posted on Sep, 23 2011 @ 11:52 PM
Some Constitutional scholars say that this system would be thrown off due to partisan redistricting and fear a situation in which a candidate who wins
the popular vote would lose the electoral vote.
For years, Sabato has studied the Electoral College and contemplated changes such as the one proposed by Senate Majority Leader Dominic
Sabato, a political scientist, brings no partisan or ideological objective to the controversy. His conclusion? Addressing Electoral College issues
piecemeal is not in the national interest.
"You do not want an individual state, particularly a highly populated one like Pennsylvania, going off and freelancing and coming up with a separate
system all by themselves," Sabato told me in an interview this week. "Because in any close election, that can make a difference, and they could end up
electing another president who loses the popular vote, and that is not healthy for the country. Everyone agrees on that."
Sabato acknowledges the problem of a presidential candidate winning 45 percent of a state's popular vote but receiving no electoral votes. However, he
thinks proponents of change are missing something: the effects of redistricting, which skews the popular vote.
Sabato illustrates his concern by pointing to Ohio, which he calls "as close to an evenly divided 50/50, superswing state" as you can find.
"But what is the redistricting plan for new House of Representatives [districts] starting in 2013?" he asks. "It's 12 Republicans and four Democrats.
That's right. You would think it would be eight Republicans and eight Democrats, based on voting patterns."
And, he says, if that is the voting representation by electors, Ohio would always lean toward the GOP despite its even divide.
Further, if the Pennsylvania proposal had been in force during past elections, results could have been profoundly different. According to Sabato, John
F. Kennedy would have lost decisively to Richard Nixon in 1960. In 1976, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter would have tied in the Electoral College despite
the Democrat's 1.7 million-vote edge in popular votes.
"What you are going to produce if you go to this kind of system is far more cases of a president losing the popular vote but winning in the Electoral
College," Sabato says. "Does anyone want to move in that direction? It is a formula for divisiveness."
They do have some valid concerns but, as a whole, I think the new proposed system would be better. There is no guarantee that the current system also
couldn't elect a president who lost the popular vote so I don't think that argument against this system holds much weight.
I'm especially offended by the idea that we shouldn't change the system unless it is part of a nationwide movement. If it is to become a nationwide
movement, it has to start somewhere and it might as well be Pa leading the pack instead of following, as usual. Its bad enough that, by the time we
get to vote in the presidential primaries, the decision has already been made (usually after just the first three or four tiny states finish their
). If Pa changes its system, that may force all the other states to change to a more democratic system as well to keep Pa from
stealing all of their electoral thunder and force the candidates to pay attention to the citizens in the other states as well.
The issue of partisan redistricting is the most bothersome argument against this change. That could really throw off the vote and cause a candidate
who lost badly in the popular vote to take an election. It would keep the courts busy and make partisan bickering more pronounced as minority parties
fight to keep their voice in the state.
I have my doubts that even partisan redistricting would make that much of a difference in the presidential election. Pa has voted for conservative
majorities in its house and senate for years yet has consistently ended up going Democrat in the presidential election. Even when we vote in a
conservative governor, we've still gone with the Dems for president. Just because the voters are in a district that sent a conservative to the state
house, that doesn't mean that they automatically vote that way for president.
edit on 9/24/11 by FortAnthem because: