Though Split 50/50, Senate Dems Will Represent 41M More People Than The GOP
With Georgia Democrats Raphael and Jon Ossoff emerging victorious from Tuesday’s runoff elections, the U.S. Senate will be split evenly between Democrats and Republicans, with Vice President-elect Kamala Harris acting as tie-breaker.
But that even split belies the actual distribution of Americans represented by each party, Vox noted on Wednesday.
If the Senate were anything approaching a democratic institution, however, the Democratic Party would have a commanding majority in Congress’s upper house. The Senate is malapportioned to give small states like Wyoming exactly as many senators as large states like California — even though California has about 68 times as many residents as Wyoming.
Because smaller states tend to be whiter and more conservative than larger states, this malapportionment gives Republicans an enormous advantage in the fight for control of the Senate. Once Warnock and Ossoff take their seats, the Democratic half of the Senate will represent 41,549,808 more people than the Republican half.
Vox provides a breakdown:
In the 25 most populous states, Democratic senators will hold a 29-21 seat majority once Warnock and Ossoff are sworn in. Republicans, meanwhile, have an identical 29-21 majority in the 25 least populous states.
The 25 most populous states contain nearly 84 percent of the 50 states’ total population. So 16 percent of the country controls half of the seats in the United States Senate (and that’s not accounting for the fact that DC, Puerto Rico, and several other US territories have no representation at all in Congress).