I can’t remember an election, general or mid-term, that someone didn’t say would be the most important in our history and I’m certain next year’s will be the same.
But there is a serious difference this time in the dramatically increased importance of state elections. Not all of them of course! What happens in Massachusetts and Texas is predictable. But control of governorships and state legislatures in six states, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Virginia and Florida could affect America for years to come, and not for the better.
It’s common knowledge that Republican governors in these states, with sympathetic legislatures, were considering reapportioning the state’s votes in the Electoral College by Congressional Districts rather than popular vote. This is perfectly legal and is he law in Maine and Nebraska. But had it been the process last year Mitt Romney would be president today.
One of these governors, Michigan’s Rick Snyder, publicly flirted with the idea before speaking against it. Of course he finally publicly rejected it. Why tell the world what you’re planning nearly two years before an election in which the seats of state legislators whose votes are needed will be at risk? There’s little public support for a state electoral college to add to the already unpopular federal version.
I think and hope Republicans screwed up by mentioning the subject so early. Governors in three of these six states were more circumspect during their election campaigns, saying nothing about their drastic plans for labor. This should not be forgotten!
This ugly possibility is a direct consequence of the Tea Party inspired Republican landslide in 2010. Being a census year the Congressional maps of the states became etched in stone for ten years. As I see it the repeal of the Bush tax cuts should have been put to the Senate then, not two years later. The decision was made by party leaders in that body. But I strongly suspect the president was influential, preferring to postpone the issue until his reelection year.
Granted my opinion is debatable. A presidential election trumps all others and Democrats might have lost both if they’d done as I’d hoped. But having been warned now there’s no excuse now for them not to make this a major issue in next year’s state elections. A word to the wise should be sufficient.