Kudos to Benjamin Tribbett today for breaking the news out of Virginia. By his count, the map approved by Virginia state Senate Republicans could leave Democrats with as few as 13 winnable seats in that chamber, which currently stands at 20-20.
The sudden redistricting passed 20-19, because a lone Democratic senator had gone to Washington for the day, for the Inauguration. Senator Henry Marsh is 79, a Civil Rights hero in Virginia, and he wanted to see this inauguration, on Martin Luther King, Jr., day, and while he was gone, Republicans redrew the state for their own advantage. Republicans justified this by saying they had created a new majority black district -- by carving off part of Senator Marsh's district.
This session in Virginia, Senate Republicans have also been pushing a bill to change the rules for picking a president. We have been documenting Republican ambitions to do that in Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, along with talk of them doing it in Florida. Had those plans been in place for the November election, Barack Obama would still have won the popular vote by several million, but he might still have lost in the electoral college.
At the national level, Republicans have celebrated their success in punching above their electoral weight in Congress and in state legislators. After the jump, a reprint of our links kit so you can follow the story yourself.
The national picture:
- REDMAP 2012 Summary Report
- ProPublica: House Seats vs. Popular Vote
- A chart!
- RNC chief backs electoral college scheme
And in the states:
- Michigan Effort Shows G.O.P. Sway
- Wisconsin GOP governor is "intrigued"
- So goes Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, so goes any chance of there ever being another Democratic president