Mon March 11, 2013
Small state advantage: U.S. Senate
The NY Times has a trenchant piece by Adam Liptak today on the outsize clout that small states have in the U.S. Senate. This will come as no surprise to political junkies and constitutional scholar types, but more casual observers of Congressional politics may be surprised to learn just how much better off small states are in the U.S. Senate, where each state is represented by a pair of senators, regardless of population. The most dramatic aspect of the article details how the overrepresentation in the Senate is among the reasons why the smaller states and their local governments received more federal aid per capita in 2010. Alaska received $4,680, Wyoming got $4,180 per capita, Vermont got , North Dakota received $3,220 and New Mexico got $3,310. Such large states as Texas and California were at the bottom of the federal spending barrel, getting $1,740 and $1,790 respectively.
Rhode Island received $2,800 per capita in federal support, which is significantly above the U.S. average of $ 2,010.
The article noted that most of the least populated states are deep red and represented by conservative Republicans. But a few of the small states are blue and lean Democratic in national elections, including Vermont, Delaware, Maine and R.I.
The entire piece is here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/03/11/us/politics/democracy-tested.html?ref=todayspaper&_r=0