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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The 2010 Census- Who will gain? Who will lose?

There is a lot of buzz about the 2010 Census and how it will tilt the balance of the 435 U.S. House seats throughout our 50 states. I read an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal that sheds some light on how the political chips will fall after the census and how factors like the economy and immigration play a role.

The early analysis indicates that Texas will be the biggest winner since the prior count, picking up three or four seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. These seats may not result in a huge change of the direction in our electoral college but they are significant. When you take into account the large strides Democrats have made in the State Legislature, one or more of these new Congressional seats may translate into a Democratic Congressional District.

What makes this census different than the last?

The foreclosure crisis and past natural disasters will both greatly affect the census numbers. States such as New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts and the weakened industrial states of Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania all stand to lose a House seat. The population of Louisiana is still reeling from Hurricane Katrina and will lose a House seat due to the inability to tally many residents.

The extended reach of who will be counted is also a factor in the 2010 Census. This year the $14 billion spent will include some unprecedented steps to reach immigrants and for the first time, the bureau will mail census forms in Spanish to 13 million households.

It sounds to me like the 2010 Census numbers will be a true testament to the changing pulse of politics in Texas.