Skip to content
 
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Five Thirty-Eight)   Nate Silver lays out the numbers why it's so hard for Democrats to take the Senate: rural areas have 2 to 3 times more power than they should based on population   (fivethirtyeight.com) divider line
    More: Scary, United States, control of the U.S. Senate, United States Senate, Democratic Party, rural areas, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, urban core  
•       •       •

2002 clicks; posted to Politics » on 21 Sep 2020 at 1:24 PM (4 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



378 Comments     (+0 »)
 
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | » | Newest | Show all

 
2020-09-21 12:24:00 PM  
DC and PR having Senators will address some of the problem.
 
2020-09-21 12:37:39 PM  
Fun facts:

* The Senate is rigged so that 18% of voters can control a firm, fillibuster-proof majority.

* A Senate seat is safer than a seat in the House of Lords. They are essentially heriditary, with a spouse or child able to count on the inheriting the seat if they wish.

* This system was the Crypto-Tory price for allowing democracy at all. It is aristocracy without the responsability, noblesse oblige or class. It is plutocracy incarnate.

* The College of Electors that rules Amerika is essentially as anti-democratic as that which ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The founding grabbers did not trust the people, let alone the mob. In their eyes, the urban masses were seditious aliens and runaway slaves and serfs.

* Russia abolished Serfdom before America abolished slavery, the British Empire beat both by a generation.

* The USA is one of the few countries of the world to still have Rotten Boroughs, Pocket Burroughs and a Legislature where any rich man or his friends (or rich woman even) can count on taking a seat if they wish and are willing to spend the money or who have sponsors.

* Everybody has known this since the days of John Addams, let alone Henry Addams and DeToqueville. Everybody but the Peasant Simps who vote for these evil minions and their evil overlords. By everybody, I mean the same everybody that Republicans mean when they speak of "the People" or "America", which is to say the 0.1% or fewer.

From "Notes to Assist in the Teaching of Real American History for the Use of the God King Trump"
 
2020-09-21 12:38:38 PM  
fark Whigs. fark Tories. fark Trumpery and Tumps.
 
2020-09-21 12:39:46 PM  

eurotrader: DC and PR having Senators will address some of the problem.


The time has come to do whatever has to be done in order to make it possible to become a first-world country.

And then do whatever has to be done to make our country a first-world country.
 
2020-09-21 12:45:22 PM  
The whole point of the Senate was to protect the interest of slave owning (i.e. rural) states, which could never match the population of the growing free (industrial) states.  If you look historically, one slave state would be admitted with every free state (and vice versa), until Kansas screws up the balance.  There was real panic amongst the slave holding states as they were running out of territories to become slave states, leading to things like the proposed Crittenden amendment to the constitution and an active interest in annexing Cuba (the Ostend Manifesto).

Then after the war when the Republicans felt their grip on power was about to slip, they brought in 6 states in 1889-1890 to shore up their numbers in the Senate and retain power.

We see the same basic calculation today: an effective minority national party is able to retain substantial power because of skewed representation in the Senate.
 
2020-09-21 12:55:54 PM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: The whole point of the Senate was to protect the interest of slave owning (i.e. rural) states, which could never match the population of the growing free (industrial) states.  If you look historically, one slave state would be admitted with every free state (and vice versa), until Kansas screws up the balance.  There was real panic amongst the slave holding states as they were running out of territories to become slave states, leading to things like the proposed Crittenden amendment to the constitution and an active interest in annexing Cuba (the Ostend Manifesto).

Then after the war when the Republicans felt their grip on power was about to slip, they brought in 6 states in 1889-1890 to shore up their numbers in the Senate and retain power.

We see the same basic calculation today: an effective minority national party is able to retain substantial power because of skewed representation in the Senate.


We are starting to get to the point where we should probably consider actually giving republicans what they've so desperately asked for:  Smaller federal government.  Give the power back to the states and let the blue states that control the majority of the money actually govern themselves.  It would certainly go a long way to solving this imbalance of power at the federal level.

Of course, the second we do that, republicans are suddenly going to start trying to bully blue states with federal powers.
 
2020-09-21 1:01:02 PM  
I think this analysis is fundamentally flawed, at least in how it's being conveyed to a casual audience:

Rural: Less than 25,000 people live within a 5-mile radius of you

Although the statistical splits among the 4 groups here are pretty even, the definition above seems a little confusing. For example, I've been to lots of very small towns in New Jersey, yet NJ is only considered 5% rural by definition. Then you look at Georgia, where virtually half the state lives in the ATL metro area...and it's only 7% urban/big city.

I'm not saying the numbers are wrong, they're just so pedantically delineated as to be nearly useless for interpretation. I think anyone reading this already accepted that Wyoming has a disproportionate say in national politics because of how the Senate works.
 
2020-09-21 1:01:55 PM  

brantgoose: Fun facts:

* The Senate is rigged so that 18% of voters can control a firm, fillibuster-proof majority.

* A Senate seat is safer than a seat in the House of Lords. They are essentially heriditary, with a spouse or child able to count on the inheriting the seat if they wish.

* This system was the Crypto-Tory price for allowing democracy at all. It is aristocracy without the responsability, noblesse oblige or class. It is plutocracy incarnate.

* The College of Electors that rules Amerika is essentially as anti-democratic as that which ruled the Holy Roman Empire. The founding grabbers did not trust the people, let alone the mob. In their eyes, the urban masses were seditious aliens and runaway slaves and serfs.

* Russia abolished Serfdom before America abolished slavery, the British Empire beat both by a generation.

* The USA is one of the few countries of the world to still have Rotten Boroughs, Pocket Burroughs and a Legislature where any rich man or his friends (or rich woman even) can count on taking a seat if they wish and are willing to spend the money or who have sponsors.

* Everybody has known this since the days of John Addams, let alone Henry Addams and DeToqueville. Everybody but the Peasant Simps who vote for these evil minions and their evil overlords. By everybody, I mean the same everybody that Republicans mean when they speak of "the People" or "America", which is to say the 0.1% or fewer.

From "Notes to Assist in the Teaching of Real American History for the Use of the God King Trump"


You usually strike me as insane, but this is incredibly spot on.

Oh, Reginald!! I agree!
 
2020-09-21 1:17:54 PM  
Nothing quite like naturally gerrymandered systems.

But I guess that the 17 people in Wyoming need equal representation to the tens of millions of Californians.

Anything else would be a tyranny of the majority with CA dragging the backwards states into the modern world, and we can't be having that I'm afraid.
 
2020-09-21 1:27:15 PM  
Well Democrats will have to fix that when they take over

/they won't
//fix that
 
2020-09-21 1:27:42 PM  
No shiat, Sherlock.

No shiat.
 
2020-09-21 1:28:20 PM  

Driedsponge: We are starting to get to the point where we should probably consider actually giving republicans what they've so desperately asked for:  Smaller federal government.  Give the power back to the states and let the blue states that control the majority of the money actually govern themselves.  It would certainly go a long way to solving this imbalance of power at the federal level.

Of course, the second we do that, republicans are suddenly going to start trying to bully blue states with federal powers.



Start?
 
2020-09-21 1:28:57 PM  
I will have you know, good sir, that this country is made up of states to chose to form this great nation, and as such are entitled to their boundaries.  Why, I don't need to remind everyone of the great debates that went on when Montana had to decide whether to join this country or strike out on its own, a thing that totally happened.
 
2020-09-21 1:29:10 PM  

whidbey: No shiat, Sherlock.

No shiat.


It's by design.

/Shiatty, shiatty design
 
2020-09-21 1:29:18 PM  
At some point it's probably cheaper for California and NY to export folks to Wyoming, Montana, etc, and pay them a stipend to live there and then get that money back from the newly blue federal government.
 
2020-09-21 1:29:35 PM  
oh!  oh!  Is this where someone comes along and says that Nate Silver is full of shiat because he wrongly predicted Hillary was going to get 120% of the vote and look at how wrong he was and he's a loser pollster anyways?
 
2020-09-21 1:30:54 PM  
Used to be if things were broken they would get changed.

Honestly if this crop of Republicans were around when the Articles of the Confederation was failing (and modern Repubs would have definitely wanted it to succeed back then, and not just because of the dixie-esque name) they would have refused to try something different and the nation would have probably been attacked and taken over by England or France.
 
2020-09-21 1:30:56 PM  
They have the power they were guaranteed when they joined the union for mutual benefit... they do not have too much power.

The fault is the leftist panty wastes being unable to convince a majority of the states that they have the best plan forward for this country.

You guys seriously need to adult up and start an outreach project (other than your educational centers of indoctrination) if you want the country to go left.
 
2020-09-21 1:31:09 PM  
I want to see the west coast break away and form Calorengton.
 
2020-09-21 1:32:15 PM  

Gubbo: But I guess that the 17 people in Wyoming need equal representation to the tens of millions of Californians.


It's 18 now.  Tina had a baby.
 
2020-09-21 1:32:53 PM  
I agree that the senate has too much power.  When one person from one state can shut down the legislative branch or contravene the laws of the land, it becomes more apparent.
 
2020-09-21 1:34:04 PM  

Armchair_Invective: I agree that the senate has too much power.  When one person from one state can shut down the legislative branch or contravene the laws of the land, it becomes more apparent.


Out system is built to promote the status quo with improvements (or sabotage as the Dems are trying to do) being very difficult and implemented incrementally.
 
2020-09-21 1:34:23 PM  

eurotrader: DC and PR having Senators will address some of the problem.


Don't be so sure. A representative from PR was on NPR this weekend gushing about Trumps actions and how PRs judge by what you do, not what you say. This, of course, in the wake if the aid he pledged to the island. She went on about how no president had helped them until now.

Sadly, I wouldn't put those in the "win" column yet
 
2020-09-21 1:34:33 PM  
How many Rhode Islands is that?
 
2020-09-21 1:34:45 PM  
Red States are like deadbeat older relatives living your house, not paying rent, but still insisting that they get to set your curfew
 
2020-09-21 1:35:09 PM  
I read somewhere that in the year 2040, over 35% - 40% of population will live in only 15 states.  That's only 30 Senators representing them and dwindling...
 
2020-09-21 1:36:12 PM  
Redraw state lines ever 100 years.  Like redistricting, except for states. 

As a native Texan, this is a tough pill to swallow. 
Fark user imageView Full Size


Real American Genius: Mr. Way Too Proud of Texas Guy!
Youtube 2CXr1ovFftg
 
2020-09-21 1:38:24 PM  

AdmirableSnackbar: eurotrader: DC and PR having Senators will address some of the problem.

The time has come to do whatever has to be done in order to make it possible to become a first-world country.


Except bother to show up to vote in sufficient numbers in a primary or to move somewhere that matters in an election year.
 
2020-09-21 1:39:10 PM  
A GOP Senator voting on impeachment right now loses votes no matter which way they go.  You either excite democrats by voting to acquit or you demotivate hilljacks if you vote to convict.  I don't think it's possible to gain hilljack votes by acquitting, all those people are already on your side and committed to vote.

Dude has murdered 200,000 Americans plus all of the other atrocities.  Do Eeeiiit.
 
2020-09-21 1:39:26 PM  
Put up signs in the sticks saying you don't have to vote the way paw tells you to.

Failing that, move to the sticks.
 
2020-09-21 1:39:41 PM  

Armchair_Invective: I agree that the senate has too much power.  When one person from one state can shut down the legislative branch or contravene the laws of the land, it becomes more apparent.


Which is why the filibuster is going to die.

When Reid went nuclear on judicial appointments it was a trap for the GOP. If the GOP ever took it farther then the trap slams shut and Democrats get rid of the filibuster all the way. The Democrats inched it towards the edge, and the GOP pushed it off. It was shrewd, long-term politics. The GOP could have walked it back, they didn't.

As far as the electorate is concerned, I don't think there's much expectation that Democrats aren't going to try to pack the courts, end the filibuster, and even on to adding new states and abolishing the EC. At this point they are justified by all the bullshiat the GOP has pulled, and all of McConnell's hand-wringing will be completely ignored.

All the Democrats have to do is win the Senate back. Tall order, unfortunately. But if they can do it, there is a serious mandate and expectations for change.
 
2020-09-21 1:39:45 PM  
Republicans agree that the way the Constitution lays out the balance of power is very unfair, and will work on adjusting it so the Presidency, House, and Senate are all handled equally:

- Increase the House to an even 450 members, and give each state 9 Representatives Total.
- Presidency is decided by which candidate wins the largest number of states.

This plan will go into effect the second Texas becomes a serious battleground even without Trump on the ticket.
 
2020-09-21 1:41:58 PM  
Well, good thing Covid is gonna hit all the rural areas real hard as their room temperature IQ has allowed a deadly disease to propagate into their midst.  Given how long the magats have spent voting against their own interest, which is reflected in the lack of medical care in rural areas, looks like they played themselves.
 
2020-09-21 1:43:12 PM  

bthom37: At some point it's probably cheaper for California and NY to export folks to Wyoming, Montana, etc, and pay them a stipend to live there and then get that money back from the newly blue federal government.


The states of Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and both Dakotas (why do we even have two?) have a combined population of 4.7 million which puts them on par with Louisiana. They have a combined 10 senators, 6 congressional districts, and 16 electoral college votes (Lousiana has 2 Senators, 6 CDs and 8 EC votes).
 
2020-09-21 1:45:22 PM  
As I said in another thread, the idea that states (i.e. land) is more important than people is going to destroy the country. It was a stupid idea to begin with, and the fact that the founders kept it after the Articles of Confederation failed is another stain on their legacy.
 
2020-09-21 1:46:04 PM  
The House is based on population. The Senate is based on the number of states.

For a reason.
 
2020-09-21 1:49:19 PM  

Driedsponge: We are starting to get to the point where we should probably consider actually giving republicans what they've so desperately asked for:  Smaller federal government.  Give the power back to the states and let the blue states that control the majority of the money actually govern themselves.


"When your political system can be thrown into hysteria by something as predictable as the death of an octogenarian with advanced cancer, there's something wrong with your political system. And when your judicial system can be redirected by such an event, there's something wrong with your judicial system, too." - Glenn Reynolds, USA Today
 
2020-09-21 1:50:40 PM  

lilplatinum: AdmirableSnackbar: eurotrader: DC and PR having Senators will address some of the problem.

The time has come to do whatever has to be done in order to make it possible to become a first-world country.

Except bother to show up to vote in sufficient numbers in a primary or to move somewhere that matters in an election year.


"just move to somewhere your vote will count"

Spoken like a person with plenty of money and no responsibilities, gladly telling others they should drastically alter their lives rather than change the system where such buffoonery can disguise itself as "reasonable"
 
2020-09-21 1:51:15 PM  

Walker: Well Democrats will have to fix that when they take over

/they won't
//fix that


requires constitutional amendment, how do you propose they manage it?
 
2020-09-21 1:51:32 PM  
And highly populated States get more congressional seats.

That's how it is supposed to be.
 
2020-09-21 1:52:59 PM  

Angry Drunk Bureaucrat: The whole point of the Senate was to protect the interest of slave owning (i.e. rural) states, which could never match the population of the growing free (industrial) states.



I'm sure someone will have corrected you already, but you are wrong.
Virginia, a slave state, was far and away the largest state by population when then country began, containing nearly 20% of the entire population of the country.
I'm not sure where you are getting your misinformation, but please stop pushing it.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1790_Un​i​ted_States_Census
 
2020-09-21 1:54:45 PM  

Kangaroo_Ralph: The House is based on population. The Senate is based on the number of states.

For a reason.


Except the house isn't based on population.

It's apportioned based on population, but it hasnt actually been based on population in over a century, when the size of the House was locked so that the sitting Congressmen wouldn't see their individual power continue to diminish as the House grew along with the population.

\The EC would be far less broken, also, without that
 
2020-09-21 1:55:04 PM  

Kazan: Walker: Well Democrats will have to fix that when they take over

/they won't
//fix that

requires constitutional amendment, how do you propose they manage it?


They should get started on an amendment. Hell, they should have started on the amendment after the 2000 election.
 
2020-09-21 1:55:52 PM  

JDAT: And highly populated States get more congressional seats.

That's how it is supposed to be.


Except they don't get nearly as many as they're supposed to.
 
2020-09-21 1:56:13 PM  

dwrash: They have the power they were guaranteed when they joined the union for mutual benefit... they do not have too much power.

The fault is the leftist panty wastes being unable to convince a majority of the states that they have the best plan forward for this country.

You guys seriously need to adult up and start an outreach project (other than your educational centers of indoctrination) if you want the country to go left.


"Panty wastes"

It would be funny if it weren't so sad.
 
2020-09-21 1:56:23 PM  

lilplatinum: AdmirableSnackbar: eurotrader: DC and PR having Senators will address some of the problem.

The time has come to do whatever has to be done in order to make it possible to become a first-world country.

Except bother to show up to vote in sufficient numbers in a primary or to move somewhere that matters in an election year.


Because picking up and moving to another state (or even in the same state) is such an easy thing.
 
2020-09-21 1:57:20 PM  
That's as designed.
 
2020-09-21 1:58:17 PM  

Gubbo: But I guess that the 17 people in Wyoming need equal representation to the tens of millions of Californians.


Do you have a problem with Barbados, population 286,000 having one vote in the United Nations and India, population 1,300,000, also having one vote?
 
2020-09-21 1:58:37 PM  
Duh.

Water is wet.

The US Constitution is anti-democratic. Small d.

The admission of 2 Dakotas, a Wyoming, Arizona. New Mexico, and Alaska was insane.

The refusal to admit PR and DC is criminal.
 
2020-09-21 1:58:53 PM  
Every state gets -precisely- the same representation in the Senate based on population: Zero.
 
Displayed 50 of 378 comments


Oldest | « | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | » | Newest | Show all


View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest

This thread is closed to new comments.

Continue Farking





On Twitter



  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.