by Emily Badger
***The Senate hasn’t simply favored sparsely populated states; politicians in Washington created sparsely populated states to leverage the Senate’s skewed power.
“When we talk about small-state bias, all of that was an intentional policy choice,” said Jowei Chen, a political scientist at the University of Michigan. Republicans in Congress passed the 1862 Homestead Act, offering free land to settlers who would move to territories that would eventually become states — creating more Senate seats and Electoral College votes for a Republican Party eager to keep government control away from Southern Democrats. They even managed to divide the Dakota Territory into two states, worth twice the political power.
As the Plains later depopulated and American cities, then suburbs, swelled, the Senate became even more unrepresentative.