Michael Barone is known as the final word on political demographics. He posted an article at Townhall.com on his interpretation of the recently announced census results.
Mr. Barone points out that the northeast and California, both of which had been growth centers during the 20th Century, have lost that distinction to Texas.
Mr. Barone points out:
“Its (Texas) population grew 21 percent in the last decade, from nearly 21 million to more than 25 million. That was more rapid growth than in any states except for four much smaller ones (Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho).
“Texas’ diversified economy, business-friendly regulations and low taxes have attracted not only immigrants but substantial inflow from the other 49 states. As a result, the 2010 reapportionment gives Texas four additional House seats. In contrast, California gets no new House seats, for the first time since it was admitted to the Union in 1850.”
If the states are to be considered ‘laboratories for government policies’, there are lessons to be learned here–tax policies and legal policies matter.
In describing the impact of the population changes shown in the 2010 Census, Mr. Barone noted:
“Finally, let’s get to politics. The net effect of the reapportionment was to add six House seats and electoral votes to the states John McCain carried in 2008 and to subtract six House seats and electoral votes from the states Barack Obama carried that year. Similarly, the states carried by George W. Bush in 2004 gained six seats, and the states carried by John Kerry lost six.
“That’s not an enormous change. But it’s part of a long-term trend that has reshaped the nation’s politics. If you go back to the 1960 election, when the electoral votes were based on the 1950 Census, you will find that John Kennedy won 303 electoral votes. But the states he carried then will have only 272 electoral votes in 2012, a bare majority. And without Texas, which he narrowly carried, the Kennedy states would have only 234 electoral votes.”
As I said, Mr. Barone is the expert on how elections work in regard to districts and states. It will be interesting to follow his comments as redistricting of the states begins.