-By Walter Hickey
January 24, 2013- The backlash is growing against a Republican-backed plan to change the way key battleground states allocate electoral votes.
In his Crystal Ball newsletter today, political handicapper Larry Sabato described the plan — which would make it so electoral votes in key swing states were apportioned by congressional districts — as "a truly rotten one" that would "undermine democracy." The plan — which gained traction in the Virginia state legislature this week — would heavily favor Republican presidential candidates.
"A healthy, optimistic party is Reaganesque, convinced that it can win the future by embracing it, and by making a positive case for its philosophy and candidates to all Americans. A party in decline is Nixonian and fears the future; it sees enemies everywhere, feels overwhelmed by electoral trends, and thinks it can win only by cheating, by subverting the system and stacking the deck in its favor."
Crystal Ball senior columnist Alan Abramowitz, a professor of political science at Emory University, echoed Sabato's thoughts, writing that it would be "profoundly undemocratic" and would increase the chances of "an Electoral College misfire." (Abramowitz was an Obama donor in 2008, according to The Hill.)
In a report today, the left-leaning Center for American Progress looked at six "likely targets" for the GOP plan, including Virginia. All six states voted for President Barack Obama in 2012 but have Republican governors and strong Republican majorities in the state legislatures.