Graphic Courtesy of California Majority Report
Flap’s California State Senator, Tom McClintock has a piece on the apparent failure ?(apparently there are on-going efforts) of the attempt to change how California Electoral College Presidential Delegates are chosen.
A Republican effort to apportion Californiaâ€™s electoral votes by congressional district looks like it is faltering, and thatâ€™s a very good thing. The proposal is a classic example of the cynicism, defeatism and short-sightedness of many who are misguiding the GOP today.
Giving up on ever regaining a Republican majority in California, some party leaders apparently decided it would be clever to change the apportionment of the stateâ€™s electoral votes from its traditional winner-take-all rule to a process that assigns 53 of Californiaâ€™s 55 electoral votes by congressional district. Instead of the Democrat nominee automatically taking all 55 votes, the Republican could take 20 or so votes. Whatâ€™s not to like?
Hereâ€™s whatâ€™s not to like. Congressional and legislative districts are apportioned not by voters or citizens, but by population â€“ weighting the vote heavily toward urban districts with high concentrations of ineligible voters. For example, in the 2004 Presidential election, 109,000 votes were cast in Loretta Sanchezâ€™ heavily Democratic 47th Congressional District race, while more than twice that number, 277,000, were cast in Dana Rohrbacherâ€™s Republican 46th Congressional District. Just 66,000 voters put Sanchez in Congress; 171,000 voted for Rohrbacher.
A voter in Sanchezâ€™ district has more than twice the weight as a voter in Rohrbacherâ€™s â€“ in a congressional race. In a statewide race, however, every vote has exactly the same weight. Thatâ€™s why Republicans have had far more success over the last 30 years in electing Republican governors than Republican legislatures.
So why in the world would Republicans want to replicate this heavy Democratic skew in presidential races?
True, if ONLY California did this it would mean a few more electoral votes for the Republican candidate WHEN the state went Democratic. But if every state followed suit, the election of a Republican president would become much more difficult.
And thereâ€™s one other thing to consider: the Democrats only have carried California since GOP presidential candidates stopped contesting the state in 1992. True, in 2004, George W. Bush would have received 20 of Californiaâ€™s 55 electoral votes (assuming the presidential vote mirrored the congressional vote). But in Republican years it works more dramatically against Republicans: even though George H. W. Bush carried California in 1988, Dukakis would have snatched 27 of Californiaâ€™s (then) 47 electoral votes â€“ a substantial majority â€“ had this rule been in effect then.
Fortunately for the Republican rocket scientists who dreamed this one up, the Democratsâ€™ knee-jerk opposition may have saved them from themselves. Now, hopefully, they will turn their attention to actually contesting California again in an open battle of ideas, rather than relying on too-clever-by-half political schemes.
Tom is correct that this scheme is too clever by half. If this system were to be adopted nationwide the GOP would be at a disadvantage.
Flap supposes the intense opposition in California by the Democrats is more from Hillary’s folks than Democrat activists who are attempting the exact same change in North Carolina.
However, there are reports that this initiative is NOT dead.
Presidential Electors Initiative Watch: Is it OVER?
Presidential Electors Initiative Watch: Bush and Rove Did It
Presidential Electors Initiative Watch: Initiative in Circulation for June 2008
Electoral Reform California Initiative Watch: Schwarzenegger Cool To Initiative
Electoral Reform California Initiative Watch: Field Poll – 47% Favor vs. 35% Oppose
Electoral Reform California Initiative Could Split California Presidential Votes Part III – Opposition Forms
Electoral Reform California Initiative Could Split California Presidential Votes Part II
Electoral Reform California Initiative Could Split California Presidential Votes
North Carolina Ready to Change Electoral College Presidential Selection Rules for 2008
Technorati Tags: Electoral Reform California
, Electoral College