ByÂ Dave Boyer-The Washington Times
PHILADELPHIA â€” When PresidentÂ Obama attended a fundraiser here in June, the cityâ€™s Democratic chairman bragged that Philadelphiaâ€™s voters are the key to a presidential candidate winning Pennsylvaniaâ€™s electoral votes.
â€œHowever Philadelphia goes, thatâ€™s how the rest of the state goes,â€Â Rep. Robert A. Brady, Pennsylvania Democrat, told the roaring crowd. â€œWeâ€™ve been doing it for the last 25 years, weâ€™re going to do it again. Weâ€™re going to be the biggest reason why weâ€™re going to re-electÂ Barack Obama as the next president of the United States.â€
But even as he spoke, state Republican leaders have been pushing a plan to radically change that equation. If they succeed â€” and theÂ GOPnow controls both theÂ state legislature and executive branch â€” it could costÂ Mr. Obama, who carried Pennsylvania in 2008, at least half of the stateâ€™s electoral votes in 2012.
Senate Majority LeaderÂ Dominic Pileggi, a Republican from Chester, proposes to switch from the traditional winner-take-all system for electoral voters to a format that would award electoral votes based on the winner of each of the stateâ€™s 18 individual congressional districts. The winner of the statewide vote would receive two electoral votes.
â€œPennsylvania is a very diverse state, and the diversity is lost in a winner-take-all system,â€Â Mr. Pileggi said in an interview. â€œWe want to make sure individual Pennsylvania citizens know their vote is going to matter.â€
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