Republicans are trying to manipulate elections at the electoral college level. Starting this past January, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus endorsed an election scheme, explaining that he thinks “it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at.”
The Republican election scheme will allow the GOP keep all of their Electoral College red state delegates and take some of the blue-state delegates without giving anything in return. It would be similar to playing a basketball game and giving the red team all of their earned points and add adding some of the blue team’s points.
This February Pennsylvania State Senate Majority Leader Domini Pileggi (R) introduced his own election plan. In the last presidential election, Pennsylvania remained true to form as a swing state. If Pileggi’s plan were to materialize before the 2016 election and Pennsylvania had to allocate most of its electoral votes proportionally, it could change the outcome of the election. It would mean that if a Republican candidate won 40 percent of the popular vote, as is often the case, that candidate would receive 40 percent of the electors.
Using Pileggi’s plan Pennsylvania would acquire a large chunk of electoral votes that would go to the Republican candidate even though the state voted for a Democratic candidate in every election since 1992. Keep in mind that the red states would keep all of their red electoral delegates/votes because the apportionment in the red states would stay the same.
The only changes that would occur is when the blue states would have to give up their red district delegates to the Republicans. This way, the Republicans would acquire blue state delegates and keep all of their own red state delegates.
On November 22, Hal Nickle filed a proposed ballot initiative in California which would ensure that a large chunk of California’s 55 electors go to the GOP. California is not new to this election tactic by the Republicans. Republican activists attempted to place a similar election plan on the state’s ballot in 2007 and the effort ultimately failed. The Republicans voted it down. However, if the plan can take hold in California, a strong blue state, it can take hold anywhere.
Think Progress believes that if this election scheme were to somehow become law in some blue states, “It will make it virtually impossible for a Democrat to win the White House again.” If it had happened before the last election, we could have possibly watched President Romney sign the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
Richard Andrew is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.