Political Winners and Losers From 2010 Census Not as Obvious as Some Claim

Dec 22, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- One expert on electoral politics is throwing a little cold water on pundit predictions that Republicans are the big winners from the 2010 census, which will see “red” states picking up House seats and “blue” states losing representation as a result of the once-a-decade reapportionment.

Donald Beachler, an associate professor of politics at Ithaca College and the coauthor of “Winning the , 2008,” says that Republican success in the 2010 midterm elections may actually blunt GOP prospects for further Congressional pickups in 2012.

“Because of Republican gains last November, they now hold so many districts in Pennsylvania and Ohio — which stand to lose three seats between them — that there is little room to expand without endangering those newly elected .”

On the flip side, says Beachler, some of the states that will gain seats are doing so because of their increasing Latino population, which is good news for Democrats. “In states like Texas and Arizona, the Voting Rights Act will require the creation of some Latino majority seats as part of redistricting. These districts will likely elect Democrats.”

Beachler has written extensively on Congress, elections and voter turnout. “Winning the White House, 2008” looked at the historical and emerging voting patterns that shaped that presidential election, exploring the electoral map to analyze how control of the White House and Congress hinged on the developing trends across the nation’s four main regions.

New York joins Ohio in losing two House seats to reapportionment, dropping the Empire State’s current 29-member Congressional delegation to 27, the lowest number since 1823.

Beachler says that the Republican capture of the state senate last November will force a bipartisan compromise in redrawing districts, as Democrats rule both the state assembly and governor’s mansion. Still, it is likely that the outcome will most negatively affect traditional GOP strongholds.

“While final data is not yet out on individual counties, population growth has been greater downstate and the political influence of upstate New York will be further reduced as a result.”

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