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Congress⁠i⁠onal Shuffle & Bump

By: The James Madison Institute / October 8, 2010

The James Madison Institute

Blog

October 8, 2010

By Francisco Gonzalez, JMI Development Director
As if the Sunshine State couldn’t shine any brighter. A recent analysis estimates that Florida is poised to pick up two additional Congressional seats after the 2010 Census is completed. The population figures from the once-every-10-years Census reconfigures the population of the states and reapportions the 435 U.S. Congressional seats based on population movement.And despite the economic downturn and the fact that 2009 was the first year since World War II that Florida’s population actually decreased, our state’s net population actually increased substantially since the 2000 Census was conducted. Combine that with the fact that so many other states have significantly decreased in population since 2000. Florida will join Texas as the only two states to pick up two Congressional seats this time around.The other states that are expected to pick up one Congressional seat each are South Carolina, Georgia, Washington, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. It is striking to note that of all those states, only Washington is a traditionally “blue” or more “liberal” state. Nevada tends to be a swing state, while the other four are traditionally “red” or more “conservative” states.To compensate for those states picking up seats, there are a number of states losing seats. New York and Ohio are both expected to lose two seats – and this data was collected before LeBron James made his move south. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri are each expected to lose one seat. Of all those states losing seats, Ohio, Iowa, and Missouri are typically considered swing states, while the rest are generally “blue” states.When the 2012 Presidential election arrives, the electoral map will look different – and that will be before any of the candidates can make their impact on it. A number of red states have picked up Congressional seats, and thus electoral votes.Florida will be going from 25 Congressional seats to 27 (and 27 electoral votes to 29) and New York will come down from 29 Congressional seats to 27, meaning both Florida and New York will each have the same number of electoral votes. It seems that the Census is finally starting to mirror life: reflecting the many New Yorkers who have been making a permanent move to Florida over the past few decades. And once again the data proves that Americans are moving – to traditionally low-tax, sun-belt states.  It’s time policymakers start paying attention.