Political Wire asks the following:
Q. Which state is most over-represented in the Electoral College?
They're not the most screwed in terms of Congressional representation, though. That dubious honor falls on Montana, whose population of 917,000 is nearly double Wyoming's, but they both have one solitary member in the House. Delaware, South Dakota, Utah, and Mississippi all have over 700,000 people per representative as of the 2000 reallocation.
Personally, I think the problem here is that we're forced to play a zero-sum game when it comes to allocation Congressfolk every ten years. I think a better answer, or at least one that allows for more equal representation in all 50 states, is to drop the rule that restricts Congress to 435 total members. Let each state have a number of Congressfolk that's proportionate to the state with the least population. If that means finding more office space every ten years - and it will, since the fastest growing states are adding population at a much faster clip than Wyoming is - then so be it.
Awhile back, in a moment of boredom, I put together this spreadsheet that reallocated Congressfolk and electoral votes based on 2000 Census populations and one Congressperson per population of Wyoming, which was 493,872 at that time. California gains 16 representatives, while Texas gets ten more, New York nine, Florida seven, Illinois and Michigan six each, and Ohio and Michigan five each. Every state except for North Dakota, Alaska, Vermont, and Wyoming gain a representative and an equivalent number of EVs. (Washington DC, with a population between Wyoming and Vermont, stays pat with 3 EVs.) The House would wind up with 569 members, nearly a third more than what it has now.
Now, I don't expect anyone to rush to adopt such a proposal. It's more for your amusement than anything else, though if someone did put it on the table I'd be first in line to advocate for it. It's certainly clear that the people of most states deserve more representation, so I could see this getting some support.
By the way, I should note that I didn't fill in the values from the 1990 Census, so I can't say how the 2000 election might have been different under this scheme. I can say that using the 2000 apportionments, Bush would have won by a slightly larger margin, 345-327 (there would be 672 EVs, with 337 needed to win), not too surprising since his margin would have been 278-260 with 2000 Census numbers. If anyone wants to dig out that data and do the math, I'll be happy to post an update.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 17, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack