Every vote counts, they say. If you don't vote, you can't change the system, they say. The people's power is expressed at the polls, they say.
They're wrong, at least if a new state-by-state analysis of national-office voting power by personal finance website WalletHub is correct.
You see, we live in California, which nearly ranked last in the site's new list of “States with the Most & Least Powerful Voters.”
Wait just a second:
California is the nation's wealthiest state. It's the also the most populous state. Shouldn't it be the most powerful state?
The Golden State had the third least powerful voters in the nation, coming in 48th place. We were beat in impotency only by Florida (which came in 50th place) and New York (49th).
WalletHub essentially looked at how big each state's population is and compared it to how many representatives in Washington each one gets.
Its methodology included the number of voters compared to the adult population, the number of senators compared to the adult population, and the number of U.S. representatives compared to the adult population.
Since we're the largest state in the union, yet we still only get two Senators like, say, Delawere, which has fewer people than San Diego, we lose.
In fact, California ran dead last in voting power when it came to senatorial elections, the site found. The site ranked our voting power here at .068 versus 4.4 for number 1 Wyoming. WalletHub:
Although the U.S. is a democratic nation, ballots carry different weights based on the state in which one lives. Take California, for instance. Its estimated population is nearly 66 times greater than Wyoming’s, yet each state has two seats in the Senate. In this case, less is more: California’s votes are weakened exponentially because each of its senators must represent tens of millions more residents.
Yeah, it turns out that smaller, “red” (Republican leading) states have more voting power because of these population metrics, according to WalletHub.
Wyoming had the most voting power overall, the site concluded.
So when Republicans take over the U.S. Senate tomorrow, don't just blame a lack of turnout among Democrats and minorities.
The game has been rigged from the beginning.