Hey Rick, Can We Talk?

Maybe Democrats should take Rick Perry up on his idea that Texas should secede from the Union.

Consider:

— If Texas were not in the Union, the Democrats would currently have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate — or at least they would once Al Franken gets seated. This is because, in a 98-seat Senate, only 59 votes would be required to break a filibuster.
— If Texas were not in the Union, the Republicans would operate from a significantly weakened position in the House, since the net 8-vote advantage their congressional delegation gives them in the state (they have 20 seats to the Democrats’ 12) is by far their largest.
— If Texas were not in the Union, George W. Bush would never have become President in 2000 — not because he’d be constitutionally ineligible (Bush, despite his Texas twang, was born in posh New Haven, Connecticut). Rather, he wouldn’t have had enough Electoral Votes to defeat Al Gore.
— If Texas were not in the Union, Barack Obama would have won the Electoral College 389-147 instead of 365-173 (note that there are two fewer votes total, because there would be two fewer Senators). The vast majority of Texas’ electoral votes would be redistributed to lib’rul states like California (which would go from having 55 electoral votes to 59) and New York (34 rather than 31):

California    55 --> 59  (+4)New York      31 --> 34  (+3)Florida       27 --> 29  (+2)Illinois      21 --> 23  (+2)Michigan      17 --> 19  (+2)Arizona       10 --> 11  (+1)   Connecticut    7 -->  8  (+1)  Georgia       15 --> 16  (+1)  Indiana       11 --> 12  (+1)  Kentucky       8 -->  9  (+1)   Maryland      10 --> 11  (+1)Massachusetts 12 --> 13  (+1)Mississippi    6 -->  7  (+1)Montana        3 -->  4  (+1)New Jersey    15 --> 16  (+1)Ohio          20 --> 21  (+1)Oklahoma       7 -->  8  (+1)   Oregon         7 -->  8  (+1)   Pennsylvania  21 --> 22  (+1)   S. Carolina    8 -->  9  (+1)   Virginia      13 --> 14  (+1)   Utah           4 -->  5  (+1)   Washington    11 --> 12  (+1)Wisconsin     10 --> 11  (+1)

— If Texas were not in the Union, Bush would still have defeated John Kerry 269-267, but Kerry would have an easier go of things, winning the election if he’d won either Iowa or New Mexico; he would not have had to win Ohio or Florida.
— If Texas were not in the Union, there’d be a good case for making football an Olympic sport, which would sure as hell beat rhythmic gymnastics.

This all sounds like a pretty good deal to me, provided there weren’t import duties on Shiner Bock.

Nate Silver is the founder and editor in chief of FiveThirtyEight.

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