State Rep. Dan Truitt, R-156th, of East Goshen, said he has seen estimates that candidates could spend a combined $2 billion in the state during the 2012 presidential campaign. He said he would not like to lose that potential income because the state has less votes up for grabs.
State Rep. Curt Schroder, R-155th, of East Brandywine, said that while it is well within the state's right to determine how its electoral votes are distributed he is still hesitant to make such a change based solely on the current political climate.
"To base such decisions on the politics of the moment might work to one party's advantage today but to its detriment in the future as political landscapes change," Schroder said in a written statement.
Truitt said that while there are some potential losses in revenue, the proposal could also lead to higher voter turnout, because citizens no longer believe one party will automatically win all of the votes. He said higher turnout is always good for democracy.
The higher voter turnout could lead to one unintended consequence, especially in Chester County.
U.S. Rep. Jim Gerlach and U.S. Rep. Patrick Meehan are both in competitive districts that include portions of the county.
One theory suggests Democrats will work even harder to defeat them to win the presidential vote in the two congressional districts. Neither Republican congressman answered that question.
Gerlach said in a written statement: "Our Pennsylvania Republican delegation continues to evaluate this proposal with the hope that we can find a way to achieve the goals of the bill's proponents while, at the same time, not unduly risking the future of our hard-fought and hard-won congressional districts."
Meehan did not immediately return a request for comment.
Truitt said his political advisers have already told him that the proposal could hurt his political future. But he said he is more concerned with what is best for his constituents and has yet to make up his mind on the matter.
Vaughn (chair of the Chester County Democratic Committee) said that while the plan could help Democrats win congressional seats in the county, she nevertheless opposes the change. (italicized parenthetical mine)
"Even if there is more competition for those seats, this is not good legislation," Vaughn said. "It's not the way we want to win an election, by fixing them."