New Reapportionment Study Shows New York Losing Two Seats

Though official census data won’t be published until the end of the year, Election Data Services has released an updated reapportionment projection, based on population estimates published by GIS software maker Esri. To see how things have changed over the years, I’m including EDS’s projections for 2007, 2008, and 2009. Note that in prior years, EDS used several different models for its forecasts, which is why you see two different possibilities for some states in certain years.

State 2010 2009 2008 2007
Arizona 1 1 / 2 2 2
California 0 -1 / 0 -1 / 0 0 / 1
Florida 2 1 1 / 2 1 / 2
Georgia 1 1 1 1
Illinois -1 -1 -1 -1
Iowa -1 -1 -1 -1
Louisiana -1 -1 -1 -1
Massachusetts -1 -1 -1 -1
Michigan -1 -1 -1 -1
Minnesota 0 -1 -1 -1 / 0
Missouri -1 0 -1 -1
Nevada 1 1 1 1
New Jersey -1 -1 -1 -1
New York -2 -1 -1 -2
North Carolina 0 0 0 / 1 0 / 1
Ohio -2 -2 -2 -2
Oregon 0 0 0 / 1 1
Pennsylvania -1 -1 -1 -1
South Carolina 1 1 1 0 / 1
Texas 4 3 / 4 4 4
Utah 1 1 1 1
Washington 1 1 0 0

The biggest loser here is New York, which, after two straight years of facing only a single-seat loss, is back two a two-seat drop – though only by the narrowest of margins: the Empire State would get the 436th seat in Congress, if it existed. The other clear loser is Missouri, which swaps places with Minnesota – MN hangs on to its final seat, while Missouri now fails to. And Arizona, which last year could have gained either one or two seats, now looks set to pick up just one. Meanwhile, California (0), Florida (2) and Texas (4) all wind up with their higher projections.

EDS also provides a list of states on the bubble, which you can see below:

Seat # State Makes By/
Misses By
431 South Carolina 42,248
432 Florida 84,802
433 Minnesota 15,643
434 Washington 12,923
435 Texas 38,005
436 New York 29,439
437 California 99,396
438 Arizona 30,157
439 North Carolina 51,588
440 Illinois 75,046

In addition to the states on the lists above, EDS also thinks that Nebraska and Rhode Island are also at risk of losing a seat when the final numbers come out in December.

UPDATE: In comments, Nico takes a look back at EDS’s projections for the prior decade and finds that, while good, they still missed a few things. So we are very likely to see some surprises.

36 thoughts on “New Reapportionment Study Shows New York Losing Two Seats”

  1. Weren’t there a couple reapportionment scenarios floating around where New York had an all-Democratic delegation?

    Massa messed that up, tho.

  2. The Midwest was the best region as far as Census turnout goes, and the Chicago machine likely did its best to make sure the entire city was counted. It’s a long shot, but I wouldn’t be stunned if IL-19 survives by the skin of its teeth and replaces the 4th new Texas district, as TX had a very poor Census response rate. As something less of a long shot, I wouldn’t rule out a new district for North Carolina replacing TX-36 either.

  3. If New York replaces Utah in the 436th spot on the list, then the current version of the DC House Voting Rights Act is even deader than it already appears to be. Expanding the House to 437 seats with 1 going to DC isn’t so palatable to Republicans if the extra seat is going to New York rather than Utah-though maybe if it’s Peter King’s seat being saved some would jump on board.

  4. People were deriding me for saying Minnesota was only 50/50 when it came to losing the 8th district. I feel ever-so-slightly vindicated

  5. Here is the EDS’ final projections for 2000 reapportionment. They’re good, but not perfect. Using 1999 estimates, they missed a handful of shake-ups, like Indiana and Michigan’s loss of a seat, while projecting that Montana would gain a seat. They also thought that Georgia and Florida would only gain one seat and that North Carolina would not gain any.

    Using 2000 projections, they were a little better, swapping out Montana for that second seat to Georgia and noting that Indiana was number 435 and perilously close to losing a seat.

    The point is that these projections are good, quite good even, but they’re not bulletproof. There will probably be a surprise or two once reapportionment numbers are rolled out. Don’t take anything as gospel just yet.

  6. I imagine NY is going to have 3-4 Republicans this time next year when redrawing time comes.

    I floated a 27-1 plan (when it looked like only one seat was biting the dust) but I had my doubts about it and parts of it were a rather torturous gerrymander. (I put it in a rather detailed diary if anyone cares to look.)

    My guess is 25-2 is the best map for our side in the Empire State, one upstate seat and one Long Island one.  

  7. Assuming the Republicans take back the State Senate. Which isn’t that bad of a bet.  You’d probably have what you had last time.

    You’d have two scenarios.  One either that two Republicans get paired togethered.  And two Democrats get paired together.  But if geography doesn’t cooperate it will be two Republicans each being paried with two Democrats.

    If Democrats control the legislature perhaps a bit more creativity might be showed.  But that can always be dangerous and backfire.  Add too much of Lee’s district into Slaughter and Higgins.  Perhaps you mind end up with two vulnerable Democrats.

    Though I’m sure there are those of you playing with the redistricting ap who can perform minor miracles. :)

  8. didn’t meaningfully have any population growth since the last census.  Districts have to have 10% larger populations, though, so LI has to shed one.  The logical one to get rid of is Peter King’s.  He’s been dawdling with retiring and the district is perhaps 5 years from tipping D anyway, and drawing him a safe district at the cost of some Democratic incumbent(s) with a future is too much trouble.

    If it were up to me, I’d consolidate Republican votes into two Upstate districts drawn along the Pennsylvania border from Lake Erie or Chatauqua to the Catskills and maybe right up to the west bank of the Hudson.  That would make practically all the Upstate Democratic districts safe.

    That map would kill off Peter King but concede Republicans the  Houghton/Kuhl/Massa seat.  Which they’re going to win this November anyway.

    An Upstate incumbent Democrat would also have to go.  I’m not sure where the most population is lacking, but I’ll guess it’s  the Buffalo/Niagara-Rochester-Syracuse corridor as per usual.  I like Louise Slaughter but she’s been spared in previous redistrictings and is about 80.  Despite great popularity she hasn’t been much to cheer about on the House committee she chairs for lack of energy, iirc.  Maybe it’s time for her to enjoy retirement.

  9. Utah was about the only state that would have had the Republicans agree, because it was the closest thing to a “sure” thing.  Since Utah’s poised to now get that seat anyway, I’d think almost any other state would not be a good enough deal for the Republicans.  It was a silly proposition for them anyway;  that seat IS coming to them anyway.  So if they passed the bill 4 years ago, it would have given them a free seat for 5 years but cost them a seat forever.

  10. And thus just missing a 4th new seat.

    Could happen because 1) TX had a below average census participation rate & 2) these are all estimations anyway.

    They might deal on that.

  11. That was the stupidest idea ever – I can’t believe that the GOP would have ever taken that deal.  Remember back when Jessie Jackson actually had himself elected ‘Senator’ from DC?

  12. I’d take that deal.  I think all sates should have non-partisan groups draw up the boundaries.  I’d like to see mandatory minority-majority districts done away with too, though that favors the Dems more than the GOP.  I’m not opposed to minority-majority districts if they occur naturally, but not when they are the result of tortured geography like FL-03 for example.

  13. and ONLY if the lines were drawn by a completely independent system, such as a computer.

    The Cleo Fields district should not be repeated, but we must remember that there were quite compelling reasons for the VRA in the first place. It would be naive to think that these reasons are completely gone now.

  14. A lot of areas that have very oddly drawn VRA districts could still elect a minority to Congress in a compact district. A 35% to 40% minority district is capable of electing a minority to Congress.

  15. From wikipedia:

    “The voters of the District of Columbia elect two shadow senators who are known as U.S. senators by the District of Columbia, but who are not officially sworn or seated by the U.S. Senate. Shadow senators were first elected in 1990.

    The shadow senators for the 110th United States Congress (2007-2009) are Paul Strauss and Michael D. Brown.”

  16. The proposal for the Utah deal came from a Republican in the first place: Rep. Tom Davis (R-VA-11). It took a while for Eleanor Holmes Norton and DC residents to be convinced to go along with it. I agree it was a bad idea, but I was willing to support it in the absence of anything better.

    The problem with Jesse Jackson as shadow senator was that he did nothing in the job. One might have thought someone so fond of cameras and microphones would have been able to focus a little publicity on DC’s situation, but it wasn’t a priority for him.

    One of our current shadow senators, Michael D. Brown (not the FEMA guy), embarrassed himself in this month’s primary by running a campaign for an at-large council seat in which he intentionally tried to confuse voters who liked existing council member Michael A. Brown (who is not up for reelection until 2012). Fortunately he was trounced by the incumbent, Phil Mendelson, but I imagine Michael D. Brown will remain persona non grata in local Democratic politics.

  17. The state of Mississippi is 37% black, in the case of an open seat, does anyone really believe that the next senator (of either party) will really be black? Maybe if the number were closer to 45% I’d be willing to buy into the logic, but 35%, not in most parts of the south.

    When you remove Section V from the VRA, you’re going to see southern seats get a whole lot whiter even as they look less ugly (minority representation in congress is extremely important, and southern states continue to require these remedies for a reason).

  18. The best way to create more rational VRA districts would be allow multimember districts if they are elected with Single Transferable Vote, Cumulative Vote, Limited Vote, or Single Non-Transferable Vote.

    It would increase minority representation while avoiding ridiculously-drawn single-member minority-majority districts.  

  19. to pack Democrats into these minority-majority districts across the south. This makes the surrounding districts whiter and far more likely to elect Republicans.

    The booming Hispanic population in many states complicates this effort by the GOP, but you can bet they will continue trying to pack Democratic-leaning voters of all stripes into these m-m districts.

  20. Mississippi is a state that votes very racially polarized, so you are correct about that. The threshold has to come up to at least 50% in most Southern states, when I wrote 35% to 45% I was talking about states that are less racially polarized.

    It was a Republican group that provided software and legal advice to minority groups to draw minority-majority districts. The excessive VRA districts are the product of the GOP wanting to reduce competitive seats, in some ways, it’s like diluting minority votes.

  21. Without the VRA they’d be cracking the districts as much as they could, for example I have no doubt that without the VRA, you wouldn’t see a single district in Alabama that Obama won (couldn’t be that hard to do, given how unnecessarily white AL-04 and AL-06 are).

  22. for the last 2 years that Minnesota wouldn’t lose a seat because I’m from MN-08. My Congressman would still be in Congress if we did lose it but I didn’t want the number to change since I’m so used to it. I would have been one of the apparently few people to share your view.

  23. Born in Hibbing and everything. I too am glad that Minnesota will keep it’s 8th district. This will provide a map that will give a seamless transfer of the 8th district from Oberstar to Sertich. That will be only the district’s 3rd representative since WWII!

  24. It is incredibly simple to put Bachmann’s house into a heavily DFL 4th district with McCollum. If Dayton wins, making a 6-1-1 map would be really easy, and the Republican district would actually have borders that include Paulsen, Kline, both, or neither because of where their houses are. However I am 99.9% certain that Kline will represent it come 2013.

    Also, I think you underestimate how much money Bachmann raises for the DFL candidates, and she is a 600 pound gorilla on the backs of every Republican candidate in the state. Her presence isn’t all that bad, IMO. She isn’t any more conservative than Kline, either.

  25. even if its number changes. Just look at an adjacent district. Dave Obey was elected to represent WI-10 in 1969. The district was mostly the same (though it gradually expanded over time) even as Wisconsin lost its tenth district in 1972 and its ninth in 2002.

  26. I think that if Minnesota list it’s 8th district, the chatter about running a district all the way to the North Dakota border would get louder. That would fundamentally change the nature of the current 8th district. It would add a lot of farm land to a iron mining and forestry district. For people unfamiliar with Minnesota, rural=rural. But I can not stress enough how different those worlds really are from one another.  

  27. It would really help out if Slaughter retires. Maurice Hinchey is going to be 74 in 2012. He maybe retiring soon as well.  

  28. No, not really. Not at all actually. Even when accounting for population shifts towards the cities, this isn’t close to true.

    Minnesota used to have 4 rural districts, and now it has 3. That is part of the shift of population towards the urban/suburban areas. This trade from 4 to 3 left several rural counties being represented by surubran congressmen. These counties include Rice, Le Seur, Goodhue, the vast majority (population) of Stearns, and Benton Counties. If you did NOTHING to the suburban districts (which isn’t what I am suggesting), adding Benton and the rest of Stearns County to the 8th would be WAY more than enough people to balance out the population. Rice, Le Seur, and Goodhue Counties would add more than enough people to the first. And between those, the 7th would pick up areas of the 1st and 7th just enough to balance population. No expanding into the suburbs, and no giving the 7th to the Republicans to screw the Ag Committee chairman just out of spite.

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