An Early Look at Reapportionment

Election Data Services, a political consulting firm specializing in redistricting, election administration, and the analysis and presentation of census and political data, has updated its projections for reapportionment after next year's decennial US Census. Their analysis is based on estimates of each state's population on July 1, 2009, that were released earlier today by the US Census Bureau.

Their conclusion is that a total of 10 seats would shift among 17 states if the reapportionment of the House of Representatives were held today. The biggest loser, as of now, is expected to be Ohio. Ohio, which had been expected to lose one of its 18 seats since the decade's first 2010 projection, now looks in even worse shape, with a two-seat loss projected. Other losers include Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania, each with a seat apiece. If Ohio doesn't cede two seat then it's likely that Rhode Island will lose one. For Rhode Island that would mean that it would become a single district constituency joining Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming as a state with just one House member.

All eight states that would gain seats based on the 2009 population estimates are in the South and West: Texas would gain three, with one seat apiece for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington. If Texas does gain three seats, it would bring the Lone Star state 35 Representatives and 37 Electoral College Votes.

California, as it stands now, would neither gain nor lose a seat. This would mark the first time since the Golden State joined the Union in 1850 that it did not gain at least one seat. However, Election Data Services believes that California may be on the cusp of losing a seat for the first time ever.

But even more at risk of losing a House seat is Minnesota. Although using the 2009 population estimates shows Minnesota barely holding on to its eighth and final House seat, a number of EDS models suggest that Minnesota may lose a seat. If so, then Minnesota's loss is likely a fourth seat for Texas. Should California lose a seat, then it's possible that Arizona may gain a second seat.

The demographic trends are consistent with the general pattern observed since 1960 that has seen a shift in population from the Northeast towards the Sunbelt.

The New York Times has more on the Census Bureau data released today. A quick takeaway:

States in the South and the West that grew by exceptional leaps and bounds during the real estate boom of just a few years ago are now experiencing sharply slower growth in population, the Census Bureau said Wednesday.

Many of those states are still projected to gain seats in Congress after the 2010 census, however, while industrial states in the Northeast and the Midwest will most likely see their delegations shrink.

But in a sign of the recession’s power to reshape established demographic trends, the new census figures show that growth has slowed substantially in Arizona, Georgia and North Carolina, while in Florida, Nevada and California, more Americans moved out than in.

As a corollary, the new data show that several states in the Northeast — like New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts — are holding on to more residents.

One of the more salient data points is that between July 2008 and July 2009, Texas added more people from home and abroad than any other state — 231,539. That is more than Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Nevada, combined.

Tags: reapportionment, US Census Bureau (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

the housing crisis

really crushed CA and AZ. This is the first estimate I've seen that didn't have AZ gaining two seats.

I hate to see Iowa losing another seat, especially since my own Representative Leonard Boswell could easily lose to Tom Latham in a redrawn IA-03. Bleeding Heartland user ragbrai08 examined some redistricting scenarios for Iowa in this diary. Most people expect Story County (containing Ames, where Latham lives) to be thrown in with Polk County (Des Moines area) in the new IA-03.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-23 05:07PM | 0 recs
Re: the housing crisis

There's a downloadable pdf at the link if you want to read the report. They have multiple models. I just reported on the most likely one in their estimation.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-23 05:14PM | 0 recs
Re: the housing crisis

Well maybe we will get lucky and their estimations are off...

by FUJA 2009-12-23 09:48PM | 0 recs
Re: the housing crisis

The crisis may just have frozen the red state shift. I note that the Minnesota state demographer has speculated the crisis makes mobility much more difficult. Also I doubt that many people on the edge will be moving to states with weak support services.

by Judeling 2009-12-24 03:17AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

This is bad news for Dems electorally, although we knew it was coming. This shifts about 6-8 electoral votes away from blue or bluish states, and adds them to completely red states (while also shuffling around a few votes between purplish states). That adds the equivalent of an additional medium sized state to any formula Dems must take to win the next presidential election.

by edgeplot 2009-12-23 06:55PM | 0 recs
I'm not so sure

"This shifts about 6-8 electoral votes away from blue or bluish states, and adds them to completely red states"
I'm not so sure the states that receive electoral votes are completely red. Perhaps in the traditional thinking, but shifts in population bring shifts in politics.
From Charles:
"All eight states that would gain seats based on the 2009 population estimates are in the South and West: Texas would gain three, with one seat apiece for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington. If Texas does gain three seats, it would bring the Lone Star state 35 Representatives and 37 Electoral College Votes."
I comprised the following table that shows the gain in electoral votes according to the state's color and electoral outcome in the 2008 Presidential election. States like Georgia aren't as red as they appear. UT is a lost cause, but SC and TX were lost in 55/45 margins. With the GOP generationally separating themselves from Latinos, it is conceivable in the distant future that TX could become a swing state.

FL: Blue Obama 51/48  +1
GA: Red McCain 52/47  +1
NV: Blue Obama 55/43  +1
SC: Red McCain 55/45  +1
TX: Red McCain 55/45  +3
UT: Red McCain 62/34  +1
WA: Blue Obama 57/40  +1

Total Change: Red +3 EV

In a 2000 repeat nightmare scenario, indeed 3 EV can make a difference. But no other election has come that close, at least not in a while. Barack Obama still handily won 365/173 in EV count.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-23 07:37PM | 0 recs
Re: I'm not so sure
True...  But 4 of those 7 went for McCain.
6 of those 7 went for Bush in 2004.
5 of those 7 went for Bush in 2000 (with one being stolen by the D-bag governor)
by FUJA 2009-12-23 09:47PM | 0 recs
So?

They all went for Regan in 1984.

by NoFortunateSon 2009-12-24 05:43AM | 0 recs
not necessarily

See this comment by Swing State Project user trowaman.

In a lot of the states losing a district, it will be a Republican taking the hit. Meanwhile, the new districts in AZ and NV have a good chance of being Democratic.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-24 03:12AM | 0 recs
Re: not necessarily

I don't really understand his comment about Peter King - I think I'm missing a joke - but I assume it's obvious that if we lose 1 seat from NY it will have to be a Dem seat.  Having only 1 Republican represent the NYC suburbs is a best-case scenario already.

by Steve M 2009-12-24 05:50AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

The interesting thing about Texas is that the sources of population growth are completely different in different areas within the state.  In the five big counties, the growth is two-thirds natural growth (births) and one-third international migration.  In the suburban areas around the five big counties, the growth is almost all domestic migration (i.e. from other states).  In the Rio Grande Valley, the growth is almost entirely from births.  

by David Siegel 2009-12-23 07:55PM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

Great... THAT will help us in the next three Presidential elections.  So based on these projections, At least 5 will pretty much default to the GOP, with several more leaning and the rest in Purple States except for Washington.  Lovely.

by FUJA 2009-12-23 09:44PM | 0 recs
that is a concern

but looking to the medium/long-term, if the GOP continues to massively alienate Latino voters, having more EVs in FL, TX, AZ and NV isn't all bad.

by desmoinesdem 2009-12-24 03:14AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

Am late, but here's my prediction:

Oregon +1
Arizona +1
Florida +1
Georgia +1
Nevada +1
South Carolina +1
Utah +1
Washington +1
Texas +4

California -1
Illinois -1
Iowa -1
Massachusetts -1
Michigan -1
Minnesota -1
New York -1
New Jersey -1
Louisiana -1
Pennsylvania -1
Ohio -2

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-24 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

In terms of EV's, I look at is as a swing of  7 EV's into the Republican column in 2012, assuming other things equal (whatever that  means).

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-24 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

Pretty much in accord but on Florida and California.

by Charles Lemos 2009-12-24 08:00AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

I'd be fine if its FL that didn't gain one, rather than CA losing one-- just rooting to see Oregon get another.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-25 02:29PM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

You just might be a punditry addict if you catch yourself predicting the results of the census.

by Steve M 2009-12-24 10:29AM | 0 recs
Re: An Early Look at Reapportionment

lol, I wouldn't usually, but after seeing one over at SSP, I couldn't resist. I am likely wrong about CA losing one and OR gaining that one-- am engaged in a bit of rooting for the Oregonians.

by Jerome Armstrong 2009-12-25 02:27PM | 0 recs

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