A Really Small Slice of Americans Get to Decide Who Will Rule the Senate
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The U.S. population is about 319 million, according to the U.S. Census. Of course, only a fraction of Americans will actually vote in November's election. How small? To get an idea, look at the last midterm election, in 2010.
Here's the U.S. population that year.
265,000 897,000 2,000,000 1,210,000 voters 1,000,000 1,700,000 483,000 3,290,000 AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY

The U.S. population is about 319 million, according to the U.S. Census. Of course, only a fraction of Americans will actually vote in November's election. How small? To get an idea, look at the last midterm election, in 2010. Here's the U.S. population that year.

Here's the proportion of people who were of voting age.

And here's the proportion of Americans who actually cast ballots in that election. Fewer people tend to show up at the polls for midterms, when the White House isn't at stake.

This year, there are 34 states with Senate elections.

Most of these aren't close races. There are eight states where Bloomberg Politics considers the outcome to be seriously in doubt. The people who live there will determine whether Republicans take control of the Senate.

In the last midterm, 10.8 million people total from these states showed up to vote. If turnout patterns stay about the same this year as in midterms past, this figure will likely be in the same ballpark, even taking population growth into account.

Put another way: The number of people who'll decide this election will likely be smaller than the population of Florida.

The U.S. population is about 319 million, according to the U.S. Census. Of course, only a fraction of Americans will actually vote in November's election. How small? To get an idea, look at the last midterm election, in 2010. Here's the U.S. population that year.

Here's the proportion of Americans who actually cast ballots in that election. Fewer people tend to show up at the polls for midterms, when the White House isn't at stake.

This year, there are 34 states with Senate elections.

Most of these aren't close races. There are eight states where Bloomberg Politics considers the outcome to be seriously in doubt. The people who live there will determine whether Republicans take control of the Senate.

In the last midterm, 10.8 million people total from these states showed up to vote. If turnout patterns stay about the same this year as in midterms past, this figure will likely be in the same ballpark, even taking population growth into account.

Put another way: The number of people who'll decide this election will likely be smaller than the population of Florida.

Update: Corrects which states have Senate elections in 2014.