The US Census Bureau on Monday afternoon announced how many seats each state will have for the next ten years. This is a once-in-a-decade process described as reapportionment. And we bring some really bad news for the Democrats- Red states have gained Congressional seats, while Blue states are losing them.
A total of six states have gained seats, while seven have lost one seat each. Three gainers- Texas, Florida and Montana are purely, or at least substantially, Red states that voted twice for President Donald Trump. Texas is the only state to gain two states and it is expected to continue favouring the Republicans though it is sometimes classified as a Swing (Purple) state. North Carolina too, favours Republicans heavily during Presidential polls. On the other hand, Oregon and Colorado favour Democrats.
So, Republicans have gained an advantage in five Congressional seats against two seats for Democrats.
As for the losers, seven states are losing one seat each, namely California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. These seven states, of course, include some mainstream Blue states- California, Illinois, New York and Michigan. So, again Democrats are losing four Congressional seats. Yet, Republicans do not seem to be suffering much damage, as Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia are all swing states.
California is losing a seat for the first time in its 170-year old history. California continues to be the most populous state in the country, but its pace of population growth has slowed down substantially. There was a time when California used to be a symbol of American tech leadership. The state used to record rapid migration from other states or even other countries.
However, years of Democrat rule have changed the fundamental character of the state which was described as the ‘Silicon Valley’ till now. Heavy taxes, high cost of living and anti-investment policies have led to a flight of Silicon Valley companies and tech experts to migrate out of California.
The tech world is now choosing Texas over California. And therefore, Democrats are now paying the political costs for ruining California. They have lost a Congressional seat in California, while Republicans are gaining big in Texas.
The net effect of the reapportionment is a clear advantage for the Republicans and a big electoral disadvantage for the Democrats. This goes a big way in electoral contests, and it might even play a big role in deciding the 2024 US Presidential polls.
In any case, the next US Presidential polls are likely to be fiercely contested. Even in 2020, Biden may have won the elections with a 306-232 margin, but Trump did remain popular. In fact, Trump polled the highest votes for a losing candidate in US election history.
In a close battle, every single seat can change fortunes. Therefore, the reapportionment can decide the future of US election dynamics. The Democrats, therefore, have bad news, as they lose big and Republicans gain out of their losses.
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