Updated: May 3, 2021
The results of the 2020 Census sounded pretty good to most Republicans. As the Associated Press explained in an article on how the census results affect the electoral map, because the
number of seats in the House of Representatives is set at 435, it’s a zero-sum game with one state’s gain resulting in another state’s loss — like a pie with uneven slices. As one state gets a larger slice because of population gains, that means a smaller slice for a state that lost population or didn’t grow as much.
And much of the population growth, or shift, was in Republican states. Moreover, who actually draws the congressional districts matters, too.
Jeffrey Lord cued us to this take on that important issue; “As a result [of the Census], we can now say with finality that Republicans will control the redrawing of 187 congressional districts (43 percent) — or 2.5 times as many as Democrats (who will redraw 75 districts, or 17 percent),” FiveThirtyEight wrote. “There are also 167 districts (38 percent) where neither party will enjoy exclusive control over redistricting (either because of independent commissions or split partisan control). And, of course, there are six districts (1 percent) that won’t need to be drawn at all (because they are at-large districts that cover their entire state).”
So, was the census count good for conservative political prospects? Let’s take a look at the map and the political composition of the affected congressional delegations.
States that lost House seats:
California: With 11 Republicans and 42 Democrats loses 1 seat.
Illinois: With 5 Republicans and 13 Democrats loses 1 seat.
Michigan: With 7 Republicans and 7 Democrats loses 1 seat.
New York: With 8 Republicans and 19 Democrats loses 1 seat.
Ohio: With 12 Republicans and 4 Democrats loses 1 seat.
Pennsylvania: With 9 Republicans and 9 Democrats loses 1 seat.
West Virginia: With 3 Republicans and no Democrats loses 1 seat.
States that gained House seats:
Texas: With 22 Republicans, 13 Democrats, and 1 vacancy gains 2 seats.
Florida: With 16 Republicans, 10 Democrats, and 1 vacancy gains 1 seat.
Colorado: With 3 Republicans and 4 Democrats gains 1 seat.
Montana: With 1 Republican and no Democrats gains 1 seat.
North Carolina: With 8 Republicans and 5 Democrats gains 1 seat.
Oregon: With 1 Republican and 4 Democrats gains 1 seat.
When you start looking at the composition of the delegations in the states that are losing seats the picture becomes less clear.
West Virginia loses 1 Republican.
Michigan’s population loss is allegedly from the rural Upper Peninsula meaning it loses 1 Republican.
California’s Citizen’s Redistricting Commission is supposedly non-partisan but is seen by many, including Left-leaning Pro Publica, as under the control of Democrats. Look for the new Districts to disadvantage Republicans costing the GOP at least 1 seat.
Pennsylvania’s Democrat-controlled Supreme Court struck down the last Pennsylvania congressional map passed by the GOP-controlled legislature for being a “partisan gerrymander.” Look for the new Districts to disadvantage Republicans costing the GOP at least 1 seat.
Ohio has an extremely complicated redistricting process adopted by referendum in 2018. It depends on where the population loss occurred, but Cincinnati.com projects problems for three Ohio Republicans whose districts may be combined or split. Look for any map that is adopted that reduces the 4-member Democrat delegation to be tied-up in litigation.
New York’s the Independent Redistricting Commission is controlled by Democrats. It will propose a map to the Democrat-controlled state legislature. Look for the new Districts to disadvantage Republicans costing the GOP at least 1 seat.
Illinois’ redistricting gives a decided advantage to Democrats. The Democrat-controlled Illinois General Assembly is responsible for drawing both congressional and state legislative district lines. Both chambers of the state legislature must approve a redistricting plan. The Democrat governor may veto the lines drawn by the state legislature and there is a complicated impasse-breaking procedure that again advantages Democrats. Look for Republicans to lose 1 seat.
So, it is entirely possible that Republicans will lose 7 of the 7 seats lost in the states where the population dropped or didn’t grow as fast, and all but certain that they will lose 4 of the 7 seats lost.
What’s more, in the states that gained population the gains were not necessarily in Republican areas or made by adding Republican-leaning voters to the population. We won’t see apportionment numbers until September 2021 at the earliest, but the growth in Colorado and Oregon looks to be in Democrat-leaning urban areas. In Montana and North Carolina it depends on where the voters came from – young voters and retirees from the Northeast or California will not necessarily add to the Republican vote in those states. And the same goes for Texas and Florida. A huge influx of voters from California is worrying Texas state GOP operatives and in Florida Polk County’s Republican Sheriff Grady Judd worried new voters would "register to vote and vote the stupid way you did up north."
And then there’s an angle that our friend Stephen Moore pointed out in a recent addition of his must read Unleash Prosperity Hotline, Issue #273 04/28/2021:
There is something highly suspicious about the new revised 2020 Census Bureau state population data which among other things, determines which states pick up seats and which states lost seats in the House of Representatives. Suddenly there are 2.5 million more residents of blue states, and 500,000 fewer residents of red states than originally estimated by the Census Bureau. (Emphasis from CHQ)
These are the giant differences between the official 2020 Census count and the December, 2020 estimate. Nearly all of the big unexpected population gains were in blue states, and most of the unexpected population losses were in red states. Coincidence? The New York population number was revised UPWARD by some 850,000 people. Implausibly, that is double the combined population of Buffalo and Rochester. During COVID hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers LEFT the Empire State.
Why does this matter? Remember: a switch in three or four seats in 2022 elections could flip the House and take the gavel away from current Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats. Also, many federal grant distributions to states are based on their population.
The original projections for the Census reapportionment had New York losing two seats, Rhode Island losing a seat, and Illinois perhaps losing two seats. Instead, New York and Illinois only lose one seat and Rhode Island loses no seats. Meanwhile, Texas was expected to gain three seats, Florida two seats and Arizona one seat. Instead, Texas gains one two seats, Florida only one, and Arizona none.
The table below shows the states that “gained” and “lost” the most population since December estimates and Team Biden took over the Census.
The biggest upward changes from the December estimates: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont.
The biggest downward changes: Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas.
One partial explanation for the larger than expected population numbers for the blue states could be the massive campaign to drive up Census participation in blue states. But something is fishy here and Congress should demand an investigation.
Steve Moore is right – there is something fishy with the 2020 census. Until the reapportionment numbers come out showing where in each state the population grew no one should assume the 2020 Census was a big win for Republicans or major step toward conservative control of Congress – due to likely Democrat cheating and the demographics of the population shift it may even have been a step backward for the GOP and conservatives.
House of Representatives
Control of House