Thursday, January 22, 2009

More on the 2011 Reapportionment

Last week I wrote about the projected 2011 reapportionment of congressional seats, referring to DavidNYC’s article from December. This week I took a closer look at the data and I was struck by how volatile the projections are. (Note that the link to the EDS study in DavidNYC’s article is outdated. Correct one is here.) From that Election Data Services study is a table showing, for projections based on longer or shorter term trends, which seats are the closest to changing states.
Seat #2000 – 20082004 – 20082005 – 20082006 – 20082007 – 2008
430FL - 27th PA - 18thSC - 7th SC - 7th PA - 18th
431CA - 53rdSC - 7thTX - 36thPA - 18thCA - 53rd
432PA - 18thTX - 36thPA - 18thTX - 36thSC - 7th
433TX - 36thOR - 6thOR - 6thNY - 28thNY - 28th
434NY - 28thNY - 28thNC - 14thNC - 14thTX - 36th
435SC - 7thFL - 27thNY - 28thOR - 6thOR - 6th
436OR - 6thNC - 14thWA - 10thCA - 53rdWA - 10th
437WA - 10thCA - 53rdCA - 53rdWA - 10thNC - 14th
438NC - 14thWA - 10thMN - 8thMN - 8thMN - 8th
439MN - 8thMN - 8thFL - 27thLA - 7thIL - 19th
440MO - 9th MO - 9th MO - 9th MO - 9th MO - 9th
441IL - 19th IL - 19th IL - 19th IL - 19th FL - 27th
The seats are listed in order, so “seats” 436 and above are virtual seats – they would exist only if congress had more. This shows which state is next in line. The values are the margin of population (that’s individuals) by which a seat would be gained or lost. (Note that the values in a column are not strictly ordered. This is because of the population size of the states. If these were percentages, they would be strictly ordered.) In their document EDS says
Some of the margins are the closest ever observed since Election Data Services, Inc. began doing apportionment studies nearly 30 years ago. For example, using the 2006 to 2008 trend analysis, Oregon would gain a 6th seat (and the last one issued, number 435) with just 2 persons to spare. Using the same trend analysis, California would lose a seat (its 53rd) by a margin of only 18 people.
And look at that, Washington Staters, given the “Mid” and “Short” trends, Washington State is in the running for getting another district!!! Bottom Line: it’s likely to be very close, and you can expect some states will be complaining that the Census Bureau wasn’t counting right. A recount? Maybe Norm Coleman can use his experience to sue for Minnesota, if his current contest is over by then… Seriously, it looks to be very close between California, Oregon, North Carolina, New York, Washington, South Carolina, Texas and Minnesota. And throw in Pennsylvania and Florida, with a chance of changing the current projection. 5 of those 10 states will get the last 5 seats. The table below shows the difference in seats gained or lost from 2000 if they get one of those seats or not:
Seat Gain/Loss from 2000
StateDoesn't get 1 of last 5Gets 1 of last 5
New York-2-1
North Carolina0 +1
South Carolina0+1
Should be interesting...