NBC's Ken Dilanian: North Dakota, New York Having Same Number of Senate Votes 'Has to Change'

Ken Dilanian / YouTube
October 8, 2018

Ken Dilanian, a reporter for NBC News, tweeted on Monday that the idea of North Dakota and New York having the same amount of senators "has to change" because of the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

"It may not happen in our lifetimes, but the idea that North Dakota and New York get the same representation in the Senate has to change," Dilanian tweeted, linking to a Washington Post article about the confirmation of Kavanaugh. "Senators representing less than half the U.S. are about to confirm a nominee opposed by most Americans"

North Dakota is represented by Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (D.) and John Hoeven (R.) while New York is represented by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D.). Kavanaugh was confirmed by the Senate 50-48; Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) was the only Democrat to support his confirmation and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) was the only Republican to oppose it.

The Senate and House of Representatives were formed on the basis of ensuring both "proportional and equal representation." The Senate was designed by the founders to provide equal representation while the House provides proportional representation.

In Federalist Paper No. 62, James Madison wrote, "It does not appear to be without some reason that in a compound republic, partaking both of the national and federal character, the government ought to be founded on a mixture of the principles of proportional and equal representation."

North Dakota has one at-large representative in the House, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R.) who is currently running against Heitkamp for her Senate seat. New York, in contrast, has 27 seats in the House of Representatives. Hillary Clinton beat President Donald Trump by 22 points in New York. In North Dakota, Trump beat Clinton by 36 points.

When another Twitter user responded to Dilanian's claim to point out it's possible such rhetoric – saying the values in higher population states like New York should have more influence – leads to polarization, Dilanian rebuffed him, saying "Yeah, no."

"This attitude of intellectual superiority over the 'flyover' states, with no understanding of the needs of the millions of Americans who raise the food you eat and make the goods you depend on, is exactly why we're in this polarized predicament," Marcus Anderson responded to Dilanian, who disagreed.