1.09.2007

Power Shift South May NOT Benefit GOP

According to the Washington Times in Population shift likely to boost GOP, the U.S. Southern Tier and West are projected to pick up seats in the US. House of Representatives; while the Northeast and Midwest are expected will lose seats. Regular readers of American Taino are familiar with the underlying demographics to know that this is correct.

Here’s how the Election Data Services (a population research firm) foresees the gains and loses after the 2010 reapportionment:

Gaining seats:

4 seats: Texas
2 seats: Florida, Arizona
1 seat: Georgia, Utah, Nevada, Oregon and Washington

Losing seats:

2 seats: New York and Ohio
1 seat: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri and Louisiana

However, as indicated by the title of the article the writer believes that the inflow of residents into currently Republican leaning states benefits the GOP. While I generally agree with the notion, I believe that when applied to the very dynamic highest growing states that the theory will prove false.

Here's why: Most of the population growth to the Southern Tier is just as likely to come from people that are members of traditionally Democratic voter groups, including African Americans, Latinos and younger urbanized whites. These are the very trends that have made Arizona and Nevada now competitive for Democrats.

So yes, I agree that the Southern Tier and Western states will pick-up another dozens or more House seats at the expense of the quickly fading Northeast and Midwest; but I disagree that those seats will be automatically Republican.

If anything, I expect to see a resurgence in Democratic Party fortunes in all of the fastest growing states. Frankly, that resurgence may have already started: the GOP lost 5 seats in the South this past election, while the Democrats added 5.