Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
If there's one place for premature speculation, it's the blogosphere. That's why I say with pride that I was speculating prematurely when I wrote about the consequences of North Carolina's presidential voting plan.
At the urging of the Democratic National Committee, the North Carolina legislature pulled the plug on the concept, which would have given out two electoral votes for winning the state as a whole and one each for the congressional districts in the state based on which presidential candidate carried each district. Why would D.C. Democrats nix a plan that would almost certainly have added to their nominee's electoral vote total?
For a completely bizarre reason, one wholly foreign to the U.S. political system: They thought the party should have a consistent position.
Republicans want to put a district-based electoral system on the ballot in California, a move that, if successful, would win their party a much bigger prize than Democrats could hope for in North Carolina. Obviously, Democrats will want to oppose the measure in California, so, for the sake of consistency, they figured they couldn't make the change in North Carolina.
This from the country where George Wallace and Julian Bond were both Democrats and Joseph McCarthy and Jacob Javits were both Republicans.
Just two years ago, Democrats supported a ballot measure to bring non-partisan redistricting to Ohio, while opposing a similar measure in California. Republicans supported the California proposal and opposed the one in Ohio. Californians didn't pay much attention to what was happening in Ohio or vice versa.
I imagine that, had North Carolina passed its plan, the same thing would have happened this time. That Democrats would stoop to being consistent shows just how concerned they are about the California proposal.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.