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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Reapportionment Due To Census Favors Republicans

The 2012 Presidential election just got a lot harder for Barack Obama and the census report which is used to reapportion House seats just favored Republicans with good news.

The Hill:

New data released Tuesday by the Census Bureau shows sizable shifts in population from Democratic-leaning states in the Industrial Midwest to Republican-leaning states in the Sun Belt.

That translates to fresh political opportunity for Republicans who, after netting 63 House seats in the 2010 election, stand to solidify their majority in Congress during the upcoming round of redistricting.


States gaining Congressional seats: Arizona (1), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Nevada (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1).

States losing Congressional seats: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1).

You’ll notice John McCain won five of the eight states gaining seats.

You’ll notice Barack Obama won eight of the ten states losing seats.


This is about as bad as it could get for Democrats, and as good as it could get for Republicans. The next GOP presidential candidate gets six free electoral votes from South Carolina, Texas, Utah. The Democratic caucus in the House is about to see internal warfare in the rust belt and northeast, as their members are forced into Thunderdome battle for the diminished number of seats. Only in Illinois, I think, will the Democrats be able to create a map that hurts the GOP's newly elected members and takes back a seat or two.


In the short term, this is very good for Republicans. But is that true in the long term? A lot of these changes are driven by Hispanic immigrants. Texas gets more seats now, but the way it's getting those seats bring us closer to the day when Texas becomes a viable target for Democrats. Same goes for Arizona -- and that's a state where Hispanics are getting increasingly radicalized against the GOP. As Larry Littlefield pithily puts it, "It seems that most of the growth is in Blue portions of Red states."

So far as the next presidential election goes, that hurts Obama. If he gets 46 percent of the vote in Texas rather than 43 percent, he still gets exactly none of Texas's electoral votes. In total, this census takes six electoral votes from Barack Obama's 2008 haul. Insofar as there's a silver lining for Democrats, it's in the longer-term, as the underlying shift we're seeing towards more Hispanic voters looks likely to favor them.

What we can say is that the 2010 election was a good one for the Republicans to win. It flipped 19 state legislatures in their direction, and so Republicans will have control of the redistricting process in most of those states. That means they'll be able to maximize whatever advantages the census results have to offer.

I specifically quoted Klein here because he continues to perpetuate the myth of Hispanic voters being against conservative candidates and implies that will get worse. While it is true that the majority of Hispanic voters vote Democrat, in the 2010 midterm elections Republicans saw more support from Hispanics than in 2006 or 2008.

Wapo- Nov. 27, 2010:

The conventional wisdom has already settled like a blanket over Washington. Allegedly, Hispanics flocked to the polls to punish Republicans for the Arizona immigration law. They "saved" the Senate for Democrats. And on and on. The conventional wisdom, however, is wrong. The 2010 election actually paints a very bright picture of the Republican Party's relations with this country's growing Hispanic population.

Exit polls reported by CNN and updated this week reveal that a historically robust 38 percent of Hispanic voters cast ballots for House Republican candidates in 2010 - more than in 2006 (30 percent) and 2008 (29 percent). In fact, since 1984, Republican House candidates have only won a higher percentage of the Hispanic vote in one election: 2004. This level of Hispanic support for Republican candidates came despite widespread pre-election claims by advocates for illegal immigration that the Arizona law and a pro-rule-of-law stand would undercut Hispanic support for Republicans.

Journalist Shikha Dalmia admitted in Forbes that the 2010 election "casts severe doubts" on the assumption that Hispanics will necessarily be advocates for illegal immigration. "Anti-immigration sentiment," she wrote, is "driven by economic and other fears that have to be addressed anew for every generation regardless of its ethnic make-up."

Hispanics certainly share these fears with all other American workers, and Hispanic workers face the impact of illegal immigration head-on. Among native-born Hispanics without a high school degree, 35 percent are either unemployed, are so discouraged that they have left the labor force or are forced to work part time.

Many Hispanics indeed voted for the very Republican candidates most identified as having a pro-enforcement or anti-amnesty stance. And these Republicans generally did as well as, or better than, the Republicans running for the same positions in the previous election. According to exit polls reported by CNN:

l 55 percent of Hispanic voters in Florida voted for Marco Rubio over Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek (compared with 41 percent for the Republican Senate candidate in 2006);

l 50 percent voted for Rick Scott over Alex Sink for governor (compared with 49 percent voting for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2006);

l 38 percent voted for Rick Perry over Bill White for governor of Texas (up from 31 percent voting for Perry in 2006);

l 30 percent voted for Sharron Angle over Harry Reid in the Nevada Senate race (compared with 27 percent voting for the Republican candidate against Reid in 2004);

l 29 percent voted for Carly Fiorina over Barbara Boxer in the California Senate race (up from 23 percent for the Republican candidate against Boxer in 2004).

l 28 percent voted for Jan Brewer over Terry Goddard for governor of Arizona (compared with 26 percent voting for the Republican candidate in the 2006 governor's race);

Republicans are gaining support with Hispanics and Democrats, while still seeing more support than Republicans, have seen it at a lower rate than previously... so that is one myth down.

Back to the reapportionment, National Journal has a good piece and FiveThirtyEight does as well.

No matter how it is spun, Republicans and Conservatives just got a nice Christmas gift in this census report.

Merry Christmas!!!