A fraction Republicans should try to avoid

A fraction Republicans should try to avoid
A fraction Republicans should try to avoid

When we talked yesterday about Virginia Republicans’ scheme to rig the distribution of electoral votes in the GOP’s favor, I noted the 2012 breakdown under the right’s preferred model: President Obama would have defeated Mitt Romney by 150,000 votes, but when it came time to distribute electoral votes, Romney would have won nine votes to Obama’s four.

It led Maddow Blog reader (and my friend) Gerry Canavan to do the math and note an interesting fraction.

It’s true: Obama won about 51% of the popular vote, but would have won a little over 30% of the electoral-college vote under the new Republican model. That means, as Gerry noted yesterday morning, Democratic voters would be counted under the GOP plan as about three-fifths of a vote when it comes to the electoral college.

Where have I heard that fraction before?

Yes, Virginia Republicans began the week by spending Martin Luther King Day redrawing state Senate district lines in their favor, taking advantage of the fact that one of their colleagues – an African-American civil rights activist – was away from the chamber for the inauguration of the nation’s first African-American president. They then adjourned in memory of Confederate General Stonewall Jackson.

The same week, Republicans moved to a scheme to rig the presidential election – because GOP policymakers think there are too many voters in “densely populated” urban areas – and count Democratic votes as 3/5 of a vote relative to their actual population.

It’s little wonder, then, that Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) announced his opposition to the scheme today. He’s already Gov. Ultrasound; becoming Gov. Three-Fifths would be equally hard to live down.