What Fresh Hell Is This?

September 15, 2011

They Haven't Won PA Since 1988 - So Now They Change The Rules

A few astute readers emailed in yesterday about Governor Corbett's game changer.

We'll start, as we almost always do, with the P-G:
Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, is pushing to change the state's "winner-takes-all" approach for awarding electoral votes to doling them out to presidential contenders by congressional district.

That proposal, first reported by online news service Capitolwire on Thursday, could significantly revamp the state's role in the presidential general election.

"It would not only change the type of attention that Pennsylvania would receive in a presidential election, but it would also choose where in Pennsylvania that attention occurs," said Pileggi, following his appearance at the Marcellus Shale Coalition conference in Philadelphia Thursday morning.
And from the Tribune-Review:
Republicans in charge of the General Assembly want to change how the state hands out its electoral votes, a move that could reshape the national electoral strategies of future presidents and diminish Pennsylvania's role in choosing the country's leader.

Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi wants to allocate the 20 electoral votes Pennsylvania will have in the next election according to who wins each of 18 congressional districts, plus two more for whoever wins the statewide popular vote, rather than the winner-take-all system the state now uses.

Pileggi said the new formula would better reflect what voters want.
The funny part, is that with the very next paragraph, the Tribune-Review tells us that's, basically BS:
In 2008, for instance, when Pennsylvania had 21 electoral votes, Sen. John McCain won 10 congressional districts to then-Sen. Barack Obama's 9, but Obama won the state by 620,000 votes. Under Pileggi's proposal, Obama would've gotten the two statewide electors, for a net win over McCain of one electoral vote.
So winning the state by more than a half-million votes counts for just one extra electoral vote. To Pileggi, that's what "better reflect what voters want" means.

Make no mistake, it's a transparent ploy. A ploy to help out (of course) Pileggi's and Corbett's fellow republicans in the upcoming presidential election.

But would it help them all? Not everyone in the Statewide GOP is drinking the kool-aid. From Dan Hirshhorn at Politico:
With next year’s presidential election expected to be hard-fought, even sapping some electoral support from Barack Obama in Pennsylvania could have a major impact on the national results. But to several Republicans in marginal districts, the plan has a catch: they’re worried that Democrats will move dollars and ground troops from solid blue districts to battlegrounds in pursuit of electoral votes — and in the process, knock off the Republicans currently in the seats.

Suburban Philadelphia Reps. Jim Gerlach, Pat Meehan and Mike Fitzpatrick have the most at stake, since all represent districts Democrats won in the last two presidential elections. They and the rest of the Republicans in the delegation are joining with National Republican Congressional Committee officials to respond and mobilize against the change.

“Any proposed change to the election laws shouldn’t be done under the radar,” Fitzpatrick told POLITICO. “If every vote matters, everyone should have a chance to discuss this.”

State GOP chairman Rob Gleason is also opposed to the plan.
“You’re asking the southeast Republican county parties to go toe-to-toe with the Philadelphia Democratic machine, in money and manpower,” a senior national Republican official said. “It’s a matchup that we not only lose in 2012, but one that decimates the Republican Party in southeast Pennsylvania.”
The DailyKos has a deeper explanation:
Put simply, awarding electoral votes by congressional district would be a disaster for Democrats. Democratic voters tend to be much more concentrated in urban areas while Republican voters are typically more spread out. That means that the average blue seat is much bluer than the average red seat is red, which in turn means that there are more Republican-leaning districts than Democratic-inclined CDs.

Here's one stark illustration. John McCain's best district in the nation was TX-13, which occupies the Texas panhandle. He won there by 77-23, a 54 percent margin. By contrast, there were 39 districts that Barack Obama won by an equal or bigger spread, all the way up to his 90-point victory in New York's 16th Congressional District in the South Bronx.

More concretely, if Pennsylvania's proposed system were in place nationwide, Obama's 365-173 electoral college romp would have been a much tighter 301-237 win. Meanwhile, George W. Bush's narrow 286-251 victory over John Kerry would have turned into a 317-221 blowout. And just as bad, Bush's razor-thin 271-266 margin over Al Gore would have been a more comfortable 288-250 spread for Dubya, making Gore's "loss" despite winning the national popular vote even more galling.
Which is why the GOP is for it. Which is why they think it's fair.

But it ain't - and there's 620,000 reasons why.


Winding down said...

ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES...when you lose, move to the back of the bus....paraphrasing BHO


From Powerline: Stephen Heyward

While everyone was no doubt glued to their TV for the last 24 hours watching Al Gore’s “24 Hours of Reality” telethon–wait, you mean you weren’t?–there was another breaking story that has not got the attention it deserves.  Nobel Prize-winning scientist Ivar Giaever resigned as a Fellow from the American Physical Society two days ago in protest of the APS’s climate change position.  This is notable in part because Giaever was among 70 Nobel laureates who endorsed Obama for president in 2008, so he’s no member of the vast right-wing conspiracy.  Here’s the complete text of his letter of resignation:

Dear Ms. Kirby

Thank you for your letter inquiring about my membership. I did not renew it because I can not live with the statement below:

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide as well as methane, nitrous oxide and other gases. They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.
The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring.
If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur. We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

In the APS it is ok to discuss whether the mass of the proton changes over time and how a multi-universe behaves, but the evidence of global warming is incontrovertible? The claim (how can you measure the average temperature of the whole earth for a whole year?) is that the temperature has changed from ~288.0 to ~288.8 degree Kelvin in about 150 years, which (if true) means to me is that the temperature has been amazingly stable, and both human health and happiness have definitely improved in this ‘warming’ period.

Best regards,

Ivar Giaever

Nobel Laureate 1973

Wonder how the New York Times or other major media will cover this.

By the way, if you’re curious about what you missed on Gore’s telethon, Anthony Watt’s fabulous website WattsUpWithThat will have a summary and critique, and has been live-blogging this thoroughly dead affair.

Heir to the Throne said...

Quite a change for progressives after Bush vs. Gore when they were ready to scrap the Electoral College
George W. Bush's narrow 286-251 victory over John Kerry
Bush: 62,040,610 Kerry:59,028,444

Winding down said...

Sorry cannot give citation....google ..elec...have conseq....Obama

"Eric Cantor went to the White house on day three of President Obama's presidency. At the time, Obama and Democrats had total control of the White House, Senate and House. Cantor tried to share ideas with President Obama for stimulating the economy and creating jobs. When Cantor pushed for small business tax-cuts, President Obama said,
"Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won."

....so the PA Rs won...see ya in two years....I think Pa lost two? HR seats....watch for that play on redistricting. Dems will/are hot air apoplectic when they lose..what's up with the two Dem losses in special House elections? She said with a gloating smile....LOL. FWIW IMHO. troll sock puppet
...guilty...guilty...guilty... Get Baumhammers a fair trial...just sayin'

Winding down said...

NO... he got a fair trial....get'm a perfect trial...

Conservative Mountaineer said...

Count me as one who thinks this should be thought all the way through.

Sure, it *might* be a good thing for now, but what happens if a solid Red state (e.g., Texas) does the same thing. The Democrat districts (drawn so as to ensure election of otherwise unqualified idjits.. see Maxine Waters, et al) may see electoral votes awarded to the Democrat. On the other hand, similar changes in California and New York possibly would result in added electoral votes for Republicans.

Chris Potter said...

Re: "Winding Down's" comment: First off, there is nothing new about Ivar Giaever's position. He's been on record as a global climate-change for a few years now. Stories from deniers touting his position date back to at least 2008. The notion that media should cover this as news today is laughable.

Giaever's position might be newsworthy if it were, you know, new. Or if he were a climatologist. He's not: He won his Nobel Prize for work in superconductivity.

I realize YOU don't give a shit, of course. Being a climate-change denier merely means that you have to make a lot of noise, in hopes of drowning out more sensible discussion. Doesn't matter how flimsy the evidence at hand: snow in February, a physicist dropping out of a group most Americans have never heard of, because of long-held beliefs about a position outside of his area of expertise.

But in case someone reading this IS momentarily swayed by your nonsense, I'll just note that support for the theory of man-made climate change is overwhelming among those with expertise in the field.

toto said...

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

Every vote, everywhere would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. Elections wouldn’t be about winning states. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast. States have the responsibility and power to make their voters relevant in every presidential election. Candidates would need to care about voters across the nation, not just undecided voters in the current handful of swing states.

When the bill is enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes— enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states and DC.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support is strong among Republican voters, Democratic voters, and independent voters, as well as every demographic group surveyed in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls in closely divided battleground states: CO – 68%, FL – 78%, IA 75%, MI – 73%, MO – 70%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM— 76%, NC – 74%, OH – 70%, PA – 78%, VA – 74%, and WI – 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): AK – 70%, DC – 76%, DE – 75%, ID – 77%, ME – 77%, MT – 72%, NE 74%, NH – 69%, NV – 72%, NM – 76%, OK – 81%, RI – 74%, SD – 71%, UT – 70%, VT – 75%, WV – 81%, and WY – 69%; in Southern and border states: AR – 80%,, KY- 80%, MS – 77%, MO – 70%, NC – 74%, OK – 81%, SC – 71%, TN – 83%, VA – 74%, and WV – 81%; and in other states polled: CA – 70%, CT – 74%, MA – 73%, MN – 75%, NY – 79%, OR – 76%, and WA – 77%. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should get elected.

The National Popular Vote bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers, in 21 small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdictions possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


Winding down said...

CP say:

I realize YOU don't give a shit, of course. Being a climate-change denier merely means that you have to make a lot of noise, in hopes of drowning out more sensible discussion
You all hav'n a bad day? Why you go off on me?

What is the basis for abv quoted comment??..You attribute
attitudes/beliefs to me that I have not expressed.