Gerrymandering the presidency

On Friday, National Review columnist Jim Geraghty wasted no time pivoting away from the 2014 elections, arguing that blue states with now-Republican state legislatures should vote to allocate their electoral votes by House district to ensure a GOP win in 2016:

Starting in January, Republicans will hold state legislative majorities and the governor’s mansions in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Florida, Iowa, and Nevada.

If some or all of those states passed laws allocating their electoral votes by districts, all of these purple-to-blue states would allocate their electoral votes in a way that would make it extremely likely for Republicans to win at least half of them.

And without half the electoral votes in those states, it would nearly impossible for the Democratic nominee to win.

Geraghty’s proposal reprises similar proposals made following previous Republican takeovers of states President Obama won in 2008 and 2012. Since the states as a whole are blue but, due in no small part to Republican gerrymandering, a majority of the congressional districts are red, moving from statewide to district-by-district allocation of electoral votes would give the GOP a significant advantage in capturing the White House.

You have to give Geraghty credit for intellectual honesty. Rather than pretending to make the case that such a move would be based in any sort of principle, or that it would lead to a fairer representation of the citizens of those states’ preferences, Geraghty’s article is up front about being nothing more than craven political strategy. At no point does he say that the proposal is actually a good idea from a small-d democratic point of view. It’s just good big-R Republican gamesmanship.

This sort of honesty is oddly refreshing. Previous arguments for this sort of electoral vote allocation had paid lip service to the idea that it wasn’t about politics. Instead, it was about “giving smaller communities a bigger voice,” which forced us to play along and ask the next two obvious questions. First, if unrepresentativeunconstitutional congressional maps are the fairest way to allocate electoral votes, then why bother having Presidential elections at all? We could just let the House of Representatives select our commanders-in-chief. Second, and more seriously, if state-level winner-take-all elections are unfair to the citizens who vote for the candidate who loses their state, why not get rid of the Electoral College entirely and select the President by national popular vote?

We don’t have to hold our breath for answers to those questions, because Geraghty’s argument makes them irrelevant. Now, all that’s relevant is the fact that unabashed election rigging has become a pillar of American intellectual conservatism.

Geraghty and his colleagues have even stopped claiming that democracy is good in and of itself. This past September, NRO’s Kevin Williamson wrote with a straight face that “Voting is the most shallow gesture of citizenship there is,” going on to argue that if you don’t plan on voting for the people and policies he is then you shouldn’t bother to vote at all. This from a columnist who has previously advocated for effectively ending absentee voting, raising the voting age to 35 and reinstating property requirements for ballot access.

And let’s not forget George Will’s classic: “Regarding voting, more often means worse.”

These sorts of overtly partisan arguments against certain people and types of voting lend themselves to a far more serious debate than the comically facetious arguments conservatives have previously made about ensuring the integrity of the democratic process. With arguments like Geraghty’s and Williamson’s, the patriots of the conservative movement are inviting a debate over whether or not their desired slate of anti-scientific, theocraticracist, corporatist, patriarchal ends justify oppressively anti-democratic means.

Seems like a clue as to how they think a fair debate over the merits of their agenda would go, don’t you think?

If the conservative movement wants to pick up the mantle of legal, institutionalized electoral manipulation then so be it, although they’ll have to admit that it is somewhat ironic. After all, the same conservatives who cry Stalinism at even the slightest hint of regulatory tweaks to the market are now advocating for massive regulatory overhauls of the electoral process to achieve purely political ends. Soda taxes are nanny-state paternalism, but laws that make it harder for students to vote are common sense because young people are too dumb to pick the Republican right candidate.

In their own metaphor, that would make the RNC the Politburo of Correct Democratic Outcomes.

In any case, I welcome a more intellectually honest debate over why and how we should make changes to our electoral process. Especially since there are a number of ways we can do so that would produce more representative and, by extension, more accurate electoral outcomes. These include, among other things, universal voter registration; a voting week; proportional polling booth and ballot allocation; non-partisan redistricting; and presidential elections by national popular vote.

I’m willing to say up front that those changes would help candidates I like win elections, if for no other reason than the fact that they would reverse changes that have already made it harder for them to win. Beyond that, though, I also think that they are more comprehensive and more sensible than both our current electoral institutions and the demographic-specific, ad-hoc changes called for by the intellectual Right.

At least now that they’ve officially laid their cards on the table, we can play a real hand.


Jon Green graduated from Kenyon College with a B.A. in Political Science and high honors in Political Cognition. He worked as a field organizer for Congressman Tom Perriello in 2010 and a Regional Field Director for President Obama's re-election campaign in 2012. Jon writes on a number of topics, but pays especially close attention to elections, religion and political cognition. Follow him on Twitter at @_Jon_Green, and on Google+. .

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  • goulo

    Re: Gerrymandering, I just saw an interesting article about statistically checking the effect of gerrymandering (which demonstrated its effectiveness):

    http://politics-beta.slashdot.org/story/14/11/28/0338208/mathematicians-study-effects-of-gerrymandering-on-2012-election

    >>>
    For example, in North Carolina in 2012 Republicans
    ended up winning nine out of 13 congressional seats even though more
    North Carolinians voted for Democrats than Republicans statewide.
    Now Jessica Jones reports that researchers at Duke are studying the
    mathematical explanation for the discrepancy. Mathematicians Jonathan
    Mattingly and Christy Vaughn created a series of district maps using the same vote totals from 2012, but with different borders.
    Their work was governed by two principles of redistricting: a federal
    rule requires each district have roughly the same population and a state
    rule requires congressional districts to be compact. Using those
    principles as a guide, they created a mathematical algorithm to randomly
    redraw the boundaries of the state’s 13 congressional districts. “We
    just used the actual vote counts from 2012 and just retabulated them
    under the different districtings,” says Vaughn. “If someone voted for a
    particular candidate in the 2012 election and one of our redrawn maps
    assigned where they live to a new congressional district, we assumed
    that they would still vote for the same political party.”

    The results were startling. After re-running the election 100 times with a randomly drawn nonpartisan map each time, the average simulated election result was 7 or 8 U.S. House seats for the Democrats and 5 or 6 for Republicans.
    The maximum number of Republican seats that emerged from any of the
    simulations was eight. The actual outcome of the election — four
    Democratic representatives and nine Republicans – did not occur in any
    of the simulations.
    <<<

  • Badgerite

    OK. I could get excited about that if the end result is to accurately reflect the popular will.
    After 2000, it is clear that the current system is vulnerable to doing just the opposite.

  • Badgerite

    Who could have predicted the absolute disaster that the ‘Bush’ (Cheney) Presidency would be?
    I think the feeling was it will only be 4 years. How bad could it be? We were wrong.

  • Badgerite

    Except in Bush v Gore. When they didn’t.

  • toto

    I am not arguing to maintain the current system. National Popular Vote is a change to the ideal of one person, one vote, an accurate reflection of the voters’ will. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee
    the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the
    country.

    Every voter would be equal, and politically relevant to the candidates, everywhere, in every presidential election, and the candidate who receives the most popular votes would win, as in virtually every other election in the country.

    The National Popular Vote bill is intentionally “minimalist” in the sense that it does not attempt to solve “problems” that the current system does not address or where there is no public consensus that there is a “problem.”

    The U.S. Constitution permit states to conduct elections in varied ways.

    A constitutional amendment would be needed to federalize presidential elections to achieve uniform standards. It could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in
    22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

  • Badgerite

    The fact that the current system does not always reflect to the nth degree the exact proportion of popular vote per state does not argue for maintaining that system. It argues for changing it so that it more accurately reflects that. Absolutes are always hard to achieve. But as Bob Cesca argues in his piece for the Daily Banter, what you just posted only argues for the federalization of the presidential election to achieve uniform standards and a far more accurate reflection of the public will.
    It is one thing for states to retain control over the methods of choosing their own representatives. It is quite another to hold the rest of the country hostage to their peculiar local politics in terms of the national office of the presidency.

  • toto

    The method is not uniform now.

    The current method allows for the elections of certain states to be jerry-rigged to favor one side or the other.

    There is nothing incompatible between differences in state election laws and the concept of a national popular vote for President. That was certainly the mainstream view when the U.S. House of Representatives passed a constitutional amendment in 1969 for a national popular vote by a 338–70 margin. That amendment retained state control over elections.

    The 1969 amendment was endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and various members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, then-Senator Bob Dole, and then-Senator Walter Mondale.

    The American Bar Association also endorsed the proposed 1969 amendment.

    The proposed 1969 constitutional amendment provided that the popular-vote count from each state would be added up to obtain the nationwide total for each candidate. The National Popular Vote compact does the same.

    Under the current system, the electoral votes from all 50 states are comingled and simply added together, irrespective of the fact that the
    electoral-vote outcome from each state was affected by differences in state
    policies, including voter registration, ex-felon voting, hours of voting, amount and nature of advance voting, and voter identification requirements.

    Federal law requires that each state certify its popular vote count to the federal government (section 6 of Title 3 of the United States Code). You can see the official certifications of the popular vote at http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/electoral-college/2012/certificates of-ascertainment.html

    Under both the current system and the National Popular Vote compact, all of the people of the United States are impacted by the different election policies of the states. Everyone in the United States is affected by the division of electoral votes generated by each state. The procedures governing presidential elections in a closely divided battleground state (e.g., Florida and Ohio) can affect, and indeed have affected, the ultimate outcome of national elections.

    For example, the 2000 Certificate of Ascertainment (required by federal law) from the state of Florida reported 2,912,790 popular votes for George W. Bush and 2,912,253 popular vote for Al Gore, and also reported 25 electoral votes for George W. Bush and 0 electoral votes for Al Gore. That 25–0
    division of the electoral votes from Florida determined the outcome of the
    national election just as a particular division of the popular vote from a
    particular state might decisively affect the national outcome in some future
    election under the National Popular Vote compact.

    The 1969 constitutional amendment, endorsed by Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and members of Congress who later ran for Vice President and President such as then-Congressman George H.W. Bush, then-Senator Bob Dole, and then-Senator Walter Mondale, and The American Bar Association and, more importantly, the current system also accepts the differences among states.

  • Badgerite

    Yes, but unless this method is uniform, it will not reflect the popular vote at all but will rather allow for the elections of certain states to be
    jerry-rigged to favor one side or the other. In other words, unless Texas does the same and every other state in the union, this method has the same problems as the Electoral College. A candidate could win the presidency without actually being the one chosen by the people.
    Like George Bush.

  • toto

    There
    have been 22,991 electoral votes cast since presidential elections became
    competitive (in 1796), and only 17 have been cast for someone other than the
    candidate nominated by the elector’s own political party. 1796 remains the only
    instance when the elector might have thought, at the time he voted, that his
    vote might affect the national outcome.
    The electors are and will be dedicated party activists of the winning
    party who meet briefly in mid-December to cast their totally predictable
    rubberstamped votes in accordance with their pre-announced pledges.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has upheld state laws guaranteeing faithful voting by
    presidential electors (because the states have plenary power over presidential
    electors).

  • I don’t know. We accepted the 2000 election decision with not that much protest. You are right only in that Republicans would never accept such a decision if it went the other way, but Democrats would just bitch and moan from the corner about how unfair it was and then do nothing about it.

  • The objection seems to be that without the Electoral College the candidates will skip over the less populated areas ignoring those voters and their concerns. But that already happens unless you live in an early primary state, a “swing state” or in an area where huge campaign donations have to be solicited, you’ll never see a candidate in your local city anyway.

  • FLL

    So what we have in the Electoral College is just an illogical jumble of tradition, which somehow has remained functional. The days of its functionality seem to be numbered, which is an invitation to mischief, and the Republicans seem eager to take advantage. I think you may be right. The Electoral College might have to go. I notice that toto mentions a website called “National Popular Vote.” About 10 states have already joined a “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact” (link here), according to which each state pledges to allocate their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. The consensus seems to be moving in this direction.

  • Mike_in_the_Tundra

    There’s something fundamentally wrong when people see a political party as more important than the country. I would imagine that most people see that disenfranchising large segments of the electorate as a fundamental change to the ideals of the country. The politicians in this country are only concerned with furthering their own careers which plays right into the Koch’s hands.

  • There’s not even any requirement that the Electors vote for the candidate who the majority off voters in their state selected. It’s time to get rid of this nonsense.

  • No, Angry Democrats will make ironic and sarcastic comments online because voting is too much trouble.

  • Hell no.

    If they want to reform the way presidents are elected, then they should propose an election by popular vote. Otherwise we are stuck with the crummy system we already have.

  • FLL

    From your reply:

    The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the Founders
    had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in
    order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

    In 1789, there were still property requirements for voting. By the 1830s, which you mention in the quote above, the property requirement was probably vanishing as a result of Jacksonian democracy. I don’t think things will go backward to letting congressional delegations broker the results of presidential elections. If anything, there will be more impetus for the website you mention downthread, “National Popular Vote.” I’m really not sure whether the solution will be fixing the present Electoral College or switching to a nationwide popular vote system. I just cannot see the majority of society docilely accepting presidential races that are brokered by congressional delegations (or their surrogates).

  • SkippyFlipjack

    I think this sort of action would give rise to a Democratic version of the Tea Party. Nothing angers people like losing control (or more accurately, realizing they have no control.) I think it would take this kind of brazen act to finally get people as pissed off as they should have been for a long time now.

  • toto

    The state power is specified in Article II, Section 1, Clause 2 the U.S. Constitution “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”

    In the 1892 case of McPherson v. Blacker (146 U.S. 1), the Court wrote:

    “The appointment and mode of appointment of electors belong exclusively to
    the states under the constitution of the United States”

    “The constitution does not provide that the appointment of electors shall be by popular vote, nor that the electors shall be voted for upon a general ticket [i.e., the ‘winner-take-all’ rule], nor that the majority of those who exercise the elective franchise can alone choose the electors.”

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers. It is the product of decades of 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.

    The Electoral College is now the set of 538 dedicated party activists, who vote as rubberstamps for presidential candidates. In the current presidential
    election system, 48 states award all of their electors to the winners of their
    state. This is not what the Founding Fathers intended.

    The Founding Fathers in the Constitution did not require states to allow their citizens to vote for president, much less award all their electoral votes based upon the vote of their citizens.

    The presidential election system we have today is not in the Constitution. State-by-state winner-take-all laws to award Electoral College votes, were eventually enacted by states, using their exclusive power to do so, AFTER the Founding Fathers wrote the Constitution. Now our current system can be changed by state laws again.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

    The Constitution does not prohibit any of the methods that were debated and rejected. Indeed, a majority of the states appointed their presidential electors using two of the rejected methods in the nation’s first presidential election in 1789 (i.e., appointment by the legislature and by the governor and his cabinet). Presidential electors were appointed by state legislatures for almost a century.

    Neither of the two most important features of the current system of electing the President (namely, universal suffrage, and the 48 state-by-state winner-take-all method) are in the U.S. Constitution. Neither was the choice of the Founders when they went back to their states to organize the nation’s first presidential election.

    In 1789, in the nation’s first election, the people had no vote for President in most states, only men who owned a substantial amount of property could vote, and only three states used the state-by-state winner-take-all method to award electoral votes.

    The current winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes is not in the U.S. Constitution. It was not debated at the Constitutional Convention. It is not mentioned in the Federalist Papers. It was not the Founders’ choice. It was used by only three states in 1789, and all three of them repealed it by 1800. It is not entitled to any special deference based on history or the historical meaning of the words in the U.S. Constitution. The actions taken by the Founding Fathers make it clear that they never gave their imprimatur to the winner-take-all method. The winner-take-all method of awarding electoral votes became dominant only in the 1830s, when most of the
    Founders had been dead for decades, after the states adopted it, one-by-one, in order to maximize the power of the party in power in each state.

    The constitutional wording does not encourage, discourage, require, or prohibit the use of any particular method for awarding a state’s electoral votes.

    As a result of changes in state laws enacted since 1789, the people have the right to vote for presidential electors in 100% of the states, there are no property requirements for voting in any state, and the state-by-state winner-take-all method is used by 48 of the 50 states. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years.

  • toto

    Maine (since passing a state law in 1969) and Nebraska (since passing a state law in 1991) use a congressional district winner method.

    The U.S. Constitution permit states to conduct elections in varied ways. The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and preserves state control of elections

  • FLL

    The states with the very lowest populations have three votes in the Electoral College. Maine (4 electoral votes) and Nebraska (5 electoral votes) are close to the lowest, which means that those two state laws from 1969 and 1991 are less likely to be contested in court than if they affected states with larger populations. But you’re familiar with those two laws, so I’ll put the question to you, just for the sake of fun and the dissemination of information. Have the constitutionality of those two laws ever been challenged? You mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court defined the states’ authority in the matter as exclusive. Was that in reference to a challenge of one of these two laws?

    I’ll offer my own observation. When the Founding Fathers created the Electoral College, I think they were agreeing on a method, albeit vaguely worded. Toto, you and will read Article II, Section I and see if we can come up with a shared understanding:

    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.”

    Now that I read the entire article, it seems that the authors of the Constitution were leaning away from the idea of letting a state’s congressional caucus determine how the state’s electoral votes were cast. Doesn’t this particular article of the Constitution read that way to you? Especially where the article pointedly prohibits congressmen from being appointed an Elector. In fact, before they adopted the Electoral College, the Founding Fathers considered (among other proposals) the idea of the Congress choosing the President rather than the people. They rejected this idea because they feared the prospect of corruption, bargaining and bribery within the Congress (and possibly even interference from foreign powers), and they rejected the idea also on the grounds that it would upset the balance of power between the legislative and executive branches of government (in favor of the legislative branch).

    If this went to court today, my guess is that the bill being considered in Virginia at the moment would be challenged for exactly the same reasons that the Founding Fathers used to reject the proposal and settle with the Electoral College, which essentially mirrors the popular vote in the entire state, not the many popular votes in each congressional district. Even though I’m only guessing as to what the legal strategy would be, I’m sure the bill being introduced in Virginia—if it is ever signed into law—will be challenged in court.

  • Badgerite

    The only way this could work is if all the states enacted the same legislation. A patchwork system will not work and is not fair.

  • toto

    To abolish the Electoral College would need a constitutional amendment, and could be stopped by states with as little as 3% of the U.S. population.

    Instead, by state laws, without changing anything in the Constitution, The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the majority of Electoral College votes, and thus the presidency, to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country, by replacing state winner-take-all laws for awarding electoral votes.

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state maps of pre-determined outcomes. There would no longer be a handful of ‘battleground’ states where voters and policies are more important than those of the voters in 80% of the states that now are just ‘spectators’ and
    ignored after the conventions.

    The bill would take effect when enacted by states with a majority of Electoral College votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538). The candidate receiving the most popular votes from all 50 states (and DC) would get all the 270+ electoral votes of the
    enacting states.

    The presidential election system, using the 48 state winner-take-all method or district winner method of awarding electoral votes, that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founders. It is the product of decades of 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.

    The U.S. Constitution permit states to conduct elections in varied ways. The National Popular Vote compact is patterned directly after existing federal law and preserves state control of elections

    The bill uses the power given to each state by the Founders in the Constitution to change how they award their electoral votes for President. States can, and have, changed their method of awarding electoral votes over the years. Historically, major changes in the method of electing the President, including ending the requirement that only men who owned substantial property could vote and 48 current state-by-state winner-take-all laws, have come about by state legislative action.

    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 for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in every state surveyed recently.
    In virtually every of the 39 states surveyed, overall support has been in the 70-80% range or higher. – in recent or past closely divided battleground states, in rural states, in small states, in Southern and border states, in big states, and in other states polled.

    Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

    The bill has passed 33 state legislative chambers in 22 rural, small, medium, large, red, blue, and purple states with 250 electoral votes. The bill has been enacted by 11 jurisdictions with 165 electoral votes – 61% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

    NationalPopularVote

    Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

  • toto

    Maine (since passing a state law in 1969) and Nebraska (since passing a state law in 1991) use a congressional district winner method.

    Unable to agree on any particular method for selecting presidential electors, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method exclusively to the states in Article II, Section 1:

    “Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors….”

    The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly characterized the authority of the state legislatures over the manner of awarding their electoral votes as “plenary” and “exclusive.”

  • judybrowni

    The voting math for the Senate is already rigged by the hick vote, even before we get to Gerrymandering:

    I live in Los Angeles, the population of which is equal to that of six Red States.

    Those Red States get 12 senators, Los Angeles has none.

    The population of Los Angeles county is equal to that of ten Red States.

    Thos ten Red States get 20 Senators, and Los Angeles county gets none.

  • In Texas that’s exactly what it’s used for. Between voter ID and gerrymandering, it’s specifically used to break up Hispanic voting blocs (which tend to vote Democratic), and then discourage an already low turnout demographic (<40% in 2012) from voting. With over 4 million Hispanic people eligible to vote in Texas, over a quarter of the electorate, Republicans are scared to death that they might finally come around as a group and try to exercise their rights to vote. The shenanigans Republicans have been pulling with elections is their way of delaying the inevitable.

  • dcinsider

    It might be illegal if it were done with the intent to deprive protected classes of representation in Congress.

  • dcinsider

    It is using redistricting conducted on the state level to create Republican friendly Congressional districts. That is Gerrymandering whatever it’s purpose may be, including allocation of Electoral College delegates.

  • GarySFBCN

    What is being proposed isn’t really Gerrymandering, is it? It is moving the statewide electoral college votes to districts.

  • ElegantFowl

    If states switch to proportional selection of Electoral College representatives, they should be considered to have endorsed the National Popular Vote compact for purposes of allocating the representatives of the compact signatories.

  • Bill_Perdue

    Democrats and Republicans plot and use dirty tricks to win elections and get more graft in a plutocratic banana republic.

    Yawn.

  • Indigo

    I don’t think it is legal, I think it’s an embedded practice that has not ever been rooted out, regardless of efforts to do so. It’s our all-American political kudzu and like the kudzu in the southeastern forest, we haven’t found a way to eradicate it.

  • FLL

    This Republican scheme has been floated before, beginning in 2008, after John McCain’s defeat. I’m sure right wingers would be delighted if the scheme had a chance in court, just as a few scattered “liberals” (of the more bitter variety) would be smug, pleased and self-satisfied if it worked. However, I believe it’s an invitation to lawsuits. I don’t think the much-maligned federal judiciary (maligned by the right wingers) would give this scheme any more credence than it has the arguments against marriage equality. Outside of opinion pieces by right-wing windbags, this idea has been a nonstarter since 2008. Jon Green, do you have information pointing to the possible success of this method of gerrymandering when it’s challenged in court?

  • Badgerite

    Absolutely. It is an anachronism similar to property requirements for voting ( which I’m sure the GOP and their corporate masters would love) and three fifths of a person. Time for it to go.

  • I don’t understand how gerrymandering by either party is legal. And the notion of gerrymandering the presidency…

  • emjayay

    Way beyond time. It’s a national election. Voting should be national.

  • nicho

    It would just be the final nail in the coffin of a democracy that’s been dead for quite some time. On the other hand, it would finally relieve all but the most gullible of the notion that voting makes any difference.

  • Badgerite

    At this point, and after the debacle of 2000 where the popular vote winner and the person selected by the people of the United States was not sworn in as their representative to lead the executive branch, I would say do away with the anachronism that is the ‘Electoral Coillege’ and go straight to the popular vote. The Electoral College ( whatever the hell does that mean anyway) has about as much relevance to our current society as property requirements for voting that were in place at the start of our republic. The idea that the presidency of the United States should be decided by the local politics and shenanigans possible in Dade County, Florida is utterly ridiculous anyway. Time for a real change.

  • Indigo

    Gerrymandering . . . the most persistent of the old-time, Continental American social experiments, never encoded in the Constitution but somehow enduring after all these years. Maybe it’s a virus?

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