Huh? Morning Joe Suggests GOP Tries To 'Gerrymander' Presidential Elections

February 27th, 2024 12:40 PM

Joe Scarborough Eugene Robinson MSNBC Morning Joe 2-27-24 This is the kind of keen political insight that makes MSNBC our go-to network -- for laughs.

On today's Morning Joe, Scarborough was dragging out the old DNC talking point that hey, the Republicans have lost the nationwide popular vote in seven of the last eight elections. This is how Electoral College Deniers argue.

Eugene Robinson, MSNBC's chief political analyst, who is also an associate editor of the Washington Post, was responding to Joe Scarborough's question as to what Republicans should do, given their popular vote record. 

Here was Robinson's description of the Republican strategy to win the White House despite losing the popular vote:

"Well, the first thing you do, is you gerrymander the hell out of everything, right? To, to try to build in an advantage. "

Not "right," Gene. Wrong!

In 48 of the 50 states, the winner of the state's popular vote receives ALL of the state's Electoral College votes. [Maine and Nebraska have different ways of allocating their Electoral College votes.]

Given that Maine and Nebraska have only a combined nine Electoral College votes, that means that 98.3% of all Electoral College votes are awarded in, 48 of 50 states, on a winner-take-all popular vote basis.

You can't gerrymander your way around that, Gene!

Yes, both parties do their share of gerrymandering of congressional districts. The latest example is New York, where Democrat state legislators rejected a bipartisan congressional district map in order to gerrymander things to their maximum advantage.

But you can't gerrymander presidential electoral districts when—in almost all the states!—there's only one presidential district: the entire state!

Joe Scarborough made his own contribution to today's absurdity. Scarborough claimed that Republicans have not won one presidential election this century—but then had to concede, if only, that is, if Ralph Nader hadn't run in 2000, Jill Stein hadn't run in 2016, and George W. Bush hadn't run for re-election in 2004 and won! That's a lot of ifs, Joe, amounting to three GOP presidential wins this century! We may be headed for another cycle where "If RFK Jr. and Jill Stein and Cornel West hadn't run," Republicans are losers.

By Scarborough's logic, he's the most fair-minded, objective, talking head in liberal-media land -- if it weren't for the fact that he's totally in the tank for Joe Biden!

Here's the transcript.

Morning Joe
6:05 am ET

JOE SCARBOROUGH: I think, I think sometimes you need to stepback, right?Sometimes you need to step back and you go, why are things happening the way they are? And I know we've all seen op-eds talking about this through the years.

But the Republicans have lost seven of the last eight presidential elections when it comes to popular vote. They've been able, they figured out in '16 how to win, and just barely, and they did it through the Electoral College. 

But you know, Gene, not to get too deep into it here, but I'm going to get deep in it here, because it's just kinda what I do. If you take away Ralph Nader in 2000, you take away Jill Stein in 2016, get this, a Republican, a Republican would not have been elected president this century. And that's, of course, assuming Bush doesn't run in 2004, win re-election.

But, but the Republicans have lost the country. They've lost -- they've won one. This is amazing. Since 1992, Republicans have won the popular vote one time. 

So, what do you do if you know you're going to lose? You've lost the country. You're not going to change anything,. You're just going to keep denying elections! And they're trying to perfect it now.

EUGENE ROBINSON: I know, yeah. Well, the first thing you do, is you gerrymander the hell out of everything, right? To, to try to build in an advantage. 

You put your thumb on the scale in every way you can, which the Republican party did. And, and then you still lose. So the only recourse after that is just to say, no, it didn't happen. I didn't lose. I actually won, even though, even though you lost.