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New York and California Are Among the Blue States Projected To Lose House Seats Soon

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Well, it looks like the people who are leaving California and New York aren’t just the ones sick of the higher cost of living and getting less for it. Lawmakers — or rather, their seats — are leaving along with them.

According to an unofficial Census Bureau estimate, New York would lose one or two seats in the House of Representatives if the census numbers shake out as planned, and California would lose one — as would Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois and Minnesota.

This would be the first time in its history that California would lose a seat, according to Roll Call.

So, in case you’re unfamiliar with the process or didn’t pay that much attention in civics class, the census decides how many seats in the House of Representatives each state gets. Every 10 years, once the process is complete, the 435 seats in the House are doled out to each individual state based on how many people are there.

Each state also, of course, gets two senators. (I’m assuming you remember at least that much from civics class. If not, hey — information lagniappe! Also, linguistic lagniappe — the word means “a small gift given to a customer by a merchant at the time of a purchase.”)

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If you add the House seats together with those two senators, you get a state’s electoral vote number — which, again, if this is new information to you and you’re an American above the age of 13, my assumption is you’re reading this on a tablet you mistook for an Etch-a-Sketch. Try shaking it; if you don’t erase the screen, you might end up at HuffPost, which is probably more your speed.

It’s worth noting this is still just an estimate.

“The Census Bureau constructed the estimate separate from the decennial count currently underway at the agency, and it is based on 2010 census results, along with birth, death and internal migration records,” Roll Call reported. “Using the estimate to apportion the 435 seats in the House, seven states would gain congressional seats while nine states would lose them.”

According to the Census Bureau data, New York is the big loser, with 41,000 fewer people in 2020 than in 2010.

This is impressive in a kind of anti-impressive way. New York was the nation’s most populous state, up until 1964, when California surpassed it. In the intervening 56 years, it’s become the nation’s fourth-most populous state, despite having the nation’s biggest city and conurbation.

According to the New York Post, the state also hemorrhaged residents between July 2019 and July 2020, when 126,355 people left.

“New York has been losing locals since 2016, but the most recent drop was significantly larger than in years past,” the Post reported.

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“It was also the state with the nation’s biggest population decline, followed by Illinois with a 0.63 percent dip, Hawaii with 0.61 percent and West Virginia with 0.58 percent.”

Whatever the case, New York would stand to be the only state that could lose multiple seats in the House of Representatives — and therefore, multiple electoral votes. While Roll Call projects the loss of two seats, the liberal Brookings Institution projects the loss of one seat based on its analysis of the data.

So, in terms of who would gain seats: Texas is the big winner, with three projected seats. Florida would gain two. Both of these states have been reliably red in the last two presidential cycles, which means five more potential electoral votes for the GOP.

The rest of the gainers are a mixed bag: North Carolina, Colorado, Montana, Arizona and Oregon are all set to gain a seat each.

Hope still springs eternal at the Brookings Institution, however, which said “it is difficult to predict how these changes will benefit future Republican and Democratic presidential candidates, especially since Democrats seem to be making strides in growing, formerly Republican states in the West and the South.”

Translation: Texas is gonna turn purple someday! We just know it!

Overall, though, the mood from reapportionment is dunking on Democrats in general and certain Democrats in particular. Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo — who’s been in charge of the Empire State for almost the entirety of the past decade — took a big hit.

But let’s not forget that California, which could lose a seat for the first time ever even as Silicon Valley booms, was under the stewardship of Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown and then somehow managed to make things worse with another Democrat, Gavin Newsom.

As for the states that gained seats, well, it helps to remember that state legislatures either help draw or enact congressional districts. This is a problem in general for the Democrats, who did miserably at the statehouse level in 2020.

It’s an even bigger problem in states gaining seats, however. According to Ballotpedia, seven of those nine states have Republican legislatures.

To paraphrase a certain president, elections (and population defections) have consequences. Have fun.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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