Since their voter suppression schemes around the country didn’t prevent the Democrats from winning the 2012 election, the Republicans are now floating a different plan to rig the vote in their favor by splitting the electoral college votes — but only in states that tend to vote Democratic in presidential elections, of course. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus thinks that’s a swell idea:
“I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at,” Priebus said of the plan to change how electoral votes are granted.
Such a system “gives more local control” to the states, he argued.
Ah yes, “local control.” Republicans love local control, except when they don’t. Just like they love federalism, except when they don’t. Republicans in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin have proposed that the electoral votes of those states be split up rather than being a winner-take-all system. Thus, if the Democratic candidate gets 55% of the vote in those states, they only get 55% of the electoral votes rather than all of them.
But why is “local control” better than, say, voter control? If this had been in place in 2012, Romney would have won the election despite losing the popular vote by five million votes. Those states have the ability to pass such a plan; Maine and Nebraska already have similar systems. But doing so in larger states would be nothing more than a naked power grab, a way to rig the system in their favor while ignoring the actual vote totals. Would anyone by at all surprised if they actually try to do it?