HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » Good Reads (Forum) » Pennsylvania House Republ...
Introducing Discussionist: A new forum by the creators of DU

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:38 PM

Pennsylvania House Republicans Introduce Bill To Rig The 2016 Presidential Election

http://thinkprogress.org/

Earlier this week, Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus endorsed a Republican plan to rig the next presidential election to make it nearly impossible for the Democratic candidate to win the White House, no matter who the American people vote for. The election-rigging plan, which would allocate electoral votes by congressional district rather than by states as a whole in a handful of states that consistently vote for Democratic presidential candidates, would have allowed Mitt Romney to narrowly win the Electoral College last November despite losing the popular vote by nearly four points.

On Monday, seven Pennsylvania Republican state representatives introduced a bill to make this vote-rigging scheme a reality in their state. Under their bill, the winner of Pennsylvania as a whole will receive only 2 of the state’s 20 electoral votes, while “ach of the remaining presidential electors shall be elected in the presidential elector’s congressional district.”

Pennsylvania is a blue state that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in every single presidential race for the last two decades, so implementing the GOP election-rigging plan in Pennsylvania would make it much harder for a Democrat to be elected to the White House. Moreover, because of gerrymandering, it is overwhelmingly likely that the Republican candidate will win a majority of Pennsylvania’s electoral votes even if the Democrat wins the state by a very comfortable margin. Despite the fact that President Obama won Pennsylvania by more than 5 points last November, Democrats carried only 5 of the state’s 18 congressional seats. Accordingly, Obama would have likely won only 7 of the state’s 20 electoral votes if the GOP vote rigging plan had been in effect last year.

One mitigating factor is that only 7 of the Pennsylvania House’s 109 Republicans are original sponsors of the election-rigging bill, so it is unclear that this is a major priority for the GOP state house caucus. Nevertheless, both Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA) and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi (R-PA) support the plan, so there is a real risk that Pennsylvania Republicans will try to write the voters out of the next presidential election.

5 replies, 1358 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 5 replies Author Time Post
Reply Pennsylvania House Republicans Introduce Bill To Rig The 2016 Presidential Election (Original post)
Bill USA Jan 2013 OP
TDale313 Jan 2013 #1
appleannie1 Jan 2013 #2
Blue Nile Jan 2013 #3
TDale313 Jan 2013 #4
Blue Nile Jan 2013 #5

Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 06:55 PM

1. This shit infuriates me.

This is their next plan. Take the idea of the electoral college to state/precinct levels. Make each Rural Republican vote count many times more than each Urban Democratic vote. It's sickening, and totally undemocratic.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TDale313 (Reply #1)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:01 PM

2. I live in PA. They have changed all the districts so they will always control the state from

here on out. This is just the second step of their plan. State by state eliminate democracy.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Bill USA (Original post)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 07:23 PM

3. Interesting Tactic

This is in my home state of Pennsylvania so it does affect me directly.Although anything is possible,I have a feeling that the window for this kind of change has probably closed in my state of PA.Prior to the last election the GOP controlled the State Senate 30-20.In the November 2012 election,the democrats picked up Senate seats in Erie,Harrisburg and Pittsburgh and the Senate is now 27-23 in favor of the GOP.In the State House of Representatives there was again a gain by the Democrats but not as large as the Senate (went from 112-91 to 110-93 in favor of GOP). This kind of tight margins make it hard for the change in law to happen easily. It will only serve to increase Democratic turnout in a non-presidential year putting a lot of GOP held seats in play. The margin in PA in the Presidential election was 5 points (52-47) and a GOP candidate with moderate appeal can still hope to win the state. President Bush got 48.5 % of the vote in 2004 and with more effort could have carried the state. Not all Democratic candidates of the future are going to be able to match President Obama's appeal.

This Bill is co-sponsored by Rep.Godshall and Rep.Seth Grove (he had introduced a similar Bill in 2009 also). The Bill is now in the State Government Committee where only one of the co-sponsors is a member (Rep.Barrar). Assuming that all the Democrats in the House unite against this-it will need 102 out of 110 House republicans to vote for this and will be a tough number to muster. The task in the Senate is much more difficult for the Republicans as the margins are very tight. The Republicans will need 26 out of 27 Senators to vote for this (By PA law-the Bill should have a clear majority for final passage and the Lt.Gov cannot cast a tie-breaking vote for final passage of a Bill). The last similar Bill introduced by Sen.Pilleggi (R-Chester) failed to make it out of committee. He has floated an alternate idea of proportional distribution but has not given any details about this and has only said he plans to introduce a Bill later.

Gov.Corbett is struggling at this time with ratings in the high 30s and although he has hedged his views on this before I am not so sure he is going to put his re-election at risk.In 2010 he won with 54% of the vote where the turnout was a hair under 4 million votes compared to almost 5.7 million votes in the 2012 presidential election. It is not in his interest to drive up Democratic voter turnout on this issue.He is trailing in polls against most Democrats polled including Kane,Sestak etc.

I did not mean this post to imply that we should drop our guard and become complacent but only to highlight that though it is possible it is far from a smooth-sailing slam-dunk. My feeling on these type of Bills in all these states is that there is 1 or 2 driven legislators who keep introducing these Bills in every session but generally fail to attract sufficient traction amongst the larger caucus.
It is not in the interests of a majority of these republican legislators to attract more attention to their districts and make re-election difficult.Also the beneficiary of this rule change is some yet unknown Presidential candidate who might still go on to lose the General election

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Blue Nile (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:16 PM

4. That's encouraging news.

Problem is, though, from what I understand this may be on the agenda for many states that have republican legislatures but tend to go Democratic in presidential elections. Some of these, like Ohio and I think Michigan, actually have Republican supermajorities so that it will be almost impossible for Dems to do anything to block it.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to TDale313 (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 16, 2013, 09:51 PM

5. Tight margins

The problem remains for the republicans that the margins are now tighter than before in these states.I have already discussed PA at length in the post above.Ohio would be a great gift to the Democratic Party as the state has a distinct red leaning trait.The effect of the auto bailout will not be available in every election and the state is more like Indiana than Pennsylvania. Wisconsin also has a tight Senate and a lot of fence-sitters.The Michigan Senate has a 26-12 GOP majority but the House majority changed from 64-46 to 59-51 in favor of the GOP. As I mentioned before though it is possible the road is tough for these Bills.We should still remain vigilant and react if any of these Bills move forward. As an interesting side note a Bill in Nebraska to change the system to winner take all failed to pass committee in 2011

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread