A new study of population figures offers some unexpected predictions on Congressional reapportionment, which will alter the balance of power of different regions of the country based on the 2010 census.
The report by Election Data Services Inc. shows changes to the initial predictions about how many Congressional seats Minnesota, Missouri, New York and Florida will be allotted. The report states that change “was not evident as recently as nine months ago.”
Using population estimates released this summer by Esri, a demographic research company, the report finds that Missouri now appears likely to lose one of its nine seats and Minnesota will stay at eight seats instead of losing one. New York is now expected to lose two seats instead of one, with Florida gaining two instead of one. If these predictions hold, both New York and Florida would end up with 27 Congressional districts after 2012.
“We had an inkling of the Minnesota/Missouri switch because both states were right on the edge for that last seat in our 2009 study,” Election Data Services President Kimball Brace said. “But we were most surprised at the shift of an additional district out of New York and down to Florida, even though that follows the population movement in this country since World War II.”
In all, eight states are estimated to gain at least one seat. They comprise Texas, which would pick up four seats; Florida’s two seats; and six states with one each: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.
Ten states are slated to lose seats, including two each for Ohio and New York. States losing one seat are: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Coming close to losing seats were Nebraska and Rhode Island, which, if current population trends continue, will lose seats in the 2020 reapportionment, according to the report.
Besides Louisiana, which lost population as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the states losing seats are confined to the Midwest, Rust Belt and Northeast. The states gaining seats are all in the South and West.
The result will have repercussions not only on the makeup of the 113th Congress, but also for presidential elections after the 2012 election. Texas becomes more of a power with 36 Congressional districts, and Florida’s influence grows even larger with its swing potential.
Other swing states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Missouri are all expected to lose seats.