Huffpost Politics
Aaron Bycoffe Headshot
Andrei Scheinkman Headshot

What The 2012 Election Would Look Like Under The Republicans' Vote-Rigging Plan

Posted: Updated:
Print Article

Republicans have a new strategy for 2016: Change the rules of presidential elections in order to swing the Electoral College in the GOP's favor.

On Wednesday, Virginia's Republican-controlled legislature became one of the first to advance a bill that would allocate electoral votes by congressional district. Last week, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus endorsed pushing through similar proposals in other states with Republican legislative majorities.

The strategy would have states alter the way they translate individual votes into electors -- thereby giving Republican candidates an advantage. Had the 2012 election been apportioned in every state according to these new Republican plans, Romney would have led Obama by at least 11 electoral votes. Here's how:

In the 2012 election, President Barack Obama defeated Mitt Romney by 126 electoral votes.

Within the 26 states that Obama took, Romney won a plurality of votes in 99 congressional districts.

Obama, on the other hand, won only 32 congressional districts in red states.

Each state has two more electoral votes than congressional districts. The most common Republican proposal -- under consideration in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan -- follows the same rules already in effect in Maine and Nebraska, which allocate the two additional votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote.

This is what the 2012 electoral map would have looked like had each state apportioned its electors using these rules.

The legislation introduced in Virginia, however, goes even further and proposes to allocate the two remaining votes not to the candidate who wins the state-wide popular vote, but to the candidate who wins the majority of congressional districts. This would give Republicans an even bigger advantage in that state.

Sources: The Associated Press, The Cook Political Report. Calculations do not include results for NY-1, NY-2 or PA-7.

Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Will the Virginia GOP's Electoral Vote Rigging Pass?

(Update) GOP war on voting: Rigging elections to thwart the popular vote

Pennsylvania House Republicans Introduce Bill To Rig The 2016 Presidential ...

Michigan GOP Considering Republican Plan To Rig The Presidential Election

The GOP's Boldest Election-Rigging Move Yet

RNC Chair: Rig The Next President Election For Republicans

GOP eyes electoral change Dems charge is election rigging

Electoral College fixes could backfire, state's top GOP frets

 
  Obama Romney
Obama Romney
332 206
Obama leading
Obama won
Romney leading
Romney won
Popular Vote
33 out of 100 seats are up for election. 51 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Holdover
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats* Republicans
Current Senate 53 47
Seats gained or lost +2 -2
New Total 55 45
* Includes two independent senators expected to caucus with the Democrats: Angus King (Maine) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.).
All 435 seats are up for election. 218 are needed for a majority.
Democrat leading
Democrat won
Republican leading
Republican won
Democrats Republicans
Seats won 201 234
Click for Full Results