Republican proposals in swing states to change how electoral votes are allocated have set off alarms that the party is trying to rig future presidential elections.
But the plans are going nowhere fast.
In the majority of states where such measures are being considered – Virginia, Florida, Ohio and Michigan, all states that voted for President Obama in 2012 but have Republican-controlled legislatures – proposals to split Electoral College votes proportionally have either been defeated or are strongly opposed by officials in those states.
The only remaining states are Pennsylvania, where an electoral vote change was unsuccessful in 2011, and Wisconsin, where Gov. Scott Walker has expressed hesitance about any changes to the system.
“I just said I hadn’t ruled it out. I’m not embracing it because it’s a double-edged sword,”
Walker said in a recent interview with POLITICO. “What may look appealing right now depending on who your candidate was might, four or eight years from now, look like just the reverse. And the most important thing to me long term as a governor is what makes your voters be in play. One of our advantages as a swing state is that candidates come here … that’s good for voters. If we change that that would take that away and would largely make us irrelevant.”
In Virginia, a plan to allocate electoral votes by congressional district was defeated in the state Senate Tuesday after Gov. Bob McDonnell and other GOP lawmakers in the state came out against it.TPM reports:
On a national level, newly re-elected RNC chair Reince Priebus has declared his support for splitting up the electoral vote in blue-leaning swing states, including his home state of Wisconsin. Former RNC chair Haley Barbour broke with him on Friday, however, telling MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell that he did not back Priebus’ plan and did not believe it enjoyed widespread GOP support either. His nephew, influential RNC committeeman Henry Barbour, also dismissed the Priebus scheme as a “gimmick” to Yahoo News.