The US Census released the 2010 population counts today, finding a 9.7 percent increase since 2000. As a result of population shifts, 10 states lost seats in the House of Representatives: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. By contrast, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Carolina, Texas Utah, and Washington gained seats. Texas had the greatest gain of four seats. This is the first time in several decades that California has not gained seats.
Media pundits have concluded that Republicans will gain an advantage since the gains occurred in Sunbelt states, which are reliably "red" states. However, Rob Richie, Executive Director of FairVote, clarified that the media is incorrect in its assessment of the partisan impact of the population increase on the House of Representatives. Although on the surface there appears to be an increase in Republican representation, this is not necessarily the case, depending where in the state the seat was gained.
Richie pointed out, "the reality is that population shifts not only impact numbers of House seats: they can impact the partisan leanings of states. All it takes is population changes causing one state to shift toward Democrats to undo all the huffing and puffing about electoral vote gains and losses."
Media Resources: Huffington Post 12/19/10; US Census Department 12/21/10
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