There are seven states that have had only one member of the House of Representatives, along with two US Senators, in the past 70 years. but despite their small populations, these states have had a massive impact on American politics and history!Â In addition, for the first few decades since 1945, Nevada also had one House member until growth caused two, and then, three seats in the House.
The seven states are Vermont, Delaware, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska!
But North Dakota, South Dakota,and Montana had two members of the House until recent decades when reapportionment caused them to lose a second seat.
So only Vermont, Delaware, Wyoming, and Alaska (since 1959) stand alone as consistently having one House member and two Senators per state.
But look at their influence:
Vermont had George Aiken (R) (1941-1975) and has Patrick Leahy (D) for 41 years (1975 to Present) and counting now, and Bernie Sanders since 1990,Â whoÂ was the lone House member for 16 years before election to the Senate in 2006,making him the longest serving Independent in the history of both houses of Congress.Â Also, Howard Dean, former Governor of the state, was a leading contender for the Democratic nomination in 2004, and then became head of the Democratic National Committee, and helped the rise of Barack Obama with a “50 state” strategy between 2004-2008.
Delaware had Joe Biden as Senator for six terms from 1973-2009, and now as Vice President.Â He became one of the longest serving Senators of all time, and sought the Presidency in 1988 and 2008.
Wyoming had Dick Cheney as its lone Congressman for ten years from 1979-1989, before he ended up as Secretary of Defense under the first Bush Presidency, and Vice President in the second Bush Presidency.Â Also, Alan Simpson served in the Senate from 1979-1997 asÂ a Republican, and Gale McGree from 1959-1977 as a Democrat.
Alaska had Ted Stevens in the Senate for 40 years from 1968 to 2009, the longest serving Republican Senator in American history.Â Also, Sarah Palin , while Governor, was the Vice Presidential nominee for the Republicans in 2008.
And if one looks at the other states which had one Congressman at least for the last few decades, we have South Dakota and Senator George McGovern (1963-1981), the 1972 Democratic Presidential nominee; Montana, with Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield (D) (1953-1977) from 1961-1977; Nevada with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) (1987-Present) from 2007-2015; and North Dakota Senators Kent Conrad (1987-2013) and Bryan Dorgan (1992-2011).
So the “small” states have really had a major role in American politics, despite their small populations!