“How Screwed Are Democrats?” Part One: History

So I’ve been going over some numbers recently, talking to folk about how the US system is entirely off kilter in terms of representation, and this seems to be more and more relevant as Democrats push for more voter access and rights. They know that according to registration and most affiliation polls, they regularly outnumber Republicans in this nation and so want that to be seen in governance as well.

It’s nice that they are doing that of course, but I’m about to rain on their parade by showing that it probably will not matter. Here’s why historically, followed up in a later article with why in 2022 this will be a hard task.

TLDR:

– Democrats are at a disadvantage when there are less Democrats in the state, but Republicans are not. 

– Democrats have a far more severe disadvantage in being not represented in the US House (28%) than Republicans do not being represented in the US Senate (10%). 

– Democrats have a 9 seat deficit and Republicans have a 7 seat surplus, for a total of 16 seat Democratic disadvantage in the US Senate based on population and voter registration.

– Democrats have a 7 seat deficit and Republicans have a 16 seat surplus, for a total of 23 seat Democratic disadvantage in the US House based on population and voter registration.

– Democratic Senators need on average 900K more votes than their Republican counterparts, and draw from a much larger population (35% more), with Californian Senators needing 69 votes for every 1 in Wyoming.

– Democrats have significantly fewer strongholds (16 to 22) and in those strongholds they hold 58% of their House Seats. It also takes them 5% more votes per seat in these strongholds than for Republican strongholds. Republicans also have double the ratio of their seats in Democratic strongholds (14% to 7% Democratic seats in Republican Strongholds).  

– Once strongholds and leaning states are accounted for, Democrats are far less likely to pull off a win in battleground states, having only 5 ways to win while Republicans have 11, and having used 76% of their base versus 50% of Republicans.

Analysis

Out of the 25 States with the least number of Republicans:
– 7 are Deep Red States
– 4 are Red States
– 3 are Purple States
– 4 are Blue States
– 7 are Deep Blue States

Out of the 25 States with the least number of Democrats:
– 8 are Deep Red States
– 4 are Red States
– 3 are Purple States
– 3 are Blue States
– 6 are Deep Blue States

So we already see Point 1:
– Democrats are at a disadvantage when there are less Democrats in the state, but Republicans are not. 

4,120,823 Republicans live in States where they have no Representatives
5,278,138 Democrats live in States where they have no Representatives

28% more Democrats are entirely unrepresented in the US House than Republicans

39,032,785 Democrats live in states where they have no representation in the US Senate.
43,154,966 Republicans live in states where they have no representation in the US Senate.

While this seems like a better stat for Democrats, the US Senate is not a representative body in the least, and the fact that 10% more Republicans are entirely unrepresented in the US Senate isn’t nearly as impactful as the US House disadvantage. 

So we have Point 2:
– Democrats have a far more severe disadvantage in being not represented in the US House (28%) than Republicans do not being represented in the US Senate (10%). 

Underrepresentation is even more of a hit. 

12 States should, based on voter registration and population, have more Democratic senators, including 2 States that should have 2 but have none. 
5 States have a Democratic Senator where it was not expected to have one.
5 States should, based on voter registration and population, have more Republicans senators.
11 States have a Republican Senator where it was not expected to have one, including 1 State that should not have had even 1.

That means that in the US Senate, Democrats have 9 less seats than expected, while Republicans have 7 more than they are expected to have. 

What should be a 33% advantage becomes 0% in reality. 

There should be 80 Independent US Reps based on party affiliation and population. There are 0.
There should be 193 Democratic US Reps based on party affiliation and population. There are 221. 
There should be 162 Republican US Reps based on party affiliation and population. There are 214.   

There are 19 States with less Democratic Representatives than expected, for a total of 24 Seats.
There are 12 States with less Republican Representatives than expected, for a total of 17 Seats.

There are 18 States with more Democratic Representative than expected, for a total of 53 Seats.
There are 29 States with more Republican Representative than expected, for a total of 69 Seats.

What should be an 18% seat advantage in the House becomes only a 3% advantage in reality.

So we have Point 3 and 4:
– Democrats have a 9 seat deficit and Republicans have a 7 seat surplus, for a total of 16 seat Democratic disadvantage in the US Senate based on population and voter registration.
– Democrats have a 7 seat deficit and Republicans have a 16 seat surplus, for a total of 23 seat Democratic disadvantage in the US House based on population and voter registration.

In the 22 states where Republicans hold a monopoly on the Senate:
– The average vote per seat is 2,195,423
– The range is from 222,157 to 10,783,568
– The total maximum voter population is 96,598,605

In the 21 states where Democrats hold a monopoly on the Senate:
– The average vote per seat is 3,096,433
– The range is from 384,734 to 15,291,230
– The total maximum voter population is 130,050,166

Taking the other 7 states into account, we get:
– Average vote per seat of 1,979,123
– Range of 254,931 to 5,083,030
– 
Max VoterPopulationof 27,707,720

So for 2 fewer seats, Democrats need 901,010 more votes per seat on average, with a higher minimum and maximum votes per seat, with a population 35% bigger.

Point 5:
– Democratic Senators need on average 900K more votes than their Republican counterparts, and draw from a much larger population (35%), with Californian Senators needing 69 votes for every 1 in Wyoming.

In the 8 states where Democrats hold a monopoly in the House
– There are 24 seats. 
– Average vote per seat is 567,726
– Range is from 427,028 to 769,468
– The total maximum voter population is 13,814,174

In the 8 states where Democrats hold a significant majority (over 100% advantage) in the House:
– There are 137 seats, 105 of which are Democratic ones (77%). 
– Average vote per seat is 590,253
– Range is from 547,141 to 670,114
– The total maximum voter population is 79,172,117

This means that there are 16 states with strong Democratic representation, containing 129 Democratic seats out of 161 total, and representing 92,986,291 people, for a Total vote per seat of 577,554 and a Democratic vote per seat of 720,824. 

In the 11 states where Republicans hold a monopoly in the House:
– There are 26 seats.
– Average vote per seat is 586,977
– 
Range is from 444,313 to 839,418
– 
The total maximum voter population is 14,894,286

In the 11 states where Republicans hold a significant majority (over 100% advantage) in the House:
– There are 80 seats, 63 of which are Republican ones (79%). 
– Average vote per seat is 576,919
– 
Range is from 544,534 to 606,957
– 
The total maximum voter population is 46,118,621

This means that there are 22 states with strong Republican representation, containing 89 Republican seats out of 106 total, and representing 61,012,907 people, for a Total vote per seat of 575,594 and a Republican vote per seat of 685,538.

The remaining 12 States have:- 168 seats, 75 of which are Democratic and 93 of which are Republican. 
– An average vote per seat of 590,985
– 
A total maximum possible voter population of 100,357,293

Point 6: – Democrats have significantly fewer strongholds (16 to 22) and in those strongholds they hold 58% of their House Seats. It also takes them 5% more votes per seat in these strongholds than for Republican strongholds. Republicans also have double the ratio of their seats in Democratic strongholds (14% to 7% Democratic seats in Republican Strongholds).  

Lastly, each of the above points has impact on the Electoral College. Since the number of votes per state is equal to the number of Representative and Senators, we can look per state at how that impacts the Presidential race(and how it significantly disadvantages Democrats while completely killing any third party chances). Since almost every state is winner take all, this makes estimations easier (but is a terrible way to do it which disenfranchises everyone who voted for the other party). 

Supposing that trends in voting for US House and Senate also carry over to trends in Presidential voting (far from a certainty!) we can roughly estimate that there are 22 states that are likely to go to the Republican candidate and 16 that are likely to go to the Democratic one.

For Republicans, that’s 44 EC votes (from the Senate) and 106 EC votes (from the House) for a total secure EC base of 146 votes.
For Democrats, that’s a 32 EC vote total from the Senate and 161 from the House, for a total secure EC base of 193 votes.

While that looks great for Democrats, the number of voters need for those votes shows the problem.

For Democrats to get those votes, it took a maximum population of 92,986,291 people giving them a per EC vote of 481,794 (and perhaps more reliably, 46,506,563 Democratic votes, 41% of their entire voter base and 2/3rds of the average turnout. This also means a per EC vote of 240,967 Democrats).
For Republicans to get their votes, it took a maximum population of 61,012,907 people giving them a per EC vote of 417,897 (and perhaps more reliably, 27,326,312 Republican votes, 29% of their entire voter base and 1/3rd of the average turnout  This also means a per EC vote of 187,167 Republicans).

So by the time the secure States are in, Democrats have already had to have 50K more voters per EC and they’ve used 41% of their voter base for 71% of the needed EC votes. Meanwhile, Republicans have already managed get 55% of their goal with only 29% of their voter base. And these are the most secure states; there are still 12 battleground states to go through, with only leaning Democratic. 

Of the 3 leaning Democratic, 27 Electoral Votes are available.
They make up 12,758,740 potential voters and 5,256,296 Democratic voters.
That means 472,546 & 194,678 votes per EC respectively, and is another 5% of the Democratic base.

Of the leaning Republican, 92 Electoral Votes are available.
They make up 51,522,367 potential voters and 20,049,033 Republican voters.
That means 560,026 & 217,924 votes per EC respectively, and is another 21% of the Republican base. 

So that means we now have 220 EC votes for Democrats, with 76% of their base accounted for, and we have 238 EC votes for Republicans, with 50% of their base accounted for. 

Which means the Democrats have only 24% of their base left to capture 50 EC votes from the remaining 5 states, whereas Republicans have 50% of their base to capture 32 EC votes.

Georgia has 16 EC votes, and is split evenly on party affiliation, has Democratic Senators and majority Republican Representatives.
Arizona has 11 EC votes, has slightly more Republicans than Democrats, and has Democratic Senators and majority Republican Representatives.
Minnesota has 10 EC votes, more Democrats, and has Democratic Senators with an evenly split House.
Michigan has 16 EC votes, significantly more Democrats, and has Democratic Senators with an evenly split House.
Pennsylvania has 20 EC votes, more Democrats, and has a completely even Senate and House.

Democrats need to win at least 3 of these states to win, and they must be Georgia, Arizona and Pennsylvania. Otherwise they have to win 4 states, any combination.
Republicans only need two states, Pennsylvania and Georgia, or a combination any 3. 

Point 7:– Once strongholds and leaning states are accounted for, Democrats are far less likely to pull off a win in battleground states, having only 5 ways to win while Republicans have 11, and having used 76% of their base versus 50% of Republicans.

MORAL OF THE STORY

If you want to fix what’s wrong with our system, stop the gerrymandering, rebalance the Senate, and push for a national vote, not an EC one, for POTUS (or have states give out their ECs based on the vote, not winner take all). Otherwise you will forever be ruled by a minority of the population using an old, stagnating system to their permanent advantage. 

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