Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's official - Arizona will gain a seat in Congress in 2012

Confirming something that was already widely expected, as a result of the 2010 Census Arizona will gain a 9th seat in the U.S. Congress.

The new apportionment map is here (state numbers only; actual districts will be mapped out in the coming year.)

Having 9 seats in the House will put Arizona on the same footing as...

Massachusetts, which is losing a seat (one of the Ds who is going to lose his seat will run for challenge Scott Brown for a seat in the Senate)

Indiana (no change)

Tennessee (no change)

...And ahead of those with eight seats...

Missouri (losing a seat)



12 seats in Congress switched states.

While the population of the country, and hence its Congressional representation, in concentrated in the East (as in "east of Texas), all of the states that lost a seat in Congress are also in the East (particularly in the Northeast and Rust Belt), and all of the states that gained a seat are in the West or deep South.

The big gainers were Texas (+4) and Florida (+2); Ohio and New York each lost two seats to lead that list.

The only state in the deep South that lost a seat was Louisiana.  That wasn't a surprise due to the mass exodus from the state in the wake of the Hurricane Katrina disaster/post-disaster debacle.

A map showing population percentage change by state is here.  The only state that showed a net loss in population was Michigan (- 0.6%).  Texas gained the most population numerically (nearly 4.3 million) while Nevada gained the most population as a percentage of its 2000 population (~35%).

More information here.

Tying this back into the ginned-up controversy over the yet-to-be-formed Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (AIRC), it wouldn't be surprising if the motives of Kirk Adams and Russell Pearce (for trying to mess with the independence of the "Independent" commission) went beyond base partisanship.

The general expectations are that the new CD will be carved out in the East Valley area of Maricopa County due to the growth there and the fact that the current CD6 is already one of the largest (in terms of population) in the country.

Both Pearce and Adams are from the East Valley area of Maricopa County (Mesa, to be specific).

Pearce has already "explored" a run for Congress once, and most observers expect that Adams is going to make a run for Congress at some point.

The recent histrionics coming from them have the all of the hallmarks of a play to put someone on the commission who is friendly to their personal political interests, not just the Republican Party's.

BTW - to anybody who might view what I just wrote as an "attack" on Pearce and/or Adams:  It isn't.  It's just an observation and some speculation.  It's not like they invented the concept, either; it's been around as long as redistricting has.

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