Hansen notes that even if rules for apportioning states’ electoral college votes been different in 2012, there’s no certainty that the outcome would have been different (since Pres. Obama would have campaigned and spent differently under different rules). Yet, the real GOP problem might become one of voters’ perception:
And finally, there is the risk of backlash, and this is where the Democratic freak-out comes into play. Republicans seem to have overplayed their hands in the 2012 election, adopting controversial voter identification, voter registration, and early voting rules intended to make it harder for Democrats to vote. To some extent these efforts in the voting wars backfired, subjecting Republicans to public criticism and some judicial reversals, and inspiring increased Democratic turnout to the polls. If Republicans proceed with these plans, any “rigging” or “gaming” of the Electoral College rules will be played up the same way by Democrats: Republicans can’t win fair and square, so they have to manipulate the rules.