We've had 43 Presidential elections and at least 3 people running per elelction so there have been at least 129 candidates. 7 or 8 of them managed to get there from a "small state".
No, there have been 54 presidential elections. And if we restrict our focus to the top two candidates in each election (which would mirror the way the voters have viewed most elections), then there have been 108 major party presidential candidates. As I mentioned above, there have been 10 candidates from states with 6 or fewer electoral votes (counting Clinton twice for his 1992 and 1996 candidacies).
You have the small states comprising 48% of the total states with 6% of the candidates and the larger states with 52% of the states and 94% of the candidates. Does that make the skew more apparent to you?
Not sure where you get the 48% figure. By my count, there were (as of the 2000 election) 19 states with 6 or fewer electoral votes, which would come out to 38%, not 48% (the number may have changed as the result of the 2000 census, but I don't have those figures at hand). But even that smaller figure is deceptive.
Although (as I point out above) the percentage of candidates from small states is a bit higher than you suggest, fishin'
, it's still clear that candidates are more likely to come from big states than from small states. But then we also have to remember that more people
come from big states than from small states. Take, for instance, the 2000 election: the 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) with 6 or fewer electoral votes had 84 electoral votes, taken together. That represented 15.6% of the total number of electoral votes (and over-represented
the total populations of those states). Now, if 10 out of the 108 major party candidates, throughout history, have been from small states, that represents 9.3% of the total -- still not equal to 15.6%, but a lot closer.
Granted, this isn't exact science here, and we're comparing historical data that aren't entirely comparable, but I think we can get a better sense of what we're talking about if we keep some of these points in mind.