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New Reapportionment Studies Are Good News for MO & WA

December 27th, 2009, 05:12 am admin Leave a comment Go to comments

The Census Bureau has released its annual population estimates, so that means the usual players are in the field with their reapportionment projections. First up is Election Data Services. (You can check out their prior studies as well: 2007 | 2008.)

EDS now offers six different projection models. The column headers indicate the range of time used to calculate each projection.

State 2000-09 2004-09 2005-09 2006-09 2007-09 2008-09
Arizona 2 2 2 1 1 1
California 0 -1 -1 0 0 0
Florida 1 1 1 1 1 1
Georgia 1 1 1 1 1 1
Illinois -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Iowa -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Louisiana -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Massachusetts -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Michigan -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Minnesota -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Nevada 1 1 1 1 1 1
New Jersey -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
New York -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
Ohio -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2
Pennsylvania -1 -1 -1 -1 -1 -1
South Carolina 1 1 1 1 1 1
Texas 3 4 4 4 4 4
Utah 1 1 1 1 1 1
Washington 1 1 1 1 1 1

The biggest losers in this new batch of projections are, not too surprisingly, the sun-belt states of Arizona and Florida. Last year, Arizona was expected to gain two seats under every single projection model. Now, in a stark demonstration of how southern migration has slowed in the midst of the Great Recession, the three nearest-term projections all show it picking up just one seat. Meanwhile, Florida, which still looked to gain two seats according to longer-term projections in 2008, now grabs just one new seat under all models.

Other losers include Oregon, which was slated to grab a new district under four of five models last year – it’s off the list entirely this time. North Carolina was in a much more marginal situation in 2008 (gaining a seat under two of five models), and it too drops from the list. Texas shows a teeny bit of wobble, as the longest-term projection now shows it picking up three rather than four seats, but it seems like the odds still favor four. California, on the other hand, stabilizes some more, with four of six models (including all the nearer-term ones) indicating it won’t lose any seats (last time, only two of five did).

The biggest gainers? That would be Missouri, which isn’t on this list at all – and for the Show Me State, that’s a good thing. In 2008, all five models projected a one-seat loss, and in fact, in 2007, all three models did as well. Now EDS thinks Missouri won’t lose any seats. Meanwhile, Washington state is brand-new to the list, gaining a tenth district acoss the board.

Polidata also has an analysis out. They only do one projection, based on the most recent year’s numbers, which matches EDS’s 2008-2009 projection in all respects. They also offer a list of which states barely hang on to their final seats and which states are oh-so-close to nabbing one more:

Rank State Makes/
Misses By
431 South Carolina 20,000
432 Washington 30,000
433 California 120,000
434 Texas 40,000
435 Missouri 10,000
436 Minnesota 10,000
437 Oregon 20,000
438 Arizona 50,000
439 Florida 150,000
440 North Carolina 75,000
441 Illinois 140,000
442 Ohio 130,000
443 New Jersey 110,000
444 Massachusetts 90,000
445 Louisiana 70,000

EDS has a similar chart with “last six/next six” on the final page of their PDF, with different iterations for each of their models. The bottom line is that right now, Missouri looks very lucky and Minnesota looks very unlucky. But given the small numbers involved and the fact that we’re dealing with estimates rather than actuals counts, I would not be surprised at all if things changed by the time we get final numbers in from the 2010 Census.


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