Census to add congressional seats to red states

This continues a trend that has been underway for more than a quarter of a century, but seems to have accelerated the last 2 census.

Bottom line: Republican states are gaining political influence while Democratic states are losing it:

The 2010 census report coming out tomorrow will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to reelect President Obama and rebound from last month's devastating elections.The population continues to shift from Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states to Republican-leaning Sun Belt states, a trend the Census Bureau will detail in its decennial report to the president. Political clout shifts, too, because the nation must reapportion the 435 House districts to make them roughly equal in population, based on the latest census figures.

The biggest gainer will be Texas, a GOP-dominated state expected to gain up to four House seats, for a total of 36. The chief losers - New York and Ohio, each projected by nongovernment analysts to lose two seats - were carried by Obama in 2008 and are typical of states in the Northeast and Midwest that are declining in political influence.

Massachusetts is expected to lose one of its 10 congressional seats, based on the census figures. So far, no incumbent has indicated he or she would leave voluntarily.

It should be noted that a gain in seats does not necessarily translate into a GOP gain - or Democratic loss. There is still the wheeling and dealing that must be done to apportion those new seats.

For example, in Texas, there will be political pressure to apportion at least one of those seats so that an Hispanic has a chance to win. This would reflect the large increase in the Hispanic population of the state that has occurred over the last decade. There will also be wheeling and dealing within the parties in states that are losing congressmen in order to avoid bloody primary fights when districts are combined. Some friction will be unavoidable, however, the solution is to make those districts safe for the party that will be forced into a primary situation so that the winner will have little opposition in the general election.

Might the migration from blue to red states also make the red states slightly more blue? It's happened in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and other formerly strong red states and is continuing today. But this is a process that takes decades and won't help President Obama in his re-election fight.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

This continues a trend that has been underway for more than a quarter of a century, but seems to have accelerated the last 2 census.

Bottom line: Republican states are gaining political influence while Democratic states are losing it:

The 2010 census report coming out tomorrow will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to reelect President Obama and rebound from last month's devastating elections.

The population continues to shift from Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states to Republican-leaning Sun Belt states, a trend the Census Bureau will detail in its decennial report to the president. Political clout shifts, too, because the nation must reapportion the 435 House districts to make them roughly equal in population, based on the latest census figures.

The biggest gainer will be Texas, a GOP-dominated state expected to gain up to four House seats, for a total of 36. The chief losers - New York and Ohio, each projected by nongovernment analysts to lose two seats - were carried by Obama in 2008 and are typical of states in the Northeast and Midwest that are declining in political influence.

Massachusetts is expected to lose one of its 10 congressional seats, based on the census figures. So far, no incumbent has indicated he or she would leave voluntarily.

It should be noted that a gain in seats does not necessarily translate into a GOP gain - or Democratic loss. There is still the wheeling and dealing that must be done to apportion those new seats.

For example, in Texas, there will be political pressure to apportion at least one of those seats so that an Hispanic has a chance to win. This would reflect the large increase in the Hispanic population of the state that has occurred over the last decade. There will also be wheeling and dealing within the parties in states that are losing congressmen in order to avoid bloody primary fights when districts are combined. Some friction will be unavoidable, however, the solution is to make those districts safe for the party that will be forced into a primary situation so that the winner will have little opposition in the general election.

Might the migration from blue to red states also make the red states slightly more blue? It's happened in Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and other formerly strong red states and is continuing today. But this is a process that takes decades and won't help President Obama in his re-election fight.

Hat Tip: Ed Lasky

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