Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Vermont’s Outsized Influence

clipped from blogs.wsj.com
Texas had 23.5 million residents in 2006, according to the U.S. Census Bureau — more than twice the population of Ohio at the time. Yet in today’s primary, Ohio has just 27% fewer delegates at stake than Texas. Meanwhile, Texas has 38 times the number of people as Vermont, but just 13 times more delegates at stake. Rhode Island has more than twice the number of delegates as Texas, per-person.
Campaign 2008
delegate counts use the Electoral College count as proxy for population
smaller states benefit
All of these disparities concern pledged delegates, whose votes are supposed to be tied to the states’ popular votes. Superdelegates, whose votes aren’t bound, also aren’t tied to states’ population. Instead, they reflect the residence of Democratic National Committee members and the significant political offices held by Democrats in the states. As a result, Vermont has a superdelegate for every 78,000 people, according to the 2006 population figures; for Texas, it’s one in 672,000.
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