A Great Idea

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The NYT reports that Senator Russ Feingold is leading an effort to — are you ready for this? — allow voters to select their own Senator when a vacancy arises. The debacles that we’ve seen this year with Governors selecting them in New York and Illinois should be enough to convince us that pretty much anyone could do a better job at it. And even in Delaware, the selection apparently was done not with the interests of voters uppermost, but rather, to keep the seat warm for Joe Biden’s son.

These recent cases aside, how good have Governors been at picking Senators?:

Their political success has been decidedly mixed. According to the Senate Historical Office, slightly more than one-third were subsequently elected on their own, slightly fewer than one-third were defeated and the remainder chose not to run.

UPDATE: Cross pollinating here from my Twitter page, @delrayser points out that George Will thinks this is a terrible idea. Sounds like Will still hasn’t warmed up to the 17th Amendment, either.

UPDATE2: A number of commenters (I’m looking at you, Sgwhiteinfla and Flownover) have indicated that they aren’t impressed with how electing Senators works out, either. So you’ve left me no alternative but to declare a Swampland commenter contest: How SHOULD we pick our Senators? I’ll start: Cagefighting, with each state party chairman picking a contestant.