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Posted at 7:19 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Census 2010 winners and losers

By Alexandra Petri

The 2010 Census data is out!

It's so exciting -- it's like Christmas morning, in that Christmas was the day my family used to announce who was losing his seat at the dinner table. And because I know you can't stand the anticipation any longer, I'll get right to it. Here are this census round's winners and losers:

Texas got four more seats in the House of Representatives. This makes sense; it is similar to what Texas has to do whenever it travels by air.

Florida got two more. But this probably won't matter, because if there's one thing we know about Florida residents, it's that they have trouble using tools you give them to vote with. "Oh, a ballot," they say. "This will make delightful wallpaper." Instead, they mail in handwritten sheets with the names of people they'd like to see in office, lists that usually range from That Nice Boy With The Curly Hair Who Sings The Song About Crying Rivers to Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Washington (State) gained one seat. You'd think it would be nice enough to give it to Washington (DC), since we have none and it already had nine, but apparently that's not the kind of person the state is.

Georgia and South Carolina each got one more seat. This is our way of thanking them for Jimmy Carter, the world's most popular animatronic ex-president, and John Edwards, the world's least popular candidate ever. "Great job, guys," this gesture says. "Please, never give us anything again. Except you, Georgia. Yours was fine, he just has been a little more present than we were expecting."

I worry about the additional seat that is being given to Nevada, because Nevada has a gambling problem. But I'm hopeful it will handle it all right.

Utah and Arizona both got additional seats, which at least will make John McCain happy, because he is tired and wants to sit down.

Louisiana, meanwhile, lost a seat. You'd think the loss could have waited until a year when something terrible hadn't happened to Louisiana, but such a year might never come.

Speaking of which, Michigan lost a seat.

Iowa lost a seat, thereby firmly establishing its status as a State People Only Care About During Primaries and Subsequently Not At All.

Massachusetts lost one, which will probably annoy Massachusetts, because that seat is a good, old-line seat from an excellent family that has been around since before Utah was a twinkle in anyone's eye.

Pennsylvania lost one, which probably means that the seat tried to walk through downtown Philadelphia late at night and hasn't been heard from since.

New Jersey lost one, but it's done a lot of things this year and had to be punished somehow.

Illinois lost one, but only because its previous seat was arrested for corruption.

Missouri lost one, too, I assume because the Oregon Trail leads away from this state and the seat craved adventure.

But the biggest losers this time around were Ohio and New York. Ohio may be the, uh, "The Heart of It All," its original vague slogan, or offer "So Much To Discover," the second vague slogan that replaced that one, but it didn't do them much good. New York may be the concrete jungle where dreams are made, but it just couldn't keep up.

Maybe everyone finally realized that the rent was too damn high.

By Alexandra Petri  | December 21, 2010; 7:19 PM ET
Categories:  Big Deals, Petri, Top Lists  | Tags:  The Year That Was 2010, census  
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Next: Holiday hiatus


The WaPo actually pays people to crank out this juvenile drivel?!?! An "editor" actually gave it a pass and published it?!?! And no doubt WaPo "management" is still stroking its collective chin, wondering why readers and revenues are plummeting.

Do whatever's left of your dignity a favor, and shut this sorry "newspaper" down. You guys just embarrass yourselves.

Posted by: SGlover910 | December 22, 2010 12:24 AM | Report abuse

SGlover910 is right. What the hell is this doing on the front page?...A section?...Editorial?...Oh wait its the funny pages, SGlover910 either lacks a sense of humor or basic web-navigation skills.

Posted by: purpledrank | December 22, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

You forgot to mention that when a state gains or loses a seat, the boundaries of all the congressional districts have to be redrawn.

I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening?


There's a great future in gerrymandering.

Posted by: divtune | December 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

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