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Friday, September 07, 2007

Would They Bitch if it was Texas?

California's Attorney General and Secretary of State have certified a ballot initiative that has Democrats up in arms this week. If the initiative gets enough votes to get on the ballot, and then wins approval in the state, the 55 electoral votes would no longer to to the highest vote getter in the state. Instead, two would go to that person, the other 53 would go to the winner in each Congressional district.

I railed against a Maryland proposal in April that would give that state's electoral votes to the winner of the nationwide popular vote, for what I think is a good reason. It wouldn't guarantee that who the voters of Maryland voted for is where their electoral votes went to. In fact, in 2004, Maryland would have had to give it's electoral votes to GWB, not John Kerry, not what the state's residents wanted.

The California proposal though, is different. It would do exactly the opposite, ensuring that the electoral votes in congressional districts went to who the voters wanted. This of course has the DNC scared stiff.

As the San Francisco Chronicle points out, "The initiative is a ticking time bomb for Democratic presidential hopes next year, which are pinned on winning all of the state's 55 electoral votes."

They also note that it's not a first, Maine and Nebraska already divide their electors this way. However, Nebraska is a "flyover state" that generally goes to the GOP, so the Democrats pick up a few votes there. Maine, as far as the folks in California are concerned is a misplaced province of Canada, that should probably have no place in US elections.

My guess is that if Texas or Florida got a similar measure approved for a referendum the DNC would be pouring every dollar in it's war chest into getting it passed. They are generally red states, and siphoning off electoral votes from the GOP would seem a great idea. However, this is California, where 20% of the needed electoral votes reside. Losing any of them to the GOP would be a disaster for the Democrats.

I'm not sure if the California initiative has a chance to pass, but when 45% of the states voters had their electoral vote cast "for the other guy", you already have a starting point for getting it through.

It will be interesting to see if enough money shows up to fund the initiative, and get it on the ballot. If it does, expect a lot of Democratic money to be spent trying to defeat it.

Technorati Tags: Elections, Electoral College, GOP, Democrats, California

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