UNITED STATES ELECTORAL SYSTEM
‘In America’s political system winning votes and winning office are not the same thing. Federal elections give more power to rural voters than to urban or suburban ones. When it comes to picking a president, California has one electoral-college vote per 720,000 people. In Wyoming the ratio is one per 190,000. The disparity is much greater in the Senate, since California (population 39.5m) and Wyoming (population 580,000) both elect two senators,’ (The Economist Special Report: America’s Democrats, July 14-20th 2018, p4).
‘To make sure the largest states do not dominate the rest, the constitution provides equal representation for all the states, large and small alike. This builds in an over-representation for people in small or sparsely populated places. The greatest and the smallest states each have two senators, in order that Congress should represent territory as well as people. Yet the over-representation of rural America was not supposed to affect the House and the presidency. For most of the past 200 years, when rural, urban and suburban interests were scattered between the parties, it did not. Today, however, the 13 states where people live closest together have 121 Democratic House members and 73 Republican ones, whereas the rest have 163 Republicans and just 72 Democrats. America has one party built on territory and another built on people. Places where people live close together vote Democratic, places where they live farther apart vote Republican,’ (‘The minority majority,’ The Economist, July 14-20th 2018, p20).