Thursday, December 25, 2008

Reapportionment by the Numbers

Election Data Services, a Virginia-based consulting firm that specializes in redistricting and analysis of census and population information has just come out with their latest population estimates.

Splitting 435 congressional seats among a total population of 303,467,891 souls (excluding Washington, D.C. which doesn’t rate representation) means that each congressional district will now have within its boundaries an average of 697,627.3 constituents. The actual number varies between 967,440 (Montana) and 532,668 (Wyoming), but for the most part hovers in there at around 700,000.

With this as the new basis for apportioning congressional districts to the states, we find that the following states will lose one representative in their congressional delegations:

Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

And the following states will gain one representative:

Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Utah.

And one state will gain three representatives: Texas.

Now here is the bad news. With the notable exception of Louisiana, every one of the states that is losing a congressional seat is now considered a blue state. And every state that is slated to gain a congressional seat, save Florida, is a red state.

Worst case scenario then, is a net Republican pickup of 6 seats in 2012, assuming things remain static in these 14 states.

This again underscores the absolute necessity of regaining a majority in the Texas House in 2010. If Republicans remain in the majority we are guaranteed another round of gerrymandering and those three new seats will all go to new Republican-leaning districts.

It’s probably not too early to be looking around for HDs that are about to flip away from the party of the Dark Side.

No comments: