The Democrats' uphill climb in the Senate!


A rough account of a difficult task: Under current arrangements, how hard is it for Democrats to win a majority in the Senate?

Judging from appearances, it's hard! Consider the results of the last two presidential elections.

In 2020, Candidate Biden defeated Candidate Trump by roughly 7.1 million votes—by roughly 4.4% of the total vote. 

That said, Biden won only 25 states. Using that election as a (very rough) model, Democratic victories of that fairly decent magnitude would tend to produce a 50-50 Senate instead of some sort of Democratic majority.

The climb looks even more uphill based on 2016. In that election, Candidate Clinton defeated Candidate Trump by roughly 2.9 million votes—by roughly 2.1% of the total vote.

Candidate Clinton won the national vote—but she won only 20 states! Using that election as a very rough model, Democratic wins of that magnitude would tend to produce a 60-40 Republican Senate!

This is a very crude way of quantifying this problem. That said, everyone knows how this unfortunate sinkhole works:

The smaller states get two senators each, just as the larger states do. But at the present time, the smaller states tend to tilt conservative. 

This creates a situation in which it's hard for Democrats to assemble a serious Senate majority, even as the party keeps winning the nationwide vote in Senate and White House voting.

Biden has only 50 senators—and one of them hails from bright red West Virginia! For the past year, our daydreaming tribe has preferred to whistle past the graveyard which has been built at the foot of this uphill climb!

The last Republican victor: The last Republican to win the nationwide popular vote was George W. Bush, and he did so only once. In 2004, he defeated Candidate Kerry by roughly 3.0 million votes—by roughly 2.4% of the total vote.

That was a fairly modest win—but Bush won 31 states that year! With respect to so-called "Senate math," you can take it from there.

For the record, Bush won 30 states in November 2000, when he narrowly lost the popular vote to Candidate Gore. This has been a short, extremely rough account of a difficult Senate climb.


  1. Eh... What was that all about, dear Bob?

    May we suggest that no one in this whole wide world cares for this sort of 'deep thoughts', or as we like to call it 'meaningless drivel'.

    Politics -- the art of fooling the rubes -- is much more complex than elementary school arithmetics.

  2. You’re a pretend liberal traitor to care about the art of persuasion, Bob. You’re in Putin’s pocket.

  3. And yet Democrats have held the presidency way more often than Somerby's recitation suggests should have occurred!

    If Somerby were an actual media critic, he might discuss why the Democrats in Disarray theme is so popular with the mainstream media, when actual facts show that, like Biden's accomplishments, the achievements of Democrats far much more impressive than Somerby admits.

    I think this falls into the category of another Republican big lie. This whole attempt to suppress votes and rig elections by the right is largely motivated by a demographic increase in liberal voters, that is only increasing and may prevent Republicans from ever being a viable party on its own merits. That's why Somerby and conservatives are working overtime to undermine Democratic achievements.

    Somerby only fools the trolls here.

    1. The last thing the Republican Party wants, is the people having any say in their government.

  4. Bob only illustrates the folly of the white man’s affirmative action, which we call the Electoral College. North and South Dakota are both States, but the population of DC dwarfs them put together, and it doesn’t even count as a State.


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