Will Colorado be this year's Florida?
Colorado's ballot will contain a measure that lets citizens decide whether they want to dole out electoral votes proportionally, rather than on a winner-take-all basis. (Currently only two states--Maine and Nebraska--have some form of proportional allocation.) The most recent poll shows a majority of voters supporting the change in election law. If passed, the measure would take hold immediately--and could swing the entire election.
Consider the 2000 election. After everything shook out in Florida, this was the final electoral count: Bush 271, Gore 266. In Colorado, Bush won by a margin of 51 percent to 42 percent. Under the old system, Bush took all eight electoral votes.
Now consider if Colorado had delegated its votes proportionally in 2000. By my calculus, Bush would have gotten five electoral votes, while Gore would have received three. The final tally under this scenario? Gore 269, Bush 268. Florida would have been irrelevant. We'd be deciding whether to re-elect President Gore.
But the reason I say that Colorado could be this year's Florida is because the matter may ultimately be decided in the courts. Here's a snippet from a recent MSNBC story on the ballot initiative:
Even if it wins, the measure is certain to be challenged in the courts due to questions about its constitutionality.
Article II of the Constitution says "Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors."
Right now the state seems to be a toss-up.