Blue States Are Expected To Lose Power in Congress

"U.S. Capitol Building at Night 2" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Kevin Burkett

On Monday, the result of the 2020 population count will be announced by the U.S. Census Bureau. The numbers will affect the seats in the House as well as the number of Electoral College in some Blue states. 

According to the estimated numbers from political consulting firm Election Data Services, several states are in the bubble of potentially gaining or losing members of the House based on the population shifts within the country. 

The biggest predicted winners are Florida and Texas which are set to gain two and three seats respectively. However, California and New York are expected to lose at least one seat each due to the decline in population. 

The numbers that will be released on Monday will also affect the number of Electoral College votes for each state during presidential elections. The Electoral College votes are assigned based on the total number of House members per state plus its two senators.

According to the analysis that was published in December by Election Data Services’ Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon are also predicted to gain one seat each. 

Meanwhile, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia are on the hot seat to lose one member of Congress each.

New York, on the other hand, is on the line of potentially losing one or two seats, according to Election Data Services. 

According to the Census Bureau, it will deliver its results first to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, who will transmit them to President Biden. After Biden has the results, the Census Bureau will release the results to the public in a news conference.

The numbers were supposed to be delivered earlier this year by the Census Bureau. However, the was a delay in counting due to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters that forced the government to push back the deadline. 

According to the Census Bureau, the numbers released on Monday will include not only the population counts of each state but also data tables as well as the number of Representatives each state will be entitled to. 

After the official numbers are released, states will have to redraw their congressional districts before the 2022 midterm elections, which will likely tip-off fights over gerrymandering. Gerrymandering is the practice of state legislatures drawing congressional districts to favor members of their own party, strategically deciding which voters to put in which district. 

“Gavin Newsom” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Gage Skidmore

Even in states that are expected to keep the same number of representatives, legislatures and governors will likely need to shift the lines of their congressional districts to account for any intra-state population shifts. This could still lead to gerrymandering fights, especially in states where the governor and the majorities in the state legislature are of different parties. 

Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan told Fox News earlier this year, “They’re probably going to try to fight it and push another gerrymandered unfair map,” referring to his state’s Democratic-controlled legislature.

He added, “But we’re going to probably end up in court. And I believe that we will prevail and we’ll have a more competitive situation with fair districts that are compact and contiguous and that will make more sense.”