Breaking News: Winners and Losers in the 2010 Census

Dan Loeb

The Census Bureau announced the results of the 2010 Census. As a result a total of 12 seats in the House of Representatives are moving from one state to another with similar changes in each  state's representation in the Electoral College which will choose the U.S. President in 2012, 2016 and 2020. The big winners are Texas and Florida at the expense of states with less population growth like New York and Ohio.

Winners:

  • Texas: 36 (up 4 from 32) – R
  • Florida: 27 (up 2 from 25) – R
  • Arizona: 9 (up from 8) – Ind
  • Georgia: 14 (up from 13) – R
  • Nevada: 4 (up from 3) – Split R Gov, D Leg
  • Utah: 4 (up from 3) – R
  • South Carolina: 7 (up from 6) – R
  • Washington: 10 (up from 9) – Ind

Notes:

  • Ind means the redistricting process is mostly controlled by an independent or bipartisan commission.
  • D means the redistricting process is controlled by Democrats (subject to judicial review).
  • R means the redistricting process is controlled by Republicans (subject to judicial review).
  • Split: In three states (Missouri, Louisiana and Nevada), both chambers of the state legislature are controlled by one party while the governor belongs to the other party. The legislature’s redistricting plan is subject to a possible gubernatorial veto.

Losers:

  • New York: 27 (down 2 from 29) – D
  • Ohio: 16 (down 2 from 18) – R
  • Illinois: 18 (down from 19) – D
  • Iowa: 4 (down from 5) – Ind
  • Louisiana: 6 (down from 7) – Split R Gov, D Leg
  • Massachusetts: 9 (down from 10) – D
  • Michigan: 14 (down from 15) – R
  • Missouri: 8 (down from 9) – Split D Gov, R Leg
  • New Jersey: 12 (down from 13) – Ind
  • Pennsylvania: 18 (down from 19) – R

Missouri almost avoided losing a seat. If it had 5,120 more residents (0.085% extra population, then it would have beaten out North Carolina which would have lost a seat instead. Louisiana’s losses are almost certainly related to post-Katrina migration

Overall, the “red states” tended to gain population and pick up seats at the expense of the “blue states” although they certainly became more “purple” in the process. The states won by Barack Obama lost a total of 6 electoral votes to the states won by John McCain. Thus, had these numbers been in effect during the last election Obama would have won by a smaller margin 359-179 as opposed to 365-173.

If Obama had won only Iowa (in which he had a 9.53% margin) and all of the other states in which he had a bigger margin (but not Colorado, Virginia, Ohio, Florida, Nebraska’s 2nd district, Indiana, North Carolina or Missouri where he had smaller margins), then using the actual numbers the election would have been a tie in the Electoral College 269-269 but using the new numbers the election would have been a victory for John McCain 275-263. (See spreadsheet for details.) Thus, the shift of 6 electoral votes can make a real difference. In fact, the 1876 Presidential Election between Rutherford Hayes and Samuel Tilden was determined by a single electoral vote while the 2000 Election between George W. Bush and Al Gore was determined by five electoral votes.

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