The Fix: Electoral College

The National Popular Vote effort, explained

The National Popular Vote effort, explained

The National Popular Vote effort is now halfway to its goal of electing future presidents via the popular vote, after Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (D) made his state the latest to sign on.

The years-old effort is slowly making its way through state legislatures in hopes of changing the way United States presidents are elected -- without overcoming the huge hurdle of passing a constitutional amendment getting rid of the Electoral College.

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The Electoral College re-imagined -- in 1 map

With every presidential election comes renewed attention to the way the country elects its president. And time after time, polling has shown Americans are willing to do away with the Electoral College even though there is next-to-no interest in doing so among the political class.

But what if every state had the same population? That's the thought experiment artist and urban planner Neil Freeman engaged with this map he drafted and posted to his blog. (Worth noting: Freeman makes clear that this is an art project rather than a serious proposal.)

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The GOP's electoral vote gambit: Reasonably popular, but doomed

Many Americans support the way that Republicans want to adjust how some states award their electoral votes.

But that doesn't mean there's going to be any new life breathed into the dying effort.

A new poll from Quinnipiac University shows that neither awarding electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis to the winner of the statewide vote nor awarding them by congressional district gains majority support. Forty-six percent prefer the winner-take-all method, while 41 percent prefer to do it by congressional district, as Republicans in some key states are proposing. The rest are unsure.

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The GOP launches its big electoral vote gambit

The GOP launches its big electoral vote gambit

We wrote last week about a growing movement in the Republican Party to change how key states award their electoral votes — changes that could have a dramatic impact on how presidential elections are decided. This week, we had our first official movement on that front, with a subcommittee in the Virginia state Senate advancing a bill that would award the state's electoral votes by congressional district rather than on a winner-take-all basis. In light of this, we are reposting our item from last week, with a few updates:

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The huge importance of how states award electoral votes -- in one chart

The huge importance of how states award electoral votes -- in one chart

As we wrote Tuesday, the impact on the political landscape of changing the way states award their electoral votes should not be underestimated.

In fact, if every state awarded electoral votes by congressional district (like Republicans in some blue and swing states are proposing) Mitt Romney would be the one sworn in as our next president on Sunday, rather than losing by 126 electoral votes.

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The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

The GOP's big electoral vote gambit, explained

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus voiced support over the weekend for an effort to reform how some states award their electoral votes.

And the effect of the movement should not be underestimated.

Below, we take you through the particulars of the effort, what it would mean, and why it will or won't happen.

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A truly harebrained scheme to prevent Obama's second term

A truly harebrained scheme to prevent Obama's second term

The election is over -- but not in the minds of a handful of true-believer conservatives.

A plot has been hatched over the last week to, in a last-ditch effort, deny President Obama a second term and install Mitt Romney as the next president.

Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips argued in a column last week at World Net Daily that states that voted for Romney could simply boycott the Electoral College, thereby depriving it of the two-thirds quorum it needs to elect a president. At that point, the House of Representatives would pick the president. And guess who controls the House? The GOP.

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Mitt Romneys most likely path to 270 electoral votes

Earlier today, we laid out what we believe is the most likely path for President Obama to win the 270 electoral votes he needs to be re-elected in five day time. Now, we do the same for former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.

Romney's path -- as we have long maintained -- must go through Ohio to have the air of plausibility to it. (There are ways to add Romney states up to 270 electoral votes without the Buckeye State but they require a bit of willing suspension of disbelief.)

The Romney map looks a lot like the map that gave George W. Bush a second term in 2004. In that race, Bush won the south -- up to and including Virginia, North Carolina and Florida -- swept the Plains and held his own in the Mountain West.

Romney's likely map in 2012 subtracts New Mexico, Iowa and Nevada -- all three of which he is currently trailing -- and adds New Hampshire from the Bush map.

Bush's map in 2004 won him 286 electoral votes. Romney's likeliest path nets him 279.



An Electoral College tie – and what it would mean

An Electoral College tie – and what it would mean

The presidential race appears to be getting closer just two and a half weeks before voters will cast the deciding ballots.

And more and more, political analysts are suggesting that it’s a very real possibility that nobody will win on Election Day — i.e. the Electoral College vote will wind up knotted at 269.

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The eight states where Latinos could sink the GOP

Republicans’ emerging problem with Latino voters looks even worse when you factor in the electoral college.

A look at Latino population trends in swing and key red states shows just how ominous the GOP’s future could be if it doesn’t do something about its current struggles with Latino voters.

We noted yesterday that nationwide population and minority voting trends paint a haunting picture for the GOP. But the problem is particularly acute because of the states where Latino growth has been strongest — particularly several key swing states and red states that Democrats are hoping to put in play in the coming elections.

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Obama campaign sees eight states as toss-ups

Obama campaign details 2012 electoral map; Supreme Court says Secret Service shielded from lawsuit; Democrats attack Romney’s transition leader; and Herman Cain gets a radio show.

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President Obama starts with edge on inaugural Fix Electoral College map

President Obama starts with edge on inaugural Fix Electoral College map

President Obama carries a significant, but far from determinative, edge over former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney in the race for 270 electoral votes this fall, according to the first detailed analysis of the map conducted by the Fix.

Obama starts the general election with 15 states (plus the District of Columbia) and 196 electoral votes solidly for him while Romney begins with 21 states and 170 electoral votes solidly in his corner. (One of the states solidly for Romney is Indiana, where Obama won in 2008 but no one expects a repeat performance in 2012.)

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Could Pennsylvania Republicans end the electoral college as we know it?

Republican leaders in Pennsylvania are pushing forward with a plan that would change that way the state awards its electoral votes for president and could have a significant impact on the 2012 presidential race.

The plan, which is backed by Gov. Tom Corbett (R), would scrap the state’s current winner-take-all method for awarding the state’s 20 electoral votes and dole them out depending on the result in each of the 18 congressional districts.

If passed, Pennsylvania would become the third state, along with Maine and Nebraska, to adopt that method, but unlike those two, its change could have a big impact given the size and swing(ish) nature of the state.

Democrats are already expressing fears that changing the winner-take-all system could cost them big in 2012 – most particularly if other states follow Pennsylvania’s lead.

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