* Obama won battleground state Pennsylvania in 2008
* All but two states now use winner-take-all system
By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, Sept 14 Republicans in Pennsylvania
are mounting a bid to end the political battleground state's
winner-take-all system for electoral votes, which could hurt
President Barack Obama's re-election chances in 2012.
Under the proposal of Pennsylvania Republicans, who control
the legislature and the governorship, the winner of the state
would get two electoral votes but remaining electoral votes
would follow results in each congressional district.
In 2008, Obama, a Democrat, won all of the electoral votes
in the swing state with 55 percent of the popular vote.
The U.S. presidential election is not a national contest,
but instead is a state-by-state effort to assemble a majority
of the 538 electoral votes apportioned to the states by
"It would be harder for Democrats to win in a close
election if this goes through," John Fortier, an electoral
college expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said of the
Pennsylvania Republicans' plan.
In theory, the changes could give roughly 10 to 12 of the
20 electoral votes in Pennsylvania to Republicans -- even if
Obama wins more votes in the state as a whole in 2012, Fortier
All but two states -- Maine and Nebraska -- now use a
winner-take-all system to award electoral votes. Both are far
smaller than Pennsylvania.
The slow pace of the economic recovery is hurting Obama's
poll ratings, brightening prospects for the Republican field in
the 2012 race. Still, Obama maintains an edge over the
Republican hopefuls, the latest Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.
(Reporting by Kim Dixon; Editing by Vicki Allen)