Predictions holding: NC to get 14th congressional seat after 2020 census
Population growth is widely expected to boost North Carolina's congressional delegation by a seat come 2022.Posted — Updated
The prediction holds under several methodologies used to push population numbers forward to next year, when the census begins, and Monday's release is very similar to last year's projections, Election Data Services President Kimball Brace said in his report.
Nationwide, the gains and losses seem likely to boost Republican numbers in Congress, though much depends on how state legislatures around the country redraw congressional maps after the 2020 count. The numbers show a general population move toward southern states.
"Using any methodology, the population projections points toward a ten (10) seat change over 17 states across the nation by year 2020," Election Data Services said. "States that will gain single seats include Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon, while Florida is set to gain two congressional districts and Texas would gain three seats. Single seat losses will again occur in the Midwest and Northeast sections of the nation, where Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia would each lose a seat."
Brace noted that the new numbers may be "majorly impacted by how well the Commerce Department and Census Bureau conducts the census, how well the American public responds to this decennial exercise, the first where major components will be conducted via the internet, and whether the discussion on citizenship over the past year will cause some groups to avoid participating."
Because electoral college votes allocated to each state are based on congressional seats, the new count will also affect future presidential races, but not until 2024, because it takes states time to redraw maps.
The census count begins in earnest April 1, and the Census Bureau hopes many people will use the internet for an initial response, though there are also telephone and mail options. Census takers will make follow-up visits to people's homes.
“We are now at a place where the rubber meets the road," Brace said in the report. "How well does the Census Bureau and the Trump administration put on the greatest mobilization of government resources outside of war time? How well will the public respond and answer the Census, given the competing focuses of everyday life and the need to utilize the internet?"
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