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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

California Could Lose One or More House Seats

In Defying the Odds, we discuss state and congressional elections as well as the presidential race. The update looks at political and demographic trends through the 2018 midterm.

Sarah Parvini and John Myers at LAT:

California is poised to lose a congressional seat for the first time in its history as a state, based on U.S. Census Bureau population estimates released Monday that showed the nation’s growth continued to slow in 2019.

Some 27 states and the District of Columbia lost residents through net domestic migration between 2018 and 2019, the new census data show.

About 203,000 people left California in that period, a result of the state’s shifting migration patterns and economic strains that are making it harder to afford living here. New York, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts and Louisiana also saw large losses to other states.

California’s potential loss in reapportionment, which will be determined by next year’s census count, would drop the state’s number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives from 53 to 52, said William Frey, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

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Those without reliable internet connections may be missed in a census that will rely heavily on online surveys. Los Angeles County, officials say, will be the nation’s hardest to tally because of its high concentrations of renters and homeless people, as well as immigrant communities that may not participate, either because of language barriers or because they fear being targeted by federal immigration authorities.

“If, as many fear, non-citizen populations and the state’s heavily Latino population either fails to participate or participates without providing full household counts, then California could lose more than one seat,” said [Paul] Mitchell, whose firm analyzes political data for regional and statewide candidates.