By Janet Adamy, WSJ
In Washington, it’s never too early to think about the next congressional reapportionment.
That’s why Tuesday’s release by the U.S. Census Bureau of state-by-state population changes sparked instant predictions about which states will gain and lose House seats after the 2020 census. That pie of 435 seats gets recut every 10 years based on whether states swelled or shrank, and the number of House seats and presidential electoral votes for the states shift accordingly.
Election Data Services, a political consulting firm in Manassas, Va., tallied the rates of state population change from 2010 to 2015 and projected them forward to 2020. If those trends hold up, 15 states would gain or lose districts after the 2020 census.
The biggest gains would come to Texas, which is projected to clinch three more House seats, and Florida, a gainer of two seats. Arizona, North Carolina, Colorado and are all poised to grab one seat after 2020.
Nine states are projected to lose districts: Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
“What we do find is that it does make things more Republican,” said Kimball Brace, president of Election Data Services.
But there’s a twist, thanks to a recent Supreme Court case. The high court decided earlier this year to hear a case centering on whether voting districts should be determined based on the number of eligible voters instead of total population.
Should the court rule in favor of districting around only eligible voters, Texas would actually lose a congressional seat.