New Castle News

Closer Look

February 16, 2013

John K. Manna: Republican electoral vote plan shows impact of gerrymandering

NEW CASTLE — Politics can be a lot of things, but in the final analysis it comes down to numbers.

Just this week numbers were released on how President Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney fared in each of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts in the November election.

Although Obama won the popular vote in the state, Romney carried 13 of Pennsylvania’s 18 congressional districts.

Republican congressional candidates won in each of the districts carried by Romney while Democrats won in the five carried by Obama.

The districts won by Obama include three in the Philadelphia area, one in Allegheny County and one that includes all of Dauphin and Lebanon counties.

Closer to home, Romney carried the 3rd District represented by Mike Kelly and the 12th District represented by Keith Rothfus. Kelly’s district covers the majority of Lawrence County and Rothfus’ district includes eight municipalities in the southern part of the county.

None of this is a revelation, but only confirms for the record how the two presidential candidates did in districts that were redrawn by the state Legislature to reflect the 2010 census.

In 2008 when districts were drawn differently, Obama carried 10 of the state’s congressional districts in defeating Sen. John McCain.

If nothing else, this should put to rest the idea of allocating electoral votes by congressional districts. Pennsylvania currently is a winner-take-all state, meaning the presidential candidate who wins the popular vote is awarded all of the state’s electoral votes.

Some may say — as some legislators have opined — that awarding electoral votes by congressional district more accurately reflects the will of the voters.

No, not really. It actually reflects the intent of legislators who like to monkey around with district lines for their own or their party’s benefit. These are not natural, sacred lines, but are man-made and redrawn every 10 years to reflect changes in population.

State Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, who advanced this idea last year, is issuing a new proposal to award electoral votes proportionately. Under this new plan, Obama would have been awarded 12 of the state’s 20 electoral votes in last year’s election.

He noted in a memorandum that this plan more accurately reflects the will of the voters. Since when doesn’t popular vote accurately reflect the will of the voters?

Despite this new proposal, the original idea is still out there and nobody in the Republican ranks has said that it’s dead. But they should.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Closer Look
  • disability.jpg Disabilities group unveils new icon

    Disability Options Network is joining forces with the Accessible Icon Project. Officials of the community organization, located at 1929 E. Washington St., said its new icon will replace the current international symbol for accessibility.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • well.jpg Auditor: State doesn’t have enough inspectors to monitor wells

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

     

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • vote.jpg Independent hopefuls may widen gubernatorial field

    Just when Pennsylvania voters were getting used to the idea of a gubernatorial election showdown between Republican incumbent Tom Corbett and Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, other hopefuls may soon be joining the fray.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • manna.jpg John K. Manna: Measuring the money

    Should we even bother to have an election in November? By some accounts, maybe the results of some contests are already in.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • shooting.jpg Man injured in city shooting

    A man was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital Thursday morning following a shooting on West Lincoln Avenue.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • police.jpg Police: Man pulls gun on construction workers

    Construction workers in Neshannock Township flagged down police Thursday claiming a business owner had pulled a gun on them.

     

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Shooting witness arrested for giving false name

    State police have arrested a second Detroit area man after questioning him about Sunday’s fatal shooting in Ellwood City. DeMarco Dorian Hoskins, 22, of Highland Park, Mich., was the third man in a private car that transported the deceased to look for a hospital. Hoskins allegedly gave police a false identity when they questioned him as witness.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • bridgerepair.jpg PennDOT seeks outside help to make bridge repairs

    State officials are poised to sign a massive deal that will enlist outside help to rebuild and maintain up to 600 bridges, marking the Corbett administration’s latest foray into privatizing key government functions.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • GALLO_Natalie.jpg County native plays Clinton intern

    Natalie Gallo isn’t an intern, but she’s playing one on the New York stage.

     

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shooting.jpg Coroner: Shooting victim hit by two bullets

    An autopsy revealed a Detroit area man killed in an Ellwood City shootout had suffered two gunshot wounds. Only one was a fatal hit.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

House Ads
Seasonal Content
Section Teases
Must Read
Continuous Super Bowl Coverage