President Obama holds solid lead in Pennsylvania, but will it matter?


In the video above, Rachel Maddow explains how the Pennsylvania GOP is looking to rig elections there by allowing districts to choose how to allocate a single electoral vote instead of having all of the votes go to the winner of the state.

So President Obama could win Pennsylvania, but he'd only receive one electoral vote. He could "trounce" the Republican nominee, but get only a single electoral vote. Instead, they could go to the Republican by simply changing the rules to benefit their candidate.

And Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett (R) is all for it, despite opposition by several GOP congressmen, "who fear that its new set of rules will cause the Obama campaign to shift resources from bluer parts of the state into their districts."

With all that in mind, there is this from Taegan:

A new Magellan Strategies survey in Pennsylvania finds President Obama comfortably leading potential Republican challengers Mitt Romney by 50% to 40%, and Rick Perry by 52% to 37%.

That's great news, but will those numbers matter as much now, under the circumstances?

  • mvy

    Unable to agree on any particular method, the Founding Fathers left the choice of method for selecting presidential electors exclusively to the states by adopting the language contained in section 1 of Article II of the U.S. Constitution-- "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."

    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.  

    The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere­, would be politicall­y relevant and equal in every presidenti­al election. Every vote would be included in the national count. The candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states would get the 270+ electoral votes from the enacting states. That majority of electoral votes guarantees the candidate with the most popular votes in all 50 states wins the presidency­.

    Minority party voters in each state and district would have a voice. Now their votes are counted only for the candidate they did not vote for. Now they don’t matter to their candidate.

    Elections wouldn’t be about winning states or districts. No more distorting and divisive red and blue state and district maps. Every vote, everywhere would be counted for and directly assist the candidate for whom it was cast.

    A survey of 800 Pennsylvania voters conducted on December 16-17, 2008 showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
    Support was 87% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among independents.
    By age, support was 77% among 18-29 year olds, 73% among 30-45 year olds, 81% among 46-65 year olds, and 78% for those older than 65.
    By gender, support was 85% among women and 71% among men.

    The bill has passed 31 state legislativ­e chambers, in 21 small, medium-sma­ll, medium, and large states, including one house in AR, CT, DE, DC, ME, MI, NV, NM, NY, NC, and OR, and both houses in CA, CO, HI, IL, NJ, MD, MA, RI, VT, and WA. The bill has been enacted by DC (3), HI (4), IL (19), NJ (14), MD (11), MA (10), CA (55), VT (3), and WA (13). These 9 jurisdicti­ons possess 132 electoral votes — 49% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.


  • Actually splitting the votes could hurt either party in the Presidential election, to early to see which way the state would go anyway.  And Dems have proposed doing the same thing in states they had control, so is normal political game on both sides.  And don't forget, Obama did pick up a few electoral in Nebraska I believe which does split its EVs.  Of course, PA does have a larger amount of EVs.

    Easy way to solve this is either to 1) take away the decision from the states on how to split their EVs or 2) do away with the Electoral College altogether.  I'd personally go with the latter since it really has no purpose other than to give power to the larger states.