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Census to show gains for red states

Associated Press / December 20, 2010

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WASHINGTON — The 2010 census report coming out tomorrow will include a boatload of good political news for Republicans and grim data for Democrats hoping to reelect President Obama and rebound from last month’s devastating elections.

The population continues to shift from Democratic-leaning Rust Belt states to Republican-leaning Sun Belt states, a trend the Census Bureau will detail in its decennial report to the president. Political clout shifts, too, because the nation must reapportion the 435 House districts to make them roughly equal in population, based on the latest census figures.

The biggest gainer will be Texas, a GOP-dominated state expected to gain up to four House seats, for a total of 36. The chief losers — New York and Ohio, each projected by nongovernment analysts to lose two seats — were carried by Obama in 2008 and are typical of states in the Northeast and Midwest that are declining in political influence.

Massachusetts is expected to lose one of its 10 congressional seats, based on the census figures. So far, no incumbent has indicated he or she would leave voluntarily.

November’s elections put Republicans in control of dozens of state legislatures and governorships, just as states prepare to redraw their congressional and legislative district maps. It’s often a brutally partisan process, and Republicans’ control in those states will enable them to create new districts to their liking.