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« Media Bias? What Media Bias? | WILLisms.com | Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 426 -- Lower Taxes & Lower Spending = Greater Poverty Reduction. »

Trivia Tidbit Of The Day: Part 425 -- Future Reapportionment Favors Republicans.

Looking Into The Crystal Ball, GOP Benefits From Demographic Trends-

The University of Virginia's David Wasserman (on Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball website) has predicted the future of Congressional reapportionment, out to 2030.

Some interesting trends at play, here. Averaging the percentages for Bush in the 2000 and 2004 elections, using data from Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, we can see that strongly Republican states are projected to gain seats at the expense of states that voted for Kerry and/or Gore in the past two Presidential elections.

Bush Totals House Members
Average 2000 2004 State Current 2010 2020 2030
69.2% 66.8% 71.5% Utah 3 4 4 4
68.3% 67.8% 68.9% Wyoming 1 1 1 1
67.8% 67.2% 68.4% Idaho 2 2 2 2
64.1% 62.3% 65.9% Nebraska 3 3 2 2
62.9% 60.3% 65.6% Oklahoma 5 5 5 5
61.8% 60.7% 62.9% North Dakota 1 1 1 1
60.2% 59.3% 61.1% Texas 32 35 37 40
60.1% 60.3% 59.9% South Dakota 1 1 1 1
60.0% 58.0% 62.0% Kansas 4 4 4 4
59.8% 58.6% 61.1% Alaska 1 1 1 1
59.5% 56.5% 62.5% Alabama 7 7 6 6
58.8% 58.4% 59.1% Montana 1 1 1 1
58.5% 57.6% 59.4% Mississippi 4 4 4 4
58.3% 56.7% 59.9% Indiana 9 9 9 8
58.0% 56.5% 59.6% Kentucky 6 6 6 5
57.4% 56.8% 58.0% South Carolina 6 6 6 6
56.3% 54.7% 58.0% Georgia 13 14 14 14
56.0% 56.0% 56.0% North Carolina 13 13 14 15
54.6% 52.6% 56.7% Louisiana 7 6 6 6
54.0% 51.9% 66.1% West Virginia 3 3 2 2
54.0% 51.2% 56.8% Tennessee 9 9 9 9
53.1% 52.5% 53.7% Virginia 11 11 12 12
52.9% 51.0% 54.9% Arizona 8 9 11 13
52.8% 51.3% 54.3% Arkansas 4 4 4 4
51.9% 50.4% 53.3% Missouri 9 8 8 8
51.2% 50.8% 51.7% Colorado 7 7 7 7
50.5% 48.9% 52.1% Florida 25 27 30 34
50.4% 50.0% 50.8% Ohio 18 16 15 14
50.0% 49.5% 50.5% Nevada 3 4 4 5
49.1% 48.2% 49.9% Iowa 5 4 4 4
48.8% 47.9% 49.8% New Mexico 3 3 3 3
48.5% 48.1% 48.9% New Hampshire 2 2 2 2
48.5% 47.9% 49.8% Wisconsin 8 8 8 7
47.4% 46.4% 48.4% Pennsylvania 19 18 17 15
47.0% 46.1% 47.8% Michigan 15 15 14 13
46.9% 46.5% 47.2% Oregon 5 5 6 6
46.6% 45.5% 47.6% Minnesota 8 8 8 8
45.1% 44.6% 45.6% Washington 9 9 10 10
44.3% 44.0% 44.6% Maine 2 2 2 2
43.8% 41.9% 45.8% Delaware 1 1 1 1
43.5% 42.6% 44.5% Illinois 19 18 17 16
43.3% 40.3% 46.2% New Jersey 13 13 12 12
43.0% 41.7% 44.4% California 53 54 54 56
41.6% 40.2% 42.9% Maryland 8 8 8 8
41.4% 37.5% 45.3% Hawaii 2 2 2 2
41.2% 38.4% 44.0% Connecticut 5 5 5 4
39.8% 40.7% 38.8% Vermont 1 1 1 1
37.7% 35.2% 40.1% New York 29 28 25 23
35.3% 31.9% 38.7% Rhode Island 2 2 2 1
34.6% 32.5% 36.8% Massachusetts 10 9 9 8
9.1% 9.0% 9.3% D.C. - 1 1 1
Total Seats --> 435 437 437 437
Above 60% - +4 +5 +8
Between 55-60% - +1 +1 0
Between 50-55% - 0 +4 +10
Between 45-50% - -2 -2 -6
Between 40-45% - 0 -2 -2
Under 40% - -1 -4 -8

Incidentally, notice how Bush's percentages went up just about everywhere in the entire country from 2000 to 2004, often in states that are gaining additional Representatives in future reapportionment processes.

Note that in this scenario Washington, D.C. is given a voting member of the House, balanced out by an additional member in Utah. This may or may not happen in reality.

These early predictions from the Crystal Ball also differ quite a bit from other reapportionment projections, including ones I've personally made, as well as the Polidata projections (.pdf). I've come up with numbers closer to what Polidata has when I have tried to plot Census numbers. For example, Polidata and I both have Michigan losing a seat in 2010 (rather than nothing), Texas gaining one more seat (4 instead of 3), California not gaining or losing (instead of gaining 1), and New York losing two seats (instead of just 1). Indeed, the Crystal Ball may be underestimating the pro- "red state" demographic trends at play, or perhaps underestimating the sheer magnitude of fleeing citizens from places like Michigan and the Northeast to the South and West.

Red state women having more children than blue state women, red states receiving more foreign immigrants than blue states, and floods of blue state citizens packing up and moving to red states all contributes to the future reapportionment trends. These trends don't necessarily mean that Republicans will benefit politically, but let's hope that successful policies are recognized and protected in red states-- and emulated in blue states.

Generally, though, despite the myth of rebellious teens rejecting their parents' views, most of the time, partisanship and ideology are transmitted intergenerationally.

Also, while it could be possible that blue state folks moving to red states are bringing along their blue state political values, many of these people have families (a GOP indicator), and many of them are moving to red states because of attractive economic policies (no state income tax, easier to start a business, etc.). We also know that these trends have been happening for many years already, now; and, for the most part, the internal migration of Americans from blue to red states has not made these states more liberal/Democratic. Indeed, some of the fastest growing, most attractive states are also some of the more conservative/Republican states.

Finally, while tens of millions of legal and illegal immigrants often find themselves to be more comfortable in Democratic political circles, and although in places like Arizona and Colorado, Latino voters are already shifting the political landscape, the battle for hearts and minds of Hispanics is not yet over. Indeed, many Latinos have far more respect for God, Country, and Family than the rank-and-file of the modern Democratic Party, and Latinos are typically far more uncomfortable with the notion of being permanent wards of the welfare state than other segments of the Democrats' electoral coalition. Meanwhile, as elderly conservative yellow dog Democrats in the South pass away, we may see even further consolidation of Southern House seats for the GOP.

Regardless of these uncertain political factors, it's almost certain that over the next three reapportionment cycles, some of the more liberal states in the country will lose several of their members of the House of Representatives to some of the more conservative states. It's really not a question of "if" anymore. Rather, it's a question of "how many."


Previous Trivia Tidbit: Firing U.S. Attorneys Is Not Unusual Or Evil.

Posted by Will Franklin · 15 March 2007 07:45 PM


You've got Wyoming listed twice. I believe the second one is another state. I was born in Wyoming and hate to point this out, but unless Dick Cheney and the rest of us annex another state, we probably aren't going to see our state ever have 13 seats.

Posted by: Justin B at March 15, 2007 08:14 PM

Oops, yeah, that's supposed to be North Carolina.

Posted by: Will Franklin at March 15, 2007 08:18 PM

I'm likin' what I see here!

Posted by: Ken McCracken at March 15, 2007 09:29 PM

Don't hope too much for those blue staters moving to red states. Notice that once-red New Hampshire is now below the line and light blue, since all those Massachusetts people moved up into the Golden Triangle.

The childbearing demographic may be more encouraging.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 15, 2007 09:52 PM

AS used to have one DEM elected to Congress and now after JD lost has three. What I wouldn't give for Tom Delay to draw the district maps in AZ...

I am a firm believer that we need a much smaller federal government and to let states enact more and more policies at their level. Things like Abortion, Medical Marijuana, Kelo, etc., all diminish the role states play in things. The fact that the vast majority of the taxes you pay are Federal diminishes the competitive differences in property tax rates, sales tax rates, and state income tax rates, but even with that, Red States are growing for a reason.

Speaking mostly to AZ, FL, and TX, people want to retire here or better yet, move their families here from the midwest (in AZ and TX) and from the northeast for FL. Our lower state and property taxes mean that they keep more of their income and when you have a fixed income, you want lower property prices, lower taxes, etc. It is a mixed bag because a lot of these folks get suckered in by the AARP army of liars. But having travelled all over the country for work, the lifestyle in the suburbs and especially in the Sun Belt is just awesome.

Posted by: Justin B at March 16, 2007 01:12 AM

"... for the most part, the internal migration of Americans from blue to red states has not made these states more liberal/Democratic."

I moved to Texas 25 years ago from western Pennsylvania. I was raised in a Democratic household. My father was the head county commissioner in my area. I moved to Texas and met and began dating my future wife who had never been farther north than Oklahoma. I was surprised that she was a Republican. And she made fun of Jimmy Carter who I thought was just great! Uh, um.

Anyhow, this was at the beginning of the Reagan Revolution and I quickly became a convert. I never vote for Democrats anymore. Somehow in the voting booth my hand freezes up and it is simply physically impossible to vote for a Democrat.

My family back in PA is now split 50/50 Democrat and Republican. Needless to say, this can lead to some lively family debates.

Posted by: Dan Morgan at March 16, 2007 08:49 PM

Justin is just trying to rub it in that he lives in the most beautiful State in the country, Arizona!
I have never understood why we send our tax dollars to Washington just to have them recycled back to the States???

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 17, 2007 07:10 AM


Good news is that Dems want us to send our individual retirement dollars to the feds to be doled out back to us via Social Security, send out healthcare dollars to be doled out via nationalized healthcare... The Feds know what is best for us ignorant, inbred red staters and they need to use their enlightened liberal Academic minds at Harvard or Columbia to dictate what we do in Austin or Phoenix. We are just too stupid to figure it out. They give us nice little grants back to fix our highways as long as we play by their rules.

I think we are even because Will lives in Texas and likes to rub it in that they have the UT basketball and football teams that compete for national titles and on top of all that (without Will mentioning it), the Mavs and Spurs have eliminated my Suns as well as the fact that we have the Arizona Cardinals to lower the standards of the entire NFL.

Posted by: Justin B at March 17, 2007 01:26 PM

Justin...Arizona still has the diamondbacks. AND Camelback Mountain!!! I was born in Arizona, you know. You are so lucky! Will loves Arizona too.

Posted by: zsa zsa at March 17, 2007 02:35 PM

The GOP put a lot of effort into the redistricting plan and gave themselves a huge advantage for the future. The Dems were asleep at the wheel.

Posted by: PoliticalCritic at March 19, 2007 07:55 PM

Political Critic, not enough historical perspective. The Democrats redrew the lines to their advantage after the 1960, 1970, 1980, and 1990 censuses. It's not pretty, but it's what majority parties do.

Posted by: Assistant Village Idiot at March 19, 2007 10:54 PM

Plus, that has nothing to do with this post. This post is about demographic trends and population projections. This has nothing to do with engineering maps for political advantage.

Posted by: Will Franklin at March 20, 2007 12:38 PM

Will, I didn't mean to take things down the path of redistricting, but the logical extension of the shift of seats from NY, NJ, MA, etc., is what is this going to mean in the future.

There are so many "safe seats" in Congress now and if the new blue state to red state migrants are moving to the suburbs from Blue State suburbs (that are the red areas in both red and blue states), we are getting suburb to suburb migration and we can expect very little change in the Red States. The suburbs, even in blue states, are pretty red. I suspect this is the majority of the trend.

The reality is that it is not just Blue State to Red State migration, but as you have continually pointed out, it is county to county migration in Blue States from cities to suburbs. So we have a cycle of people in Blue States leaving the city to the suburbs, and people in Blue State suburbs leaving to go to Red State suburbs to pay lower taxes, etc. Same migration from Red State cities to the suburbs. All the benefits of Red States that we have discussed (but mostly crime, weather, and taxes).

Will has posted about the other bigger trend of which this is a part of. It is people realizing what Blue Counties and Blue Cities and Blue States are about, and moving as quickly as they can to the lower cost and safe Red Suburbs and Red States. Hence commuting problems like traffic. People drive from the suburbs into the city instead of living there in increasing numbers. Even attempts to revitalize urban cores can only attract young single folks. I would love to live in a loft in Downtown Phoenix near all the important artistic venues like Chase Field and US Airways Center... wait, I mean by the museums and galleries... no, I was right the first time. But I love my kids. I like my property. I like my wife being able to walk to and from her car without some homeless dude sleeping on our porch. Families like Red States and Red Suburbs. Single people like the higher taxes and "culture" of the city.

Posted by: Justin B at March 20, 2007 01:30 PM


Come on Will. Show the love for what you wrote last year. Reward your long-time readers of the nostalgia of good old days when Heidi was just a pup. This illustrates exactly the trend Will describes here, but on a county level. And may be even more telling.

This is the trend, however, the reality is that this trend is going to affect the alignment of House seats in 2010. I still have real questions about who draws the maps for these seats and this is the importance of voting in statewide elections. A single swing State Legislative district in BFE Arizona can affect the balance of power in a State Legislature which in turn affects the map of how these states are divided up in 2010 and could affect the balance of power in Congress. Almost as scary as 500 votes being the difference between a bearded Global Warming hysterical nutjob President and W.

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