Electoral College so Losing Republicans Can 'Win'
John Nichols on January 14, 2013 - 10:15 AM ET

Reince Priebus speaks at the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

Fresh from claiming the GOP’s 2012 run was “a great campaign—a nine-month campaignrdquo; that only went awry at the end, Republican National Committee chairman Reince P&riebus now wants to rig the Electoral College so that when Republicans lose they still might “win.”

Specifically, Priebus is urging Republican governors and legislators to take up what was once a fringe scheme to change the rule for distribution of Electoral College votes. Under the Priebus plan, electoral votes from battleground states such as Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Wisconsin and other states that now regularly back Democrats for president would be allocated not to the statewide winner but to the winners of individual congressional districts.

Because of gerrymandering by Republican governors and legislators, and the concentration of Democratic votes in urban areas and college towns, divvying up Electoral College votes based on congressional district wins would yield significantly better results for the GOP. In Wisconsin, where Democrat Barack Obama won in 2012 by a wider margin than he did nationally, the president would only have gotten half the electoral votes. In Pennsylvania, where Obama won easily, he would not have gotten the twenty electoral votes that he did; instead, under the Priebus plan, it would have been eight for Republican Mitt Romney, twelve for Barack Obama.

Nationwide, Obama won a sweeping popular-vote victory—with an almost 5-million ballot margin that made him the first president since Dwight Eisenhower to take more than 51 percent of the vote in two elections. That translated to a very comfortable 322-206 win in the Electoral College.

How would the 2012 results have changed if a Priebus plan had been in place? According to an analysis by Fair Vote-The Center for Voting and Democracy, the results would have been a dramatically closer and might even have yielded a Romney win.

Under the most commonly proposed district plan (the statewide winner gets two votes with the rest divided by congressional district) Obama would have secured the narrowest possible win: 270-268. Under more aggressive plans (including one that awards electoral votes by district and then gives the two statewide votes to the candidate who won the most districts), Romney would have won 280-258.

“If Republicans in 2011 had abused their monopoly control of state government in several key swing states and passed new laws for allocating electoral votes, the exact same votes cast in the exact same way in the 2012 election would have converted Barack Obama’s advantage of nearly five million popular votes and 126 electoral votes into a resounding Electoral College defeat,” explains FairVote’s Rob Richie.

This is something Priebus, a bare-knuckles pol who promoted a variety of voter-disenfranchisement schemes in 2012, well understands.

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The RNC chair is encouraging Republican governors and legislators—who, thanks to the “Republican wave” election of 2010, still control many battleground states that backed Obama and the Democrats in 2012—to game the system.

“I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue [Democratic in presidential politics] that are fully controlled red [in the statehouse] ought to be considering,” Priebus says with regard to the schemes for distributing electoral votes by district rather than the traditional awarding of the votes of each state (except Nebraska and Maine, which have historically used narrowly defined district plans) to the winner.

Already, there are moves afoot in a number of battleground states to “fix” the rules to favor the Republicans in 2016, just as they have already fixed the district lines for electing members of the House. Thanks to gerrymandering and the concentration of Democratic votes, Republicans were able to lose the overall nationwide vote for US House seats by 1.4 million votes and still take control of the chamber—thus giving the United States the divided government that voters have rejected.

There are many reforms that are needed to expand democracy in the United States. But gaming the Electoral College is not one of them.

Indeed, as Richie says, the very fact that it is possible to rewrite the rules and use gerrymandered congressional district lines to thwart the will of the people regarding the election of the president of the United States the very fact “should give us all pause.”

“The Election of the president should be a fair process where all American voters should have an equal ability to hold their president accountable,” says Richie. “It’s time for the nation to embrace one-person, one-vote elections and the ‘fair fight’ represented by a national popular vote. Let’s forever dismiss the potential of such electoral hooliganism and finally do what the overwhelming majorities of Americans have consistently preferred: make every vote equal with a national popular vote for president.”

That’s the right standard for a modern nation that respects democracy.

And Reince Priebus, who was wrong about the Republicans running a “great” campaign in 2012, is even more wrong when he proposes rule changes that would allow a losing Republican candidate to “win” the presidency.

For a glimpse of more hopeful post-election GOP policy, read our latest dispatch from Voting Rights Watch.

Joe R (190)
Monday January 14, 2013, 4:46 pm
Those dastardly Republicans!!!

JL A (281)
Monday January 14, 2013, 5:03 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Joe because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Michael because you have done so within the last week.

Roseann d (178)
Monday January 14, 2013, 6:31 pm
For some reason, his name seems just synonymous with Sphincter.

John B (185)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 2:51 pm
Thanks J.L. for the post. I guess the GOP will try anything to win. I fully agree with Michael, the Electoral College should be done away with. The popular vote should be the only thing that counts. Read and noted.

JL A (281)
Tuesday January 15, 2013, 2:57 pm
You are welcome John. The history of the EC is interesting given its vintage. You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.

Angelika R (143)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 9:48 am
I read that yesterday and shook my head in disbelief-these jerks will never give up.. -BAN the whole damn GOP!

Robert B (60)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 10:17 am
"If you can't win fairly, change the rules", this seems to be the mantra of all dictators and of the GOP. What they don't seem to ever get is that IF they operated with actual common sense, rational, pragmatic thought and above all compassion, they might just have a chance at winning. Here's a clue GOP: It's NOT about protecting only big business, it's ALL about protecting our planet and the LIFE ON IT!

Past Member (0)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 11:18 am
Fascism marches on through the direction of Karl Rove and his Ayne Rand, college republicans. I feel like I'm at war in my own country.

Lynne Buckley (0)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 12:21 pm
Pathetic. The GOP are taking America into the gutter with tactics like this. It's shameful and dishonours every American, past, present and future.

Winn A (179)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 12:22 pm
You expected something different from the RNC? Never forget what the do against America.

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 12:26 pm
You cannot currently send a star to John because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Angelika because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Robert because you have done so within the last week.
You cannot currently send a star to Jason because you have done so within the last week.

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 12:39 pm
You are welcome Gary.

Dianna M (16)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 2:15 pm
Is anyone really surprised by this? I heard this over a year ago, that the GOP wanted to change the rules where state divide their electoral votes for whoever took the most votes in each district--like Nebraska, which is mostly Republican--to "winner take all"--and states where it's "winner take all" where the majority vote Democratic, they want those changed so that some of the electoral votes go to Republicans. Add that to their constant gerrymandering.

Lois Jordan (63)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 5:04 pm
Noted. Well I'm finding it a bit interesting that the general public is now hearing these stupid things "out loud" rather than behind closed doors. It's so "in your face" that it's pretty shocking...almost taunting. So, let's shut them out of the conversation from now on....or charge them with treason.

JL A (281)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 5:07 pm
You cannot currently send a star to Lois because you have done so within the last week.

Michael M (5)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 5:38 pm
These gop pigs and their lemming followers really have no shame in trying to steal elections. Get this through your unintelligent and uneducated heads: You lost because people do not like YOU and your policies.

Norm C (74)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 8:14 pm
If I wanted to get snarky, I could come up with all sorts of slanted, stupid ideas to disadvantage one or the other party. But no matter how you cut it, these proposals by Hustad, Priebus, an fellow fools are all about trying to keep winning elections even when almost no one votes for you. This is an act of desperation by rigidly unyielding men who do not have the brains to come in out of the electoral rain. And it is raining buckets upon them.

But the GOP has grown so used to being able to cheat their way into office, that they are just intent on doubling down. They will cheat harder. They assume that we are all too stupid to figure out what their plan really is. Or, hopefully, we will swallow their propaganda and meekly accept their brainwashing and indoctrination. It's worked for them so far. Why stop now?

While a lot of folks see through this ruse, their only hope is that most of us don't. But as they get more desperate, their game becomes more obvious. Pretty soon they will be the only ones who don't see it. For they have proven themselves to be the only ones too stupid to see what they have become.

Heidi Aubrey (16)
Wednesday January 16, 2013, 10:43 pm
I can't believe a governor of a state would back this much of a devious plot that so clearly is intended to minimize any votes against the Republican Party.

Joanne Dixon (38)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 8:59 am
Always remember, Reince Priebus without the vowels spells RNC PR BS.

JL A (281)
Thursday January 17, 2013, 1:42 pm
LOL You cannot currently send a star to Joanne because you have done so within the last week.
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