As is the case when the democrats don’t have control of an institution, it has come in vogue for them to attack the Senate as an awful institution. A recent Vox article advocated separating DC into several states so as to amend the constitution specifically to get rid of the Senate. Clearly this was a contrived example of a non viable plan with the purpose of destroying the Senate. But that, along with a robc’s recent article on a proposal for changing state boundaries made me wonder what would be the political ramifications of various shake ups in state boundaries. So I jumped in and decided to play around with two fantastical, but fun scenarios of a possible American Future.
Every Congressional District Becomes a State:
In this scenario every congressional district would become its own state. This would make things very strange in the House of Representatives, since as it stands right now, each state would only get 1 representative, and there would be no room for more. That doesn’t seem very tenable, as the states with larger population would probably push to have the limit increased. Also, Alaska would remain the largest state, by land area, in the country. Other states that would remain unchanged would be: Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming.
The Senate is harder to predict. We know that there would be 870 senate seats, but how those seats would be split is hard to say. In it’s simplest form, we could assume that there are no split delegations, and that whatever party currently holds the house district would have both senate seats. This would lead to a Senate composition that would be (currently) controlled by the Democrats with a 470 to 398 Majority. Our analysts say that Mitt Romney would still be a douche in this situation.
What about making Every County its own State:
What if instead all the states devolved their sovereignty to their counties, and all the counties were became states in the Union. What would occur then? Well according to this list that would leave us with 3141 states. The Senate would then become inflated to 6282 members. As for composition, in this example I decided to set each county that was within 5% in the last election as a split delegation. In that case we end up with a Republican super-majority of 5291 seats to 991. The house of Representatives would however be a mess. Obviously the house would have to have at least 3141 seats, but probably more. Of course this wouldn’t ever happen at all.
Of course there would be plenty of other ramifications. The Electoral College would be shifted in both cases, and most likely more variation within the parties (possibly even multiple local parties having representation in the Federal legislature). What other interesting ways could we split the states?