The Electoral College is an undemocratic system developed by a bunch of old white guys who didn't believe the American people were competent enough to elect their own president. Since then, the premise for its preservation has changed. Now people believe it must be kept to ensure that small states have representation in the presidential process.
Of course, the Electoral College actually disenfranchises many more states than it empowers. While rural folk in swing states, such as Iowa and Wisconsin, will be heavily coveted voters next year, millions in less competitive states, both big and small, will be ignored. New York, Texas, Wyoming, California, Mississippi, Alaska..the list goes on.
The obvious remedy would be abolishing the system completely and replacing it with a national popular vote. However, since mustering support for the necessary constitutional amendment is an arduous feat, one wonders if there are smaller reforms that could make the process more democratic.
Hence the proposal being floated by a Sconnie Republican:
Wisconsin state Rep. Dan LeMahieu on Wednesday circulated a proposal for co-sponsors that make so a single electoral vote would go to the winner in each of Wisconsin's eight congressional districts. The statewide winner would get two electoral votes.
Such a proposal could have some benefits, but probably not for Wisconsin.
Awarding electoral college votes based on Congressional District, on a national basis, would mean candidates would have an incentive to campaign in traditionally neglected states, such as New York and Texas. While no Barack Obama could never dream of carrying the entire Lone Star state, for instance, he definitely could carry some of its congressional districts, and therefore, he would campaign there and be forced to address issues that people in Houston and Dallas care about.
However, the weakness of such a proposal is that it gives political parties more power to manipulate the electoral college. As arbitrary as state boundaries are (and many are quite so), they never change, whereas congressional district boundaries change every decade, often as a result of highly-sophisticated partisan gerrymandering. In Wisconsin, for instance, Republicans have done their best to make 5 of the 8 districts solidly Republican, meaning that not only will those districts elect GOP members of Congress, but they'll fall reliably into the GOP presidential column.
Since Wisconsin is already a swing state, and will probably remain so for the foreseeable future, there is little benefit to the people of the state to change the system. Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will be visiting the state and sucking up to us no matter what.
Follow The Sconz on Facebook or Twitter or Google+! And check out the Twitter account for the radio show I produce on WTDY on weekdays from 10-11 a.m. For anonymous tips, questions or criticism, send me an email at email@example.com.