The Last Word | January 25, 2013
>>> the republican party has a bit of a problem. a majority of voters do not seem the want the president of the united states to come from a republican party . the republicans have lost the popular vote in five of the last six elections, they fight very high unemployment and quite a lot of economic anxiety. and the matters are getting worse, the core demographics are shrinking, while the obama coalition is growing. one way to respond to a challenge like this, is change your positions to be more appealing to the majority of voters. that is the traditional approach. but there is another, less traditional approach, too. if republicans have a disadvantage at the presidential levels, they have a clear advantage at the house level. republicans tend to live in more rural areas than democrats and they have had more control over the redistricting processes. most things giving them more of an advantage, as a result. republicans control the house, despite 1 million more people who voted in november voted for democratic house candidates than republicans . what the republicans are trying to build on is that strength, if it can work for a congressional election, why not try it in a presidential election . forget one man, one vote. they're testing out one district, one vote. the way it works, they would divide them not according to who won the popular vote in that state but who won the most congressional districts . plans of this nature have now been proposed in virginia , michigan and florida , a senior republican laid out the rationale to " national journal ," there is no kind of a top seed and an out reach that can grab us those electoral votes that quickly." of course, the senior republican was not named because no political figure would want to attach their name to such a shameless quote. so here is how the massive shifting would work, there is legislation moving in three states that went for president obama in november. in virginia , president obama received 51% of the popular vote . and all 13 of virginia 's electoral votes , winner take all. under the change proposed by republican state senator charles caricco, which is expected to be voted on next week in the state committee, president obama would have received four electoral votes from the four districts he won, mitt romney , seven electoral votes from the districts he won, plus the two at large votes for winning the most districts. that means barack obama who won 51% of the popular vote in virginia would get 31% of the electoral votes , and mitt romney who won 48%, a minority of the popular vote in virginia would get 69% of its electoral votes . in michigan, president obama got 54% of the popular vote , and all 16 of the state's electoral votes under the change presented, president obama would have won five, while mitt romney would have won nine electoral votes for his nine districts. president obama would get an extra two electoral votes for winning the popular vote . very generous, president obama won 54% of the popular vote in44% of the electoral votes . mitt romney , who won 45% of the vote would get 56% of the electorals. in pennsylvania , president obama received 52% of the -- i'm sorry, i meant pennsylvania , not florida , earlier. and all 20 of pennsylvania 's electoral votes . under t under that change presented, president obama 's 52% of the vote would have won him a grand total of 12 votes. mitt romney 's 47% of the popular vote would have won him 8 electoral votes . in 2012 , president obama won 51% of the vote, mitt romney got 47% of the popular vote . the president won 332 electoral votes to mitt romney 's 206. but if the one district, one electoral vote plan applied in all states, president obama would have won 262 electoral votes and mitt romney would have won 273. in the presidential election . now, the good news here is that a lot of republicans do not want to win this way. today, virginia governor bob mcdonald 's communication director issued this statement, saying the government does not support this legislation, he believes virginia 's existing system works fine as is. he doesn't believe there is any need for a change. in florida , the republican house speaker told the miami harold, it is like wins in the three quarters, i don't think we need to change the rules of the game , we need to get better. seems we need to bring them into the party versus trying to change the game . joining me is joy reid to talk about the game. good to see you.
>> great to see you too, ezra.
>> this does not seem healthy for the republican party right now. i mean, it seems healthy that some of their key members are rejecting it. but figuring out what in your party they need to change to be more appealing to the electorate.
>> you know what, you're right, it is a capitulation. the republican party maxed out the white vote, their goal was to get 60%, they actually did better than that. but because of the shifting demographics of the country, president obama only needed to see the percentage of the vote that is nonwhite be 28%, because about every four years we're getting 2% more of the electorate is nonwhite. so you had for president obama a threshold where he could lose 60% of the white vote and still win the election. republicans can respond in other ways, saying we need to appeal to the white voters, to urban voters. if you look at the map you showed earlier, the vast sea of red are less popular states with smaller numbers of electoral votes because they have smaller populations. rather than trying to find a way to appeal to urban voters, to appeal to black and brown voters, to appeal to women voters, they are saying forget trying to do that. we're just going to change the way we play the rules.
>> i want to play something from bobby jindal , talking about how they need to change.
>> we have to stop being the stupid party. and i'm serious. it is time for a new republican party that talks like adults. time for us to articulate our plans and visions. we have to start dumbing down our ideas, and stop reducing them to mindless slogans for 30 second ideals. we must have the courage and convictions, and provide details to describe the views.
>> that is tough criticism, what do you think of the actual issues that this foretells republicans shifting? or is it simply a change in topic.
>> you know, i just don't think what bobby jindal says it popular, for one reason. he pushed creationism in schools, i don't know how he is getting to be the party of reason. however, at some point, the republican party gave the ideology to the entertainers, you have fox news, sort of the entertainment complex , now speaks for conservativism. they have given up the pursuits, it is harder to get their bases to go along with the changes, to say we embrace changes and minorities, it is easier to change the rules, that is why you're seeing them give up on the first idea and just go to the rules changes.
>> joy reid, who will never give up.
>> thank you.
>>> coming up, waiting for filibuster reform, it almost happened and i'll explain why. and what became the most controversial part of president obama 's second inauguration.