Final results from the U.S. Census Bureau may mean a shift of power in the House of Representatives as some blue states appear likely to lose congressional seats.
While Republican-run states such as Florida and Texas look to be gaining House members, others like New York and California – both Democrat controlled states – are poised to lose seats due to population changes which may also affect the number of each state’s Electoral College votes, as noted by estimates reported at the end of 2020 by the political consulting firm Election Data Services.
But with the expected Monday release of the results of the 2020 population count by the U.S. Census Bureau, there is more concern about the shift in power, especially for Democrats who may be facing a loss of House seats. President Joe Biden will reportedly be receiving the information from Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, according to Fox News and the Census Bureau will release the apportionment results in a virtual news conference scheduled for Monday afternoon.
The results to be released Monday will reportedly include each state’s population counts as well as maps and the the number of House representatives each will be allotted. The report by Election Data Services back in December noted that Montana, North Carolina and Oregon as well as Arizona and Colorado would each gain one House member, while Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota and West Virginia would likely lose a House seat.
Fox News reported:
Once the official numbers are released, states will enter a mad dash to redraw their congressional districts before the 2022 midterm elections, which are likely to tip off fights over gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the practice of state legislatures drawing congressional districts to favor members of their own party, strategically deciding which voters to put in which district.
Republican Gov. Larry Hogan predicted earlier this year that they were “going to probably end up in court” due to battles with Maryland’s Democratic-controlled legislature.
“They’re probably going to try to fight it and push another gerrymandered unfair map,” Hogan told Fox News in February. “But we’re going to probably end up in court. And I believe that we will prevail and we’ll have a more competitive situation with fair districts that are compact and contiguous and that will make more sense.”
Population shifts, especially in light of an exodus of residents from blue states, may mean the loss of a congressional seat for the first time in California’s history. Wildfires, powers issues, high taxes and a rise in the cost of living have coupled with a dissatisfaction with Gov. Gavin Newsom to reportedly drive Californians out of the state. The Democrat governor is also currently facing a recall challenge in the wake of his disastrous handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Election Data Services reported:
The new 2020 data confirms that California will lose a congressional district in 2020 and the margin of that loss is growing larger. Our 2018 study first picked up the possibility that California could lose a congressional district for the first time in their nearly 160-year history. The 2019 study indicate the state would lose that seat by 98,709 people but the new 2020 data shows the state is nearly a half-million away from being able to keep their 53rd seat.
“Over the past decade, the annual population growth rate has slipped to 0.06%, lower than at any time since at least 1900. California would drop from 53 to 52 House seats – still more than any other state – and would in turn lose electoral votes in the presidential election,” Fox News noted.
While the Census numbers were due by the end of 2020, pandemic related issues and other delays caused the change in schedule.
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