Any civic-minded high schooler can tell you: the House of Representatives and the Senate have different rules for how they determine their own state delegations, due to the rules of the constitution.
In the House, a state delegation’s numbers are based on population. A state with fewer residents, like Wyoming, only has 1 member of the House, while California, the highest-populated state, has 55.
In the Senate, it’s a completely different matter altogether: each state, no matter its size, receives two senators to represent its interests.
It’s been this way since the founding of our country, and will likely remain this way for a long time to come. Still, as journalist Ari Berman noted on Wednesday, the way in which the Senate is set up can result in some very interesting statistical factoids.
Berman looked at the senators who voted for acquittal of President Donald Trump as well as those who voted for his indictment and removal. Based on who voted (and where they were from), Berman discovered that the senators who voted to remove Trump from office represented a larger number of Americans than those who voted him “not guilty” of the two impeachment charges made against him.
Mind-blowing stat: 48 Senators who voted to convict Trump represent 18 million more Americans than 52 Republicans who voted to acquit
— Ari Berman (@AriBerman) February 5, 2020
“Mind-blowing stat: 48 Senators who voted to convict Trump represent 18 million more Americans than 52 Republicans who voted to acquit,” Berman wrote in a tweet.
In other words, the senators who voted to remove Trump from office represented a much larger population than those who voted against doing so.
Which isn’t that much of a surprise: polling data has demonstrated as much. A Fox News poll from the tail end of the last month found that 50 percent of Americans wanted Trump indicted, with 44 percent saying he should be acquitted of all articles of impeachment laid out against him.
Interestingly enough, that difference in that poll is close to the population amount that Berman discovered, per numbers from the Federal Register. Fifty percent of the U.S. population over the age of 18 is equivalent to 126 million Americans; 44 percent is roughly 111 million Americans.
The difference: 15 million, or within 3 million of the proportion Berman noted in his tweet.