First, change the way electoral votes are tallied. Nebraska and Pennsylvania are headed this way. In Nebraska electoral votes are awarded congressional district-by-district. Obama carried Omaha in 2008, so earned one of Nebraska’s five votes. Nebraska appears headed for a winner-take-all system that would deny Obama that one vote.
Pennsylvania is a bigger deal. Obama carried the state in 2008, and its 21 electoral votes under winner-take-all rules. It is headed for a district-by district award—yes, the system Nebraska is abandoning—under which Obama would have only gotten 11 of Pennsylvania’s 21 votes in 2008.
So we could see a Republican gain of 10 votes in Pennsylvania and one in Nebraska—enough to swing a close election. But Republicans can improve the odds a lot more by making it harder for students, minorities, and low income people to vote at all.
To this end Republican-controlled state legislatures in Florida, Ohio, and Wisconsin are moving to trim early voting days. Early voters are disproportionally Democrat.
If that’s still not enough to insure a Republican victory, legislators in 20 states are considering tighter ID requirements, including requiring a government-issued photo ID. Guess who don’t have photo IDs: lots of students, minorities, (more…)