If the VA GOP would stay up nights figuring out how to develop a winning message, instead of coming up with backroom schemes to negate the results of our elections, they might be threats to win the governorship in 2013 and the presidency in 2016. But this would require actually trying to develop sensible solutions to real problems: and yes, as Governor McDonnell concedes, it would likely require eliminating inefficiencies in our laws to better balance the need for funds to do such things as fix a crumbling infrastructure, and potholes in our educational system.
But why fix a real problem when you can avoid responsibility by rigging the rules of the game in your favor?
This past November, President Barack Obama got all of Virginia's 13 electoral votes by winning a narrow popular majority. Yet even the hapless Mitt Romney managed to carry 7 of the state's 11 Congressional districts.
This is likely to happen again in 2016, all things being equal. Thus the GOP reasons: If VA's electoral votes were instead allocated by the method used in Maine and Nebraska, the Republican candidate could "win" Virginia even while losing! Let me explain.
In those two states, the candidate getting the most popular votes statewide gets 2 electors. This equates to the state's two U.S. Senators. All the rest are allocated based on which candidate wins the most popular votes in each congressional district irrespective of whether that candidate loses the overall statewide vote.
How would this math have worked in 2012 here in Virginia? Since Obama won only 4 Congressional districts, and Romney took the rest, this would radically alter the electoral college math as such: the GOP nominee would have been awarded 7 electoral votes, and the president only 6!
Meaning: Instead of Obama getting a net 13 electoral vote win in Virginia, the hapless Mr. Romney would have actually received a net 1 margin!
Or put another way: The inept Romney-Ryan campaign, despite incredible strategy mistakes, would have "won" Virginia.