To follow up on yesterday’s post on the Virginia GOP and it’s attempt to gerrymander presidential elections, ThinkProgress reports that one Republican—State Senator Jill Holtzman Vogel—abstained from the initial vote, sending it to the Privileges and Elections Committee without full recommendation.
Her abstention was more procedural than anything else—she chairs the redistricting subcommittee—but she has announced her opposition to the proposal. If the bill reaches the floor, and Vogel joins the Democratic opposition—it will fail to win passage, on account of the Virginia Senate’s even split between Republicans and Democrats.
One thing worth noting about this is how much it’s a just an admission of electoral defeat. Last year was only the second time in over 40 years that Virginia voted for a Democratic presidential candidate, and even still, it remains more Republican than the 270th electoral vote—any Democrat close to winning Virginia has already cleared the hurdle for the White House.
The only reason to pursue a scheme like this is if you no longer think you can convince voters to support you. And if that’s true, then—in the long-term—no amount of changing the rules can save their electoral fortunes.
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