If some Republican leaders had their way, states in which the GOP controls legislatures and governors’ offices soon would reshape election laws.

Maine and Nebraska moved away from a winner-takes-all system of awarding Electoral College votes to one that allocates them by congressional districts. The concept could quietly gain momentum during the Republican National Committee’s Winter Meeting here, though many GOP members caution that changing the way states bestow electoral votes could backfire and hurt governors and congressional candidates. …

President Obama won the popular vote in November with 65.9 million votes, or 51.1 percent, to Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s 60.9 million, or 47.2 percent, and won the Electoral College, 332-206. If states awarded electoral votes proportionally, it’s unclear whether he would have been re-elected.

In Pennsylvania, Pileggi’s new plan would award two votes to the winner of the popular vote statewide and then divide the 18 congressional districts based on the percentage of the popular vote each presidential candidate received.