Will the District of Columbia Get Another Electoral Vote?

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Yes, assumes political guru Larry Sabato, in a post where he takes a look at which states will likely gain and lose House seats and therefore electoral votes in the reapportionments following the 2010, 2020, and 2030 Censuses. Here is his analysis on this point:

"Blue States from '04 will lose a net total of 16 Electoral Votes, while the Red States will gain 17 (The difference of one in Blue's favor comes from the District of Columbia, since we are assuming that by 2030, or much earlier, the District's lone delegate will have been made a full voting member of the House. A serious effort in that direction is underway now.)"

But this is surely wrong, on two counts. No. 1, under the bill currently under consideration, the District would get one House member. Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution provides that "each state shall appoint ... a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress." The District would never be entitled to more than one representative if it were a state; its population is already well below that of the average congressional district and is smaller than that of any state except Wyoming. In addition, the full member of the House the District would receive under the bill would presumably replace the nonvoting delegate the District now has. If the District has only one House member, by what light should it be entitled to four electoral votes?

Second, Amendment XXIII, Section 1 states:

"The District constituting the seat of Government of the United States shall appoint in such manner as the Congress may direct:

A number of electors of President and Vice President equal to the whole number of Senators and Representatives in Congress to which the District would be entitled if it were a state, but in no event more than the least populous state; ..." At the time this amendment was ratified (March 29, 1961), the seats in the House then in session were apportioned according to the 1950 Census. Under that Census, a few states (Rhode Island, Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho) with populations less than that of the District (802,178) had two seats in the House. The amendment's words make it clear that it intended the District to have no more than three electoral votes, even if under the apportionment formula it would have been entitled to two House seats. Thus awarding the District a fourth electoral vote now would violate the clear command of the Constitution.

Sabato's crystal ball had a clear view of the 2006 electoral cycle. But it seems clouded on the question of whether the District will get an extra electoral vote.

Rudy and the Italians

Zev Chafets writes in the New York Post on the political effect of Rudy Giuliani's Italian heritage. I think there's something to this. In SurveyUSA's 50-state polling, Giuliani carries Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Jersey against Hillary Rodham Clinton and runs only 3 points behind her in New York. Those are the states with the highest Italian-American percentages. John McCain, in contrast, runs even with her in Rhode Island and Connecticut and loses New York and New Jersey by significant margins.