Republicans Hope to Reinvent Electoral College Vote

Cue Card preview image

General Information

NBC Nightly News
Brian Williams/Andrea Mitchell
Event Date:
Air/Publish Date:
Resource Type:
Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
Copyright Date:
Clip Length:


The way we elect the president is being challenged in key states by Republicans who want to award electoral votes by congressional district instead of a winner-take-all to the candidate who carries the state. Had this process been in place during the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney would have won.



"Republicans Hope to Reinvent Electoral College Vote." Andrea Mitchell, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 25 Jan. 2013. NBC Learn. Web. 12 August 2017.


Mitchell, A. (Reporter), & Williams, B. (Anchor). (2013, January 25). Republicans Hope to Reinvent Electoral College Vote. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"Republicans Hope to Reinvent Electoral College Vote" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 01/25/2013. Accessed Sat Aug 12 2017 from NBC Learn:


Republicans Hope to Reinvent Electoral College Vote


With the President now six days into his second term, a whole lot of Republicans across this country are thinking about how things might have turned out differently, especially if the rules for electing Presidents were different. The argument goes this way. The way the Electoral College works is outdated, and it's about time those rules were changed, our report tonight from NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.


If Republican proposals in key states to change the way we elect the President are approved and applied nationwide, this week’s inaugural--


PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Preserve, protect and defend--

MITCHELL: --would have looked like this. Mitt Romney would be President despite losing the popular vote to Barack Obama by a healthy four percent. Not a bad idea, said Republican Chairman Reince Priebus today.

REINCE PRIEBUS: I thought it was an intriguing idea that some states are looking at, which they are. And I think it's going to be up to them to decide what they want to do about it.

MITCHELL: The idea, to award electoral votes by Congressional district instead of winner take all to the candidate who carries the state, advantage Republicans who control more Congressional districts than Democrats. And the electoral map--

WILLIAMS (file): Let's take a look at the new, as of nine o'clock in the east, six on the west coast, the new electoral map.

MITCHELL: Maine and Nebraska already award electoral votes by Congressional district. But that’s never changed the election outcome. But if the whole country adopted plans now being considered in Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin instead of Obama winning 332 to 206, the electoral map would have gone from blue to red; Romney over Obama--273 to 262, by one estimate. Some leading Republicans oppose the change.

FORMER GOVERNOR HALEY BARBOUR (R-Mississippi, file): And I am a traditionalist myself. I really am a conservative. I'm-- I'm a little bit skeptical of this.

MITCHELL: And tonight, Virginia’s Governor Bob McDonnell came out against it. In fact, potential candidates are warning the party has a bigger problem.

GOVERNOR BOBBY JINDAL (R-Louisiana): We've got to stop being the stupid party and I'm serious. It's time for a new Republican Party that talks like adults. We had a number of Republicans that damaged the brand this year with offensive and bizarre comments.

MITCHELL: A warning that changing what candidates say could be more important than changing how they count votes. Andrea Mitchell, NBC News, Washington.