With several Republican state legislatures considering proposals to divide up their electoral votes, would it surprise you that both parties have proposed similar things in the past and have now flipped their positions entirely out of political convenience? In Colorado, for example, the Democrats tried to do the same thing in 2004 when it would have helped them defeat Bush. And the Republican governor was up in arms about it:
There’s a transparently partisan movement afoot in Colorado to distribute our Electoral College votes proportionately. The goal? To give John Kerry a four-vote Electoral College boost, putting him ahead of President Bush in a close election.
And in Virginia, some Democrats were trying as recently as last year to do the same thing. And the sponsor of that bill is as transparent as the Republicans about only doing it to help their parties politically:
Delegate Vivan Watts (D), who sponsored or co-sponsored a number of bills over the years — including one in 2012 — that would divide Virginia’s electoral votes by Congressional district, told TPM that Virginia’s longtime status as a solid red state played a role in her earlier support.
“I’m age 72 so I spent a lot of years in the wilderness and the last time the state had gone Democratic [before 2008] was following the assassination of John F. Kennedy,” Watts said. “I thought back in those days about how we were just totally ignored.”
Watts says she has since changed her position “180 degres” in response to the post-2010 round of redistricting, which solidified Republican control of the state’s Congressional delegation. Had Carrico’s bill gone into effect last year with that map in place, Mitt Romney would have won nine electoral votes to President Obama’s four, even as he lost the state popular vote.
“I certainly don’t want the situation this bill would represent in which the Congressional vote would run counter to the popular vote,” she said.
But that is always a possibility if the votes are divided up by congressional district (it’s also always likely because of the electoral college, but it becomes much more likely if the votes are divided up by congressional district. My position, at least, is consistent — all such proposals should be eliminated, including the electoral college. Every single vote should count exactly the same and the popular vote should determine the winner.
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