Republicans who blocked a call for witnesses on Tuesday represent 15 million fewer people than Democrats who voted yes.
On Tuesday, senators representing 153 million Americans outvoted senators representing 168 million Americans.
A majority of the US public supports President Donald Trump’s impeachment and removal from office, and an overwhelming majority wants new witnesses to testify in the Senate’s impeachment trial. But Senate Republicans appear almost certain to succeed in acquitting Trump and blocking the admission of new evidence.
This makes the Senate deeply unrepresentative of the American people and puts Democrats at a major disadvantage, since Democrats tend to represent highly populated urban states while Republicans represent smaller, more rural ones. In 2018, Democratic Senate candidates won the popular vote by a margin of 54 to 46 percent, but Republicans gained two seats in the chamber. The GOP’s Senate majority is far whiter, more rural, and more conservative than the country as a whole.
As a result of this population divide, senators representing a smaller and smaller minority of Americans can block legislation supported by a majority of the public. Because removing a president from office requires support from two-thirds of senators, it’s now possible for 34 senators representing the 17 least-populous states with just 7 percent of the country’s population to prevent Trump’s ouster. (In reality, it wouldn’t play out quite like this, since some of the smallest states, such as Vermont and Delaware, are represented by Democrats.)