Like a number of "blue" states, it appears people are fleeing Illinois like it was on fire and heading to states with questionable school board decisions, warmer climates and compelling roadside tourist attractions. As a result, Illinois stands to lose one House seat to the Bible belt; we'll be divided into 18 House districts instead of 19 House districts, meaning everyone will have more people to serve.
Notably, this sucks for Aaron Schock, who may have to run for Senate against Dick Durbin if he
intends to continuing being the Congresshottie we all know and love, as incumbents and senior members generally draw lines to - what else - protect themselves. Cynical, yes, but some might say Schock could easily oust Durbin based on sheer long-distance pants visibility alone.
Also noteworthy, the census, which, according to Michelle Bachmann, was supposed to make the currently-ruling Democrats our new benevolent overlords through the nefarious voter-registration schemes of ACORN and it's affiliates, actually seems to demonstrate that people are voting against Dems with their feet, houses and economic stability. According to Gallup, all ten states losing House seats had Dem registration advantages, and the seat losses will hit Dems harder than Republicans, who have a registration advantage in five of eight gaining states.
Nine of the 10 states that lost congressional seats as a result of
this year's census are in the Northeast or Midwest. The exception is
Louisiana, whose population loss at least partly as a result of
Hurricane Katrina cost it a seat. Politically, all 10 of these "losing"
states skew Democratic in political orientation, based on Gallup's latest state political identification data
from January through June of this year...
The eight states that gained congressional seats this year present a
more mixed political picture. Texas was the big winner, gaining four
seats as a result of its extraordinary growth from a population of
almost 21 million in 2000 to 25 million in 2010. Texas has a net
Democratic party identification of -3, meaning that more Texas adults
identify as Republicans than as Democrats. On the other hand, Florida
gained two seats, and has a net Democratic identification of +4. Party
identification skews Republican in four of the remaining six states,
all of which gained one congressional seat, ranging from a -32 net
Democratic margin in Utah (Utah is the most Republican state) to -3 in
Georgia. Both Nevada and Washington have net positive Democratic party
With the way this is going, we're all going to be Texans soon, apparently. Make sure you check out after Christmas sales for ten gallon hats and sidearms.
The biggest problems for Dems will come in some of the Rust Belt and midwestern states, whose Democrat/Republican spread is actually pretty small. Known as "swing states," places like Ohio, Missouri and - shockingly - Georgia, generally forgotten for most of the year, command more attention in an election year than a Chicago food truck parked in a loading zone. Advantages in these states are hard fought and small electoral changes in key areas, even heavily gerrymandered ones, could mean the difference between four more years and President Palin. Obama won in Ohio in 2008 and only lost narrowly in Missouri, but both states hosted Dem bloodbaths in 2010. If the results of the 2010 election can be blamed even partly on population movement to states with lower taxes and more lenient business regulations, as Michael Barone points out, national Democratic strategists have to be sh*tting their pants right now.