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Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 12/21/2010

Who does the census help?

By Ezra Klein

Dave Weigel walks us through the changes the new census will mean for the numbers of congressional representatives various states have in Congress. Weigel has also coded partisan control of the states, as that'll matter heavily when it comes to the redistricting that'll put these changes into place. States in bold are controlled by Republicans. States in italics are heavily Democratic. The rest are tossups:

The gainers:

Arizona +1
Florida +2
Georgia +1

Nevada +1
South Carolina +1
Texas +4
Utah +1

Washington +1

The losers:

Illinois -1
Iowa -1
Louisiana -1
Massachusetts -1
Michigan -1
Missouri -1
New Jersey -1
New York -2
Ohio -2
Pennsylvania -1

In the short term, this is very good for Republicans. But is that true in the long term? A lot of these changes are driven by Hispanic immigrants. Texas gets more seats now, but the way it's getting those seats bring us closer to the day when Texas becomes a viable target for Democrats. Same goes for Arizona -- and that's a state where Hispanics are getting increasingly radicalized against the GOP. As Larry Littlefield pithily puts it, "It seems that most of the growth is in Blue portions of Red states."

So far as the next presidential election goes, that hurts Obama. If he gets 46 percent of the vote in Texas rather than 43 percent, he still gets exactly none of Texas's electoral votes. In total, this census takes six electoral votes from Barack Obama's 2008 haul. Insofar as there's a silver lining for Democrats, it's in the longer-term, as the underlying shift we're seeing towards more Hispanic voters looks likely to favor them.

What we can say is that the 2010 election was a good one for the Republicans to win. It flipped 19 state legislatures in their direction, and so Republicans will have control of the redistricting process in most of those states. That means they'll be able to maximize whatever advantages the census results have to offer.

By Ezra Klein  | December 21, 2010; 12:30 PM ET
 
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Comments

The Republican gains in the House may also be blunted somewhat by the ability of Democrats in some states, like NY, to maybe eliminate one or two Republican seats.

Posted by: AuthorEditor | December 21, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

"The Republican gains in the House may also be blunted somewhat by the ability of Democrats in some states, like NY, to maybe eliminate one or two Republican seats."

Actually, that breaks even.

In New York, the Republicans lose an upstate seat and the Democrats lose a seat in NYC.

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 21, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

--*A lot of these changes are driven by Hispanic immigrants. Texas gets more seats now, but the way it's getting those seats bring us closer to the day when Texas becomes a viable target for Democrats.*--

Yes, those Democrats are masters at racial politics.

And Klein likes it.

Posted by: msoja | December 21, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

A lot of Hispanics see what the Democrats' "help" has done for Black Americans and sensibly want nothing to do with the left.

Posted by: SameOldTiredThinking | December 21, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

The democrats think they own Hispanics like they own Blacks

Legal Hispanics poll like all other Legal Americans on immigration

The games the democrats play with illegals both blind them to the reality and brands democrats as pro-illegal and antiAmerican

Keep it up. Kos has the same pro-illegal logic.....lol, democrats are a herd of antiAmerican fools

No one stays democrat after they get off welfare.

Posted by: georgedixon1 | December 21, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

It just doesn't matter.

Not when we keep electing idiots like Obama and Clinton and then let ConservaDems like Reid control the Senate.

Progressivism in America is dead for our lifetimes. Plutocracy is alive and well.

The saboteurs and nihilists have won.

Nothing's changing except a long, slow decline.

Get used to it.

Now the righties are going to find out sometimes it's better not to have your prayers answered. (though you thought they'd have learned that when the Great Recession started before Obama got elected).

Posted by: lauren2010 | December 21, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for a balanced look at the census that required active brain cells. When I read the conventional wisdom of how it was an unadulterated win for the GOP, I laughed. As if crossing state borders makes people conservative and Republican.

Posted by: ciocia1 | December 21, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

See The Philadelphia Jewish Voice http://blog.pjvoice.com/diary/222/breaking-news-census-figures for a detailed analysis including which state just barely avoided losing a seat, how this would have affected the Obama-McCain election, and who will control the redistricting process in the states which are winning and losing seats.

Posted by: loeb17 | December 21, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Thanks for a balanced look at the census that required active brain cells. When I read the conventional wisdom of how it was an unadulterated win for the GOP, I laughed. As if crossing state borders makes people conservative and Republican."

Retiring in a place like CA, NY, NJ is a suicide pact.

It's the conservatives and Republicans who are fleeing hell.

The state of NY loses seats every census and remains as Democratic as ever, if not moreso. Reagan of course won the state.

It's all the liberals who are staying.

Posted by: krazen1211 | December 21, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

One thing to mention as far as the growing number of hispanics: the Census counted the hispanic population but did not differentiate between legal and illegal. If you throw out the illegal population, who can't vote, there goes a lot of those supposed new Democratic voters.

Posted by: RobT1 | December 21, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

This is why the GOP loves making it hard for anyone other than whites to vote.

There is one Hispanic group that votes GOP. It's the group that gets instant amnesty as soon as they set foot on dry US soil. It's the group that's eligible for Social Security, Medicare, food stamps, in-state tuition rates at public universities, and other forms of what some call "welfare."

Guess who?

Cubans.

Posted by: Garak | December 21, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

--*Progressivism in America is dead for our lifetimes.*--

Doubtful. It's just dead from the neck up.

Posted by: msoja | December 21, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse

Garak:

On their own blogs, liberal Democrats are quite open about their goal to legalize some 12 million illegal aliens, who will then turn around and reward Democrats with their votes. They say--correctly--that legalizing the illegal aliens offers the Democratic Party their best shot at winning national elections.

Why should the GOP help the Democrats achieve that goal.

Posted by: sinz52 | December 21, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Consider the leftward shift of the Mountain-West states over the last decade. These were solid-red strongholds that have become more blue due to what? Not Hispanics or other immigrants, but migration of left-leaning folks of all persuasions from California.

Anyone who thinks that the growing populations in red states will make them redder is ignoring recent history. Historically blue stats are still big enough, post-reapportionment to stay blue, and historically red states are still small enough that it takes a very small influx of former Californians, Ohioans and Michiganders -- and a rising minority/Hispanic/immigrant population to make them swing states.

Republicans might be able to hold Texas for another couple cycles, though.

Posted by: Rick00 | December 22, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Now, if Ezra could try for ten seconds not to be an operative of the Democratic party, he might note that, unlike the black vote, the Hispanic vote is trending more Republican, from 69:30 split in 2006, to 60:39 in 2010. And this AFTER the Arizona laws, etc.

Posted by: dhartmanva | December 22, 2010 6:30 AM | Report abuse

But since illegal immigrants still can't vote, the average citizen Californian or Texan is 5% more powerful in the voting booth than an Ohioan or Pennsylvanian. Add in their differential birthrate and the disparity is more like 10%.

Posted by: WmarkW | December 22, 2010 7:08 AM | Report abuse

The only Hispanic group that supports the GOP is the Cuban community in Florida. Didn't much help the GOP in '08, though. Electing Rubio accomplishes nothing for them; his supporters were for the GOP all along. Long term, as the GOP gets fatter, older, & starts to die off (due to lack of health insurance?), Dem strength should increase.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | December 22, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Someone wrote "no one stays progressive/Democrat" after they get off welfare.

But, then why do Rethugs continue to pander to big business/banks whose main goal is to squeeze the middle class into becoming poor?

Please explain.

Posted by: dc1020008 | December 22, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

One thing to mention as far as the growing number of hispanics: the Census counted the hispanic population but did not differentiate between legal and illegal. If you throw out the illegal population, who can't vote, there goes a lot of those supposed new Democratic voters.

Posted by: RobT1

__________________________________________

this has to be one of the more imbecillic statements made in this blog.

the census only counts legal residents.

duh?

Posted by: dc1020008 | December 22, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Lets not forget that 2 Hispanic Democratic Representatives from the San Antonio South Texas area were defeated by 2 Hispanic Republicans. Once you are elected in a swing district, it is much easier to hold on your seat in the 2012 election.

Posted by: sales7 | December 22, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

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