It’s well-known that the GOP went to painful ends to gerrymander districts across the country, giving them clear advantages in far too many congressional races and ultimately control of the US House Of Representatives.
Imagine if they took those shady tactics and applied them to the Electoral College, the final say in who becomes President of the United States.
Michigan is running with a couple of those plans with proposed state laws that would change the way the Electoral College works. Messing with the EC is something Republicans have been reluctant to do, because it would force Democrats to campaign in places they typically leave to the Republicans in favor of spending money in battleground areas.
Michigan, it seems, may think the risk would be worth the reward.
One of the bills, proposed by state Rep. Cindy Gamrat (R), would award the bulk of the state’s electoral votes by their gerrymandered congressional districts. Under this plan, Mitt Romney would have gained 9 electoral votes of the state’s 16.
The other plan, introduced by state Sen. Dave Hildenbrand (R), would divide the state’s electoral votes by percentage of popular vote. That would have given Romney 7 electoral votes from Michigan.
As Republicans become more desperate for one of their own in the White House, these election-rigging tactics could become law at any time in states that are controlled by Republican legislatures with Republican governors.
While Michigan hasn’t supported a Republican for President since George H. W. Bush in 1988, the need for full support wouldn’t be so necessary. Under Gamrat’s proposal, Romney would have effectively won Michigan. Under Hildenbrand’s proposal, Romney would have gained 7 electoral votes in the overall picture, which is the equivalent of several states with low populations.
Democrats have a significant advantage when their base shows up to vote, which they tend to do during Presidential election cycles. This scheme by Republicans, while risky, could very well work if timed properly and implemented correctly.