Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The House Always Wins

(If you are in need of a mental coffee break, here is a link to the OK Go song that inspired this blog post title.) 
Earlier today (December 21) the U.S. Census Bureau unveiled a new set of state and national population numbers, shaping the U.S. House seat map by determining which states will be adding House seats and which  will be losing them in redistricting next year. As noted by Census Bureau director Robert Groves, "Congress has charged the Census Bureau with doing the arithmetic to compute the number of Members in the U.S. House of Representatives.  This report . . . announce(s) the official national population count, report(ing) the state resident population for all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.”  Based on the announced population numbers, the 2012 congressional landscape will change, mirroring trends from recent past redistricting, with rust belt states in the northeast and industrial Midwest losing population and House seats, and sunbelt states gaining.  States that will gain seats under redistricting include Florida (+2 seats), Georgia (+1), South Carolina (+1), Texas (+4), Arizona (+1), Utah (+1), Nevada (+1), and Washington (+1), while seat losers include New York (-2 seats), Massachusetts (-1), New Jersey (-1), Pennsylvania (-1), Ohio (-2), Michigan (-1), Illinois (-1), Iowa (-1), Missouri (-1) and Louisiana (-1) (a Census Bureau map of House seat gains and losses by state can be viewed here).  
Historically, such a shift in House seat apportionment has favored the Republicans rather than the Democrats, with seats shifting to more traditionally Republican states from Democratic strongholds. 
The full redistricting picture won't be revealed until early spring 2011 when the Census Bureau releases more detailed state-by-state population data showing where population gains and losses have occurred within states and Congressional districts.

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