Priebus: Republicans in blue states ‘ought to be’ rigging Electoral College
Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus says that conservative lawmakers in blue states like Wisconsin “ought to be looking at” ways to rig the Electoral College system to tilt elections towards Republican candidates in a way that could have allowed presidential candidate Mitt Romney to win.
On Sunday, the Journal Sentinel reported that Priebus had called on states that traditionally vote for Democratic presidential candidates — but are controlled by Republican legislatures — to devise a scheme to split electoral votes instead of awarding them to a single candidate.
“I think it’s something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at,” the RNC chairman explained, noting that such a system would give state lawmakers “more local control.”
The Nation‘s John Nichols pointed out that an aggressive plan awarding electoral votes by districts — which are already heavily gerrymandered by Republicans in states like Wisconsin — would have turned President Barack Obama’s 322-206 Electoral College win into a 280-258 win for Romney.
“If Republicans in 2011 had abused their monopoly control of state government in several key swing states and passed new laws for allocating electoral votes, the exact same votes cast in the exact same way in the 2012 election would have converted Barack Obama’s advantage of nearly five million popular votes and 126 electoral votes into a resounding Electoral College defeat,” FairVote election expert Rob Richie explained last month.
“The Republicans want to rig the game,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett agreed recently told supporters in an email. “They know what they’re doing and we need to stop them.”
“Once again they’re changing the rules because they lost the game – that’s what this boils down to,” Wisconsin state Rep. Jon Richards (D) insisted to the Journal Sentinel.