Republicans have a scheme for increasing their Electoral College advantage: report

Republicans have a scheme for increasing their Electoral College advantage: report

Although some liberals and progressives have proposed abolishing the Electoral College and electing presidents via the popular vote — which is how other democratic republics do it — various Democratic strategists have argued that in the long run, Democrats will have an Electoral College advantage because of changing demographics. Republicans, meanwhile, are still fuming over the fact that President Joe Biden won 306 electoral votes in 2020 despite all of former President Donald Trump's underhanded tricks. And according to an article by The Atlantic's Russell Berman, some Republicans are pushing different ideas for making the Electoral College more difficult for Democrats.

"A few months after losing the White House," Berman explains, "Republicans across the country have had a revelation: the Electoral College could use some improvements. The problem is that they have contradictory proposals for how to fix it — and contradictory arguments for why those proposals would help Americans pick their president. In Wisconsin, Michigan and New Hampshire, GOP lawmakers want to award Electoral College votes by congressional district, just like Nebraska and Maine currently do. But in Nebraska, Republicans want to do the opposite, and return to the same winner-takes-all method used by, well, Wisconsin, Michigan, New Hampshire, and almost every other state."

In Wisconsin, Berman notes, State Rep. Gary Tauchen, a Republican, has proposed splitting Wisconsin's electoral votes by congressional district. Similarly, New Hampshire State Sen. Bill Gannon wants that type of split in his state.

"Around the time Gannon offered up his proposal, a prominent Michigan Republican suggested that his state do the same," Berman observes. "Meanwhile, in Nebraska, a 24-year-old Yale graduate named Julie Slama wants her state to go in the other direction. A state senator first appointed by Gov. Pete Ricketts in 2018, Slama has introduced a bill that would award all of Nebraska's electors to the winner of the statewide vote. The last Democrat to carry the reliably red state was Lyndon B. Johnson."

Berman continues, "Trump won the statewide vote last year by nearly 20 points. But Joe Biden, like Barack Obama before him, walked away with one of Nebraska's five electors by winning a district that comprises Omaha and its suburbs."

Berman notes that although these proposals are "long shots," that doesn't mean Democrats are not taking them seriously and don't have some Electoral College ideas of their own.

"If Republicans are trying to tinker with the Electoral College to boost their chances, many Democrats want to go much further to strengthen theirs," Berman observes. "Some have long wanted to abolish the institution altogether. Others are pushing legislation that would effectively neutralize the Electoral College by creating a multistate compact to elect as president the winner of the national popular vote, an idea that arose in response to the disputed 2000 election of George W. Bush. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia — all controlled by Democrats — have endorsed the measure over the years, but few supporters believe that it will win over enough states to succeed anytime soon."

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