With the mid-term elections coming up, I’ve been trying to explain how the Senate works to people here. One of the things was trying to explain that the representation is not really proportional. With a list of senators and the populations of the states from the census I came up with this table:

             | # Senators | Population
Democrats    |         47 | 181006181
Independents |          2 |    979781
Republicans  |         51 | 143039212

The ‘# Senators’ is just pretty simple counting.

For the Population, I went through the list of senators and for each got the population of the state, and for each senator I added half the state’s population to the corresponding party. I figured I’d find something like this, but I was a bit surprised by the size of the difference.

The Independents are Bernie Sanders and Angus King of Vermont. Both usually vote with the Democrats (i.e., they ‘caucus’ with the Democrats). If we were to add them to the Democrats we’d have an even bigger anti-correlation.


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