Interestingly enough, a recent Washington Post editorial noted how much of a role gubernatorial appointments have had in the Senate in 2009. With at least one new gubernatorial appointment expected soon (in Texas), the Post noted that "you get 26.6 percent of Americans represented by a senator for whom no one voted. If Massachusetts is added to that roster, the proportion bumps up to 28.7 percent. This is undemocratic and shouldn't continue." With the importance of upcoming legislation in the Senate, 28.7 is a huge percentage of the population who are represented by a Senator they did not even vote for.
From New York to Florida to Illinois to Delaware, voters are being represented in the Senate by an appointed official, not an elected representative.
Although some gubernatorial appointments are to be expected, especially because of a new administration in Washington that has asked several Senators to take roles in that administration, such appointments are now playing a major role in the Senate that could be voting on liberal health care reform this fall. It is unclear whether or not a temporary successor will be chosen for Kennedy in Massachusetts before the special election is held. What is abudantly clear, though, is the large role that governors have (for better or for worse) played in deciding the current composition of the United States Senate at a time when major issues like health care reform and energy legislation are being debated and discussed.