The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Gov. Tom Corbett and state Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi are proposing that the state divide up its Electoral College votes according to which candidates carried each Congressional district, plus two votes for the statewide winner. The system is used by Maine — which, despite the system, has never actually split its four electoral votes — and by Nebraska, which gave one of its five votes to Barack Obama in 2008.
Pennsylvania, however, will have 20 electoral votes in the 2012 election. What’s more, the measure would give even greater meaning to the state’s redistricting for the House of Representatives, giving it a powerful effect over the presidency in addition to the House.
Pennsylvania has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 1992, and voted for Barack Obama by 55%-44% in 2008. Indeed, over the past 50 years it has only voted Republican in presidential landslides for the GOP: 1972, 1980, 1984, and finally 1988. While the results have sometimes been narrow for the Dems, it is a state that can be expected to vote Democratic for president in the context of a close national campaign, such as its votes for Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004.
Had this proposed system been in place in 2008, when Obama won the state by a ten-point margin, he in fact would have only taken 11 out of the state’s 21 electoral votes at the time — due to a combination of past Republican-led redistricting efforts to maximize their district strength, and Obama’s votes being especially concentrated within urban areas.
There's a reason Republicans keep doing this in blue-leaning states...they want to get rid of blue states. Functionally, unless a equally large red battleground state like North Carolina or Georgia did this (or ideally Texas) then it strongly favors the Republicans.
This only is truly "fair" like the Republicans pretend it is if all 50 states do it, and maybe that's actually a good idea. As it stands right now however, this is a Republican power grab, pure and simple. Mother Jones's Nick Baumann has more on this mess here.
But that's what they do once they get in power, they immediately change the rules to stay in power.
PS, Pennsylvania Dems? You stayed home in 2010. Way to teach Barack Obama a lesson!