A Majority of Sorts

By way of Slate, I read this piece by Hendrik Hertzberg, which contained some interesting math.

Well, if each of every state’s two senators is taken to represent half that state’s population, then the Senate’s fifty-five Republicans represent 131 million people, while its forty-four Democrats represent 161 million. Looked at another way, the present Senate is the product of three elections, those of 2000, 2002, and 2004. In those elections, the total vote for Democratic senatorial candidates, winning and losing, was 99.7 million; for Republicans it was 97.3 million. The forty-four-person Senate Democratic minority, therefore, represents a two-million-plus popular majority—a circumstance that, unless acres trump people, is at variance with common-sense notions of democracy.

So what’s our excuse in the House? Oh right… gerrymandering.

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  • […] But the main thing is that he’s just wrong about the “red state blue state problem”. So what if the blue states are losing population to the red states? The issue is that the population ratio between the states is irrelevant. To illustrate: as we’ve learned, the 44 of democrats in the Senate actually represent more people than do the 55 republicans. In fact, if population really is flowing to the red states, that can only be good news for the Dems. The former blue-staters would be inflating the value of their vote, and assuming that a person’s politics are more determined by who he/she is than where he/she lives, those inflated votes will go to more democrats than republicans. […]

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