2010 Numbers Matter — for the Next 10 Years: Congressional Lines Redrawn


For those politically inclined, the work on the next election often begins before the current one takes place. In other words, while November 2008 was drawing plenty of attention at this time last year, there were at least some looking ahead to 2010. That is especially true when the "next" period ends with the number zero.

The every-10-year-period means a new census, a reapportionment of House seats in Congress and new maps for both legislative and congressional districts. There will be a great deal of time to discuss the politics of drawing the lines. For now, the early projections are in place on which states will be winners and losers in the amount of representation they have in Washington.

The National Conference of State Legislatures has its reapportionment outlook. Remember, they are only estimates at this point, but Indiana’s nine seats appear safe. The state, of course, came up short after the 2000 and 1980 population counts — losing a spot in the House each time. (Indiana once had 13 districts before dropping one each after the 1940 and 1930 censuses).

So who wins and who loses in 2011? The big, big winner, according to NCSL, is Texas with the potential of gaining three seats. The South and West also look to benefit from one additional seat for Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada and Utah.

On the other side, eight states stand to lose one seat each. They are Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

Side notes: If the estimate holds, California would not increase its congressional power for the first time since becoming a state in 1850. Also, pending legislation would increase the size of the House from 435 to 437 — giving the District of Columbia its first vote and allowing one more state to add a seat. (Utah would gain the additional representative, for now, if the legislation passes this year.)

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