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Divided We Stand

Divided We Stand
New book about the 2020 election.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Red Shift


Aaron Blake writes at The Washington Post:

Republican-leaning states in the South and West that experienced a population boom over the past decade will gain political clout, while some historically Democratic states in the Rust Belt will lose it, according to Census Bureau figures released Tuesday aimed at ensuring proportional representation in the House.


The shift will change the partisan lean from blue to red of a net of six electoral college votes. Obama beat McCain by 192 electoral college votes in 2008.

Overall, 18 states lost or gained congressional districts. Texas, as expected, gained the most seats, moving from 32 to 36 seats. Florida was the only other state to gain multiple seats, adding two and bringing it to 27 seats.

Six other states gained a single seat: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah and Washington.

The biggest losers were New York and Ohio, which each lost two seats. Eight other states lost a single seat: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Republicans will control the redistricting process in eight of the states experiencing changes, while Democrats will control it in two.

Sean Trende adds at RealClearPolitics:

Overall, this represents a continued shift in the Electoral College from blue-leaning states to red-leaning states. If the 2008 election had been held under these census numbers, President Obama's 365-173 victory over John McCain would have become a 359-179 win. For 2004, the numbers are starker still: Bush's 286-251 victory would become a 292-246 win, meaning that even if Kerry had won Ohio, he still would have lost (in 2004, flipping Ohio would have been sufficient to give Kerry the win).

And finally, in 2000, rather than a 271-266 win (with one faithless Gore/Lieberman elector from DC abstaining), the changes of the past two decades would have resulted in a President Bush win of 285-252. While Florida would still would have been the difference-maker, Gore would not have to tell himself that, had he won New Hampshire, Tennessee or Arkansas, the whole Florida debacle would have been irrelevant.