Rachel Maddow was the first American journalist to draw attention to a story the mainstream media has studiously ignored: a Republican plan to score presidential elections using gerrymandered state district maps. It is thanks to these electoral maps that Republicans were able to hold on to House in the last election while losing the popular vote. If six Republican states (including Virginia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Ohio) had calculated their electoral college tallies using the same maps employed in state elections, Mitt Romney would now be president even though he lost the popular vote.
In Virginia, for instance, Barack Obama would have won only for of the state’s thirteen electoral votes under this plan even though he won the popular vote. The trick is to make rural and suburban votes worth more than urban (that is minority) votes. When you do the math, as several bloggers have done, this means that your average urban vote is worth precisely three-fifths as much as your average white vote. (more…)