Republicans With Bad Ideas: Michigan Electoral Vote Edition

Wednesday , 19, November 2014 5 Comments

Of all the stupid ideas Michigan Republicans want to consider for the 2016 election, it doesn’t get much more obtuse than splitting electoral votes based on how people vote in congressional districts. Republican Pete Lund’s House Bill 5974 according to him would make Michigan more competitive and popular for presidential candidates. He thinks by splitting up the number of electoral votes a candidate can win, it will make them want to come to Michigan, and the state will be more relevant in the 2016 presidential election.

Pete Lund couldn’t be more wrong.

Lund’s electoral vote splitting bill would actually have the opposite effect and only an idiot can’t see the reason why this is such a bad idea. Don’t see the problem? Fine, let’s make it easy and use a sports analogy.

When people compete for a grand prize, they don’t expect to only win part of it. People want to win all of the prize. Do we cut off a piece of the Stanley Cup and give it to the losing team?

Hell no we don’t. Nobody is going to play hockey all season, make it to the playoffs and knock off every other team to only get PART of the Stanley Cup. Can you imagine what that NHL board meeting would be like if someone suggested they could make professional hockey more competitive by splitting the championship prize between the winner and loser? You can’t imagine it because no one in their right mind would suggest it.

Pete Lund and other Republicans have delusions of making Michigan more competitive this way. They believe that by splitting Michigan’s electoral votes so that the winner gets only some of the state’s votes, that will make the state more competitive, the candidates will want to spend more time stumping in the state, and then Michigan will be more relevant in the general election.

Here’s the problem with that cunning plan: Presidential candidates know they need to win as many electoral votes as possible to make it to 270 and win the White House. Depending on whether you’re a Republican or Democrat, you know there are key states that you have to win to gain enough electoral votes. These states are unpredictable election to election. One year the people may vote Republican, the next they will vote Democratic. That’s why they’re called swing states.

If these candidates know out of Michigan’s 16 electoral votes the best they can do is 12 because the other guy is going to get 4 for being the loser, what’s the point of spending that much time in the state when other states award you with all of their votes on election night? Michigan becomes irrelevant. Presidential candidates spend less time here and more time in other states where it’s still winner take all.

House Bill 5974 is not about making Michigan more enticing in a national election. The purpose of this stupid idea is to figure out a way to make sure a Republican wins more electoral votes in Michigan even if the Democratic candidate wins more popular votes. The Nerd said he would veto this bill if it makes it to the governor’s desk, but you can’t trust Snyder with anything he says. He likes lying to the people of Michigan too much when it suits him.

The Michigan Republican Party understands the importance of winner take all, at least at the primary level. In 2016 the Republicans want to hold their primary on March 15. The reason for this is to take advantage of new Republican National Committee rules which sets when states may hold primary elections where the Republican primary candidate who wins the election gets all 60 Michigan Republican Party delegates. Funny how Republicans seem to understand well enough that winner take all will make the state more competitive, but want the exact opposite for the general election in November because it will make the state more competitive.

Stupid people with a really stupid idea. But then, it came from the Republican Party.

5 thoughts on “ : Republicans With Bad Ideas: Michigan Electoral Vote Edition”
  • Susan Steele says:

    I hope you take your argument right to the House. You nailed it!!!!

  • John Retzer says:

    Following the 2000 election, Democrats in Congress introduced legislation to make the electoral votes in every state be awarded by the district method. The bill was cosponsored by James Clyburn, Eliot Engel, and Bob Clement. Just sayin’

    • Up North Progressive says:

      That was after the debacle in Florida when Al Gore won the popular vote, but the Supreme Court ruled to stop the recount so George W Bush could have the White House. Engler was Governor then and the bill had no chance of passing. It was a bad idea then and it’s a bad idea now.

  • John Retzer says:

    It seems to me, historically speaking, that interest in such legislation depends upon which party thinks they will gain the advantage at that moment. Democrats loved it in 2001. They hate it now. But you are correct that it is a bad idea,. It is, however, neither a Republican, nor a Democrat bad idea. It is just a bad idea. Period.

  • Steven Mason says:

    When and where did the Governor ever say he would veto this plan? I have followed it closely and he has not. Instead the Governor has been mealy mouth about it is interesting but it would be better to take it up after the next census. As any retiree paying the Sndyer pension tax or union member losing their rights to organize, what Sndyer says is in no manner, shape or form indicative of what he will actually do. No matter how outrageous the legislation is Sndyer, unlike Governors Engler and Granholm, has NEVER issued a preemptory veto threat to the legislature.

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