Electoral Vote Schemes Still Alive in Michigan, Pennsylvania

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Feb. 25 2013 2:31 PM

Electoral Vote Schemes Still Alive in Michigan, Pennsylvania

155675709
Residents cast their ballots at a polling place on November 6, 2012 in Southwest Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Via Greg Sargent, we find that Republican dreams of splitting up electoral votes by congressional districts are still alive in two states. In Michigan, over the weekend, Republicans met in Lansing and overwhelmingly voted to endorse Rep. Pete Lund's bill to do that—a bill that Lund admits only failed previously because Republicans thought Romney could win the state. But the Free Press story on the vote finds Gov. Rick Snyder backing away from his party.

At a brief meeting with the press, he reiterated that it's "not the appropriate time" to discuss it. "The right way is to talk about it in a bipartisan way … just prior to a census," Snyder said.
Advertisement

What he means is this: The 2011 gerrymander made it effectively impossible for a Democrat to win most of Michigan's electoral vote in a semi-close race. In 2008, under the old lines, Barack Obama carried the popular vote by 16 points and carried 12 of the state's 15 districts. In 2011, the GOP packed Detroit metro area Democrats into five districts. Accordingly, Obama won the state by nine points—bigger than Bush's margin over Dukakis, bigger than Reagan's margin over Carter—but under a split system he would have won only seven of Michigan's 16 electoral votes. (They went from 15 to 14 districts after the census.)

There's a weird tendency among wisemen to pronounce this movement not just dead, but stillborn. During the first wave of this stuff I kept arguing with Neil King, the Wall Street Journal's fantastic lead political reporter, who called the controversy a "tempest without a teapot." But there are two teapots! In Pennsylvania you've got a GOP legislature and a party worried about losing the governor's office, and in Michigan you have a shrunken but still dominant GOP legislature that has forced the governor to the right more than once already.

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

History

Slate Plus Early Read: The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada. Now, Journalists Can’t Even Say Her Name.

Mitt Romney May Be Weighing a 2016 Run. That Would Be a Big Mistake.

Amazing Photos From Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution

Transparent Is the Fall’s Only Great New Show

The XX Factor

Rehtaeh Parsons Was the Most Famous Victim in Canada

Now, journalists can't even say her name.

Doublex

Lena Dunham, the Book

More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.

What a Juicy New Book About Diane Sawyer and Katie Couric Fails to Tell Us About the TV News Business

Does Your Child Have Sluggish Cognitive Tempo? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

  News & Politics
History
Sept. 29 2014 11:45 PM The Self-Made Man The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 29 2014 7:01 PM We May Never Know If Larry Ellison Flew a Fighter Jet Under the Golden Gate Bridge
  Life
Dear Prudence
Sept. 30 2014 6:00 AM Drive-By Bounty Prudie advises a woman whose boyfriend demands she flash truckers on the highway.
  Double X
Doublex
Sept. 29 2014 11:43 PM Lena Dunham, the Book More shtick than honesty in Not That Kind of Girl.
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 29 2014 8:45 AM Slate Isn’t Too Liberal, but … What readers said about the magazine’s bias and balance.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 29 2014 9:06 PM Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice Looks Like a Comic Masterpiece
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 29 2014 11:56 PM Innovation Starvation, the Next Generation Humankind has lots of great ideas for the future. We need people to carry them out.
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 29 2014 11:32 PM The Daydream Disorder Is sluggish cognitive tempo a disease or disease mongering?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 28 2014 8:30 PM NFL Players Die Young. Or Maybe They Live Long Lives. Why it’s so hard to pin down the effects of football on players’ lives.