Cen­sus to show slow­ing U.S. growth

To­day’s re­lease of num­bers may re­veal fig­ures ben­e­fi­cial to GOP-lean­ing states.

Dayton Daily News - - NATION+WORLD - By Tom Ham­burger and Kim Geiger Chicago Tribune

WASHINGTON — Po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists will be watch­ing closely to­day when the Cen­sus Bureau re­leases the first of­fi­cial pop­u­la­tion data to­day from the 2010 cen­sus.

The cen­sus will likely show Amer­ica’s once-tor­rid pop­u­la­tion growth drop­ping to the low­est level since pos­si­bly the Great De­pres­sion. De­mog­ra­phers be­lieve the of­fi­cial 2010 count will be 308.7 mil­lion peo­ple or lower, putting U.S. growth at around 9 per­cent, the low­est since the 1940 cen­sus.

The num­bers, up­dated ev­ery 10 years, will be used to reap­por­tion the 435 House seats among the 50 states. The num­bers trig­ger a high-stakes process where the dom­i­nant party in each state re­draws the elec­tion map to shape the po­lit­i­cal land­scape for the next 10 years.

In Congress, the steady mi­gra­tion to the South and West will be a boon to Repub­li­cans with GOP-lean­ing states such as Texas pick­ing up new House seats. Some states — in­clud­ing Ohio — are likely to lose seats and, hence, votes in Congress. Q: Why is this a big deal? A: It can help de­ter­mine who will con­trol the House, state leg­is­la­tures and even the pres­i­dency.

To­day’s re­lease launches the process of re­dis­trict­ing, in which each state re­draws con­gres­sional district bound­aries to make each district roughly equal in pop­u­la­tion — in some cases giv­ing one party a sig­nif­i­cant elec­toral ad­van­tage.

But the im­por­tance of reap­por­tion­ment is not limited to House races. The num­ber of seats as­signed to each state can in­flu­ence pres­i­den­tial con­tests be­cause they are used to de­ter­mine rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Elec­toral Col­lege.

Q: What should we be watch­ing for on to­day?

A: The states with the biggest an­tic­i­pated changes are Texas, which could gain as many as five seats, and Ohio, which could lose two. Nine states — Illi­nois, Iowa, Louisiana, Mas­sachusetts, Michi­gan, Min­nesota, New Jersey, New York and Penn­syl­va­nia — could each lose one.

It’s an­tic­i­pated that Cal­i­for­nia will keep its 53 seats and re­main the largest del­e­ga­tion.

Q: How could this af­fect a pres­i­den­tial con­test?

A: Pres­i­dents are se­lected by a vote of the Elec­toral Col­lege, and the makeup of that body is based partly on the num­ber of seats a state has in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. It takes 270 elec­toral col­lege votes to win the pres­i­dency, and the votes oc­ca­sion­ally have been ex­tremely close.

Four swing states — Florida, Ne­vada, Iowa and Ohio — stand to gain or lose seats. A few of the tra­di­tion­ally safe Demo­cratic states could lose seats, and some tra­di­tion­ally safe Repub­li­can states could gain.

Q: Which party is most likely to ben­e­fit from this process? A: The Repub­li­can Party. In part, that’s be­cause the new pop­u­la­tion num­bers are ex­pected to in­crease rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the Repub­li­can-lean­ing states of the South and West while tra­di­tional Demo­cratic stronghold­s in the North are los­ing seats in the House. The story in­cludes in­for­ma­tion from The As­so­ci­ated Press.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.