A Republican-sponsored proposal to change how Pennsylvania’s electoral votes are counted in next year’s presidential election appears to be running out of steam. Gov. Corbett, a key supporter of the idea, suggested Monday that it was going nowhere for the time being. “I see no movement on it. I’m not going to push for movement, but I still support it,” Corbett, a Republican, told a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon.
The proposal surfaced in September, with Corbett marketing it as a way to more fairly divide electoral votes to reflect the preferences of Pennsylvania’s voters. It split Republicans and drew heavy criticism from Democrats, who called it a partisan attempt to hurt President Obama’s reelection campaign and to minimize the influence of the state’s large number of registered Democrats.
It would ditch the current system of awarding Pennsylvania’s 20 electoral votes to the winner of the state’s popular vote in the 2012 presidential election. Rather, candidates would win an electoral delegate for each of 18 congressional districts they carry, and the winner of the statewide vote would gain two more electoral votes.
The bill, if it became law, would guarantee that a Republican won an electoral vote in Pennsylvania for the first time in 24 years. Depending on how the congressional districts are drawn – and Republicans are in control of that process – a Republican presidential candidate could collect a majority of the state’s electoral votes despite losing the statewide popular vote.