GOP electoral vote split push faces backlash… from Republicans

Citizens wait in a long line to vote in the presidential election at Community House November 6, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Citizens wait in a long line to vote in the presidential election at Community House November 6, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

Republican-backed plans to make electoral voting in swing states like Michigan, Virginia, Ohio and Florida proportional have had progressives and civil rights groups nervous for weeks.

Currently only Maine and Nebraska can split their electors, an occurrence that has only happened once — when President Barack Obama took 1 of Nebraska’s in 2008.

Yet after early momentum seemed to suggest that a electoral split in Virginia (where the governor and the state legislature’s majority is Republican) was all but inevitable, there has been some backlash from an unlikely source: Republicans.

That state’s governor Bob McDonnell opposed the legislation and it ended up losing in a committee vote by an 11  to 4 margin.

While a nationwide electoral split would have delivered the presidency to Mitt Romney, members of the GOP are growing skeptical about the wisdom of overhauling our nation’s electoral college.

Michigan governor Rick Snyder, also a Republican, told Bloomberg TV, “You don’t want to change the playing field so it’s an unfair advantage to someone, and in a lot of ways we want to make sure we’re reflecting the vote of the people, and this could challenge that. I don’t think this is the appropriate time to really look at it.”

Event the conservative, controversial Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who has been accused of suppressing black voters in the 2012 election, has not embraced electoral vote splitting.

“Nobody in Ohio is advocating this,” he told the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

“I don’t think we need to change the rules of the game, I think we need to get better,” Florida’s Republican Speaker of the House Will Weatherford told the Miami Herald last week.

Similar efforts in states like Pennsylvania and Wisconsin appear to have lost traction as well.

As the national party shifts focus to impending Congressional battles over gun control and immigration, time will tell if their goal of changing the make-up of electors for 2016 is DOA.