The results of the recent mid-term election made clear to me, once again, that we are long overdue to reform the way we elect our national legislative representatives. The House, the lower legislative body, reflects the actual population in the country. That’s fair. But the upper and more powerful body, the Senate, is elected by a badly warped selection system. As Paul Krugman put it in his 8 November New York Times op-ed, “The Senate, which gives each state the same number of seats regardless of population—which gives fewer than 600,000 people in Wyoming the same representation as almost 40 million in California—drastically overweights those rural areas and underweights the places where most Americans live.”
The numbers: as of July 2018, 40% of all voters in party registration states are Democrats, 29% are Republicans, and 28% are independents. I have no figures on how independents voted in the November 2018 mid-term election, but the press states that the majority voted for the Democrats. In short, Democratic voters greatly outnumber Republican voters. And yet the Senate went to the Republicans.
With the current population distribution in the U.S., that means that Republicans, who predominate in low-population rural states, are unfairly given a great advantage over Democrats. And it explains how it came to pass that in our most recent mid-term, Democrats took the House, but Republicans took the Senate.
That, in sum, gives the white well-to-do unearned and unfair advantage.
It’s long since time we reformed the way we elect the Senate.