By Mike Schneider | Canadian Press
Because the number of seats in the House of
Representatives is set at 435, it’s a zero-sum game with one state’s gain
resulting in another state’s loss — like a pie with uneven slices. As one state
gets a larger slice because of population gains, that means a smaller slice for
a state that lost population or didn’t grow as much.
Here’s a look at the 13 states that will gain or lose
political power — and federal money — through the apportionment process because
of changes in population over the past decade:
The Longhorn State is the big winner, adding two congressional seats courtesy
of 4 million new residents. Demographers say people moving from other states
like California have contributed a significant chunk of the growth. The
nation’s second most populous state will now have 38 congressional
representatives, behind only California.
The nation’s third most populous state adds one congressional seat because of a
population gain of more than 2.7 million. This boosts its House delegation to
28 and Electoral College votes to 30, furthering the Sunshine State’s
importance in presidential elections.
Population growth around Denver helped Colorado gain an extra seat, its first
new House seat in 20 years. The mostly college-educated transplants have helped
Colorado go from being a solidly Republican state to a competitive swing state
to, now, a solidly Democratic one — though the state’s districts will be drawn
by a nonpartisan commission.
By gaining a congressional seat, Montana goes from having a single House
representative to having two. The gain marks a rebound for Montana, which had
two congressional seats for most of the 20th century but lost one after the
CAROLINA — Fueled by retirees and job seekers, North Carolina’s
population boom is earning it an extra seat, raising its House count to 14. The
gains have been concentrated in the Charlotte and Raleigh areas.
Oregon is getting a new congressional seat for the first time in 40 years,
going from five House members to six. Although Democrats control state
government, they have agreed to give up their advantage in redrawing the
state’s political districts for the next 10 years in exchange for a commitment
from Republicans to stop blocking bills.
While California is still the nation’s most populous state, its stagnant growth
over the past decade causes it to lose a single seat for the first time in 170
years of statehood. Its number of House members goes from 53 to 52 for a state
that has been a symbol of limitless growth and endless possibilities since the
Gold Rush of the 1800s.
Illinois goes from 18 to 17 House members, continuing a 40-year streak of
losing congressional seats.
The number of House members representing Michigan drops from 14 to 13,
particularly because of population losses in the Upper Peninsula.
— There was no question New York was going to lose a congressional seat, but
the suspense lay in whether it would be one or two seats. The Census Bureau
says New York lost its seat by a mere 89 people. The loss of one seat reduces
its House delegation from 27 to 26 members.
Sluggish population growth over the past decade causes Ohio to lose a single
congressional seat, continuing its streak of losses every decade since 1960.
The adjustment reduces the Buckeye State’s House seats from 16 to 15.
Although Pennsylvania remains an important presidential battleground, its
influence will be diminished by the loss of one Electoral College vote. Its
House delegation drops from 18 to 17 members.
VIRGINIA — A decadeslong exodus of residents finally causes West
Virginia to lose a congressional seat, reducing its representation in the House
from three to two members.