Pennsylvania Rule Change by GOP May Doom Obama

State may switch from winner-take-all in Electoral College

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 14, 2011 1:27 PM CDT | Updated Sep 17, 2011 7:00 PM CDT

(Newser) – Pennsylvania Republicans are proposing a radical change in how the state divvies up its electoral votes that could have a huge impact on the 2012 election. The plan, which is being championed by Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi and already has the governor’s support, would switch Pennsylvania from a winner-take-all system to one that divvied the state’s electoral votes up by district, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports. And those districts are set to be redrawn this year—by a Republican legislature and governor.

The likely result: Instead of taking all the state’s electoral votes, Obama would take eight to the GOP’s 12. Maine and Nebraska already have this system, but each is too small for the popular and electoral votes to split like that. “It's something that no previous legislature in America since the Civil War has ever had the audacity to impose,” one constitutional law professor tells Mother Jones. And it might not stop there—the GOP could try the same thing in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin, all traditional Democratic states currently in its sway.

Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania delivers an address in this file photo.
Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania delivers an address in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
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