Mitt Romney would have won the 2012 presidential election if the electoral college distributed its votes differently, according to a new report.
The Washington Post
took a deeper look into presidential elections dating back to 1992. Under a nationwide system that awards electoral votes based on which candidate wins Congressional districts, none of the elections' results would have been different — except for 2012.
Two states, Nebraska and Maine, give some of their electoral votes based on Congressional races. Romney would have won the 2012 election if this system was in place in every state, according to the Post data.
Republicans have been trying for years to change the system as it stands now, which awards all of a state's electoral votes to one presidential candidate based on who wins the popular vote in the state. Nebraska and Maine are the two exceptions to that rule.
The exception to Republicans' desire to change the system, however, is Nebraska, where Republicans want a winner-takes-all system
, according to a recent report.
According to the Post data, President Barack Obama beat Romney in the 2012 electoral vote, 332-206. But with the Congressional race results factored in, Romney squeezes into the lead by a 282-255 margin.
The other elections dating back to 1992 saw changes in an adjusted electoral vote with Congressional races factored in, but the overall winner did not change. That means this particular tweak in how the electoral college hands out votes would not necessarily make a significant change in how the popular vote is reflected.
The 2000 election between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore was settled by a mere five electoral votes, with Bush winning 271-266. The adjusted electoral vote, however, would have given Bush a 286-251 victory. Gore won the popular vote in that election.
"In other words, shifting to an all-congressional-district-based electoral voting system wouldn't necessarily better reflect the will of the population," writes Philip Bump in the Post. "After all, Democrats (famously) got more votes in House races in 2012, but still lost the House badly. Of course, the existing electoral vote system doesn't always reflect the popular vote either. (See: Gore, Al.)"
The electoral college
has been the subject of debate for years, as lawmakers try to come up with a better way to represent the popular vote in presidential elections. But there are some people, such as political consultant Dick Morris
, who want it to remain as is.
"We must not abandon the Electoral College," Morris told Newsmax TV last year. "The potential for Democratic states to allow non-citizens to vote would permanently make for a Democratic president."
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