Senate Apportionment as a Source of Political Inequality



Political scientists have long known that the equal representation of states in the U.S. Senate and the placement of state lines might disadvantage politically relevant groups, granting some citizens greater voting weight in the chamber. Yet we lack systematic, longitudinal evidence that identifies the groups disadvantaged by Senate malapportionment, the sources of this disadvantage, and probes the policy consequences. In this article, I compare each state's liberalism and racial composition with its relative voting weight in the Senate over time. Additionally, I examine whether roll-call coalitions in the Senate map onto these patterns of state ideology and racial composition.