Mike Duncan, the chairman of the Republican National Committee under George W. Bush, has heard about his party’s election-rigging scheme, but he’s unimpressed. “This is not a viable pathway for the party to win nationally,” he said over the weekend.
The same day, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), his party’s gubernatorial nominee this year, also balked at the Republican effort. “I don’t like breaking up states,” Cuccinelli told Dave Weigel. “I think winner-take-all is part of how a state matters as a sovereign entity…. It makes the state, as a state, matter more.”
So, the entire scheme is falling apart? Alas, no.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) said on Saturday that his state may join an RNC-backed plan currently being contemplated in four other states that voted for President Obama in 2012 to rig blue state electoral votes in favor of future Republican presidential candidates.
“It’s an interesting idea,” Walker said at the National Review Summit in Washington. “I haven’t committed one way or another.”
The Republican governor added, “I think you have to be very careful with changes like that but I think it’s worth looking at.”
And in Michigan, where the Republican Party appears to have adopted a clear “Honey Badger Don’t Care” attitude towards democracy, state House Speaker Jase Bolger (R) is increasingly supportive of the idea because, he sees it, Democratic areas sometimes “dominate” in major elections – i.e. Democrats have a majority – and so he’s still open to rigging the system to create a tilted playing field.
There’s been some commentary of late that the fear of this scheme is excessive – Rick Hasen, I’m looking in your direction – and that Republicans almost certainly won’t follow through on this. We’ll find out soon enough. But for those keeping an eye on the larger effort, note that for every state in which the efforts are stumbling, there’s another in which the plan remains very much on the table.