Republicans are incensed and bitter that Mitt Romney lost Virginia in the 2012 Presidential election. However, they saw that if Virginia changed from a winner-take-all state to apportionment by Congressional district, Mitt Romney would win 8 out of 13 electoral votes. So the Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly put a bill forward to change the rules to benefit future Republican Presidential nominees. (SB 723)
This is a bad bill born out of spite with plenty of unintended consequences.
1. This bill would continue the modern day Republican legacy of antagonizing all things urban which goes back to the Southern Strategy and de facto “white flight.” The underlying assumption is that Republicans cannot win urban areas so the rules must be rigged to give rural areas a disproportionate influence in the electoral process.
2. In doing so, Republicans are essentially giving up urban outreach and putting themselves at a numerical disadvantage in a post-agrarian, urbanized society. There would be no short term incentive for Republicans to reach out to urban cultures where the majority of the people reside. Reapportionment of electoral votes by Congressional districts may benefit Republican Presidential candidates in the short term, but it does nothing positive for the welfare and sustainability of the GOP for the long term. Giving up the urban areas and antagonizing them as they continue to grow will cause the GOP to begin losing more critical General Assembly and County Board seats.
3. Who is to say that the GOP will maintain an advantage in the rural areas forever? Rural populations have had a history of progressive politics (see Kansas, Wisconsin Republican Governor Bob LaFollette, etc.).
Many thanks go to Senator Vogel for killing this bill. It takes courage to stand up to the unhinged, rabid partisan base to stand up for justice and the interests of the Commonwealth. In doing so, Senator Vogel has also provided the ancillary benefit of protecting the GOP from its own worst enemy, the GOP itself.