Have you heard about the Red Map Redistricting Project? It’s a project of the Republican State Leadership Committee – their short-name for this is REDMAP. Maddow did a good piece on it that you can check out here. GOP Chair Reince Priebus backs it – you may have read about this in a scary “GOP TO STEAL 2016 ELECTION” article.
The RSLC is taking credit for the new Congress being controlled by Republicans. They claim that their ability to take over state legislatures in 2010 allowed them to control redistricting and make GOP friendly districts. It seems to have worked – the Dems received more votes but the GOP took Congress.
You might remember that Rep. Dan Winslow was involved in an attempt to create “fair” re-districting in Massachusetts with the help of perennial GOP candidate Jack E. Robinson. They ended up standing down when the maps were released by the legislature and didn’t sue the Commonwealth to make the maps more GOP-friendly, er, “fair”.
It seems Rep. Winslow – who I respect for his willingness to engage on Twitter and BMG – is trying a new trick. He announced on Twitter this morning that he was backing legislation to “Make [Massachusetts] relevant” in presidential elections by apportioning our electoral votes by Congressionla district:
Make#mapoli relevant in prez elections again so candidates campaign here: HD1114 will apportion electoral votes by congressional district.
— Dan Winslow (@danwinslow) January 19, 2013
As this is seen as the key to the GOP winning the Oval Office in 2016, I’m disappointed to see Rep. Winslow embracing this silly idea. First of all, it won’t change anything in Massachusetts. There would still be no need to campaign here – the Congressional districts will continue to reliably vote Democrat for President. Second, it’s going to make a whole lot of difference in states like Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has gone Blue for the past 20 years, but if this legislation passes there only 2 electoral votes would go to the winner of the popular vote – the rest would be awarded on a district-by-district basis. Per ThinkProgress in 2012 only 5 of PA’s 18 districts voted for Obama. Instead of Obama receiving 20 votes out of PA, he would have received 7.
Again, this won’t make a difference in Massachusetts. The districts will go Blue and all electoral votes will be awarded to the Democratic candidate. Rep. Winslow is being disingenuous in my opinion by saying it will bring campaigning to Mass. Plus, we’ve already signed on to the National Popular Vote which hopefully will be ratified by 2016. Let’s hope this doesn’t get off the ground in the Legislature – we don’t need to be pointed to as a Blue state that signed on to prove it’s bi-partisan. It’s not. It’s a game that Republican legislators are playing to defy the will of the people in the 2016 Presidential election.