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Florida House Speaker Weatherford: changing the Electoral College is for sore losers

Republicans in five states, notably Virginia, have discussed changing the way they award Electoral College votes in presidential races by apportioning them on each congressional district, rather than the state's popular vote.

The reason: Republican Mitt Romney would have won the presidency despite losing the popular vote in states where the GOP controls the legislatures: Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida.

But Florida, the largest swing state, won't go along with changing the Electoral College if Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford has any say (and he has a major say).

"To me, that's like saying in a football game, 'We should have only three quarters, because we were winning after three quarters and the beat us in the fourth," Weatherford, a Republican, told the Herald/Times. "I don't think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better."

In Virginia, state Republicans are going with the why-get-better? approach. They're getting a bill ready for a vote that, had it been in effect in November, would have given Obama about 30 percent of the Electoral College votes, even though he won 51 percent of the popular vote in that state. Obama only won four of the nine Virginia congressional seats because they've been drawn to favor Republicans.

But Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus seems to like the idea, telling the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: "I think it's something that a lot of states that have been consistently blue that are fully controlled red ought to be looking at."

Not only is Weatherford opposed to the idea, fellow Republican and Florida Senate President Don Gaetz is decidedly cool to it. When asked about changing the way Electoral College votes are apportioned, Gaetz thought the entire system should be scrapped.

 "I think we should abolish the Electoral College but nobody in Washington has called to ask for my opinion," Gaetz said. "If James Madison had asked me, and I had been there, I would have said a popular vote is a better way to do it." Gaetz said the electoral college shrinks the presidential campaign to a handful of states as it did in 2012.

"The farmer standing in his field in North Dakota should be just as important as the factory worker in Ohio," Gaetz said.

-- with Steve Bousquet

Comments

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Kip W

I think he means "The farmer standing in his field in North Dakota should be just as important as several dozen factory workers in Ohio."

Chris

I think he means what he SAID, not what you THINK he said.

Mark

Why not just count Republican votes at 1.5 and Democrat votes as 0.5? That could probably keep the Republicans able to cater to special interests and their corpoate overlords for another five or six years rather than adopt policies wanted by the people.

MARTinNJ

Why not go back to the Founders intent when dealing with 'particular' issues of representation? How about the 3/5ths Rule. You know, Votes cast for Republican candidates count as a full vote, and votes cast for Democrats count as 3/5ths of a vote? Isn't that what the Founding (white) Fathers would have done?

MARTinNJ

MEMO TO FLORIDIANS!

These two powerful and seemingly fair Republicans want to scrape the Electorial College.

The fast way around it for 2016 is to pass the Interstate Compact on the Popular Vote, which would assign each state in the Compact assigning all of their votes to the winner of the popular vote. It does not go into effect until states representing 270 Electoral Votes approve it. IT is currently at 132 EVs. Floridas 29 would go far towards that goal. GO FOR IT. Get this Republicans and Dems in the Legislature to put Florida in the Popular Vote camp.

Max Salfinger

Speaker Weatherford is retarded!

oldgulph

A survey of Florida voters showed 78% overall support for a national popular vote for President.
By political affiliation, support for a national popular vote was 88% among Democrats, 68% among Republicans, and 76% among others.
By gender, support for a national popular vote was 88% among women and 69% among men.
By age, support for a national popular vote was 79% among 18-29 year olds, 78% among 30-45 year olds, 76% among 46-65 year olds, and 80% for those older than 65.

The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

When the bill is enacted by states with a majority of the electoral votes– enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538), all the electoral votes from the enacting states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in the country.

The presidential election system that we have today was not designed, anticipated, or favored by the Founding Fathers but, instead, is the product of decades of evolutionary change precipitated by the emergence of political parties and enactment by 48 states of winner-take-all laws, not mentioned, much less endorsed, in the Constitution.

In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state's electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). Support for a national popular vote is strong among Republicans, Democrats, and Independent voters, as well as every demographic group in virtually every state surveyed in recent polls. Americans believe that the candidate who receives the most votes should win.

The bill has passed 31 state legislative chambers in 21 states with 243 electoral votes, and been enacted by 9 jurisdictions with 132 electoral votes - 49% of the 270 necessary to go into effect.

NationalPopularVote
Follow National Popular Vote on Facebook via NationalPopularVoteInc

Lois Martinez

I think the electoral vote should be done away with. After George Bush got in a second term with the electoral vote and not the popular vote I have felt it was wrong.

Blake

Some of you are way too cynical. Look the Speaker said he wants to keep the rules that have aided our democracy. Short of switching to a national popular vote, we should not mess around with the electoral college for short-term political gain

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