WASHINGTON A new study of demographic data forecasts that 12 congressional seats affecting 18 states including Massachusetts will change hands for the 2012 elections as a result of shifting population bases throughout the country.
Massachusetts would lose one seat, as would seven other states Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania according to new projections from Election Data Services, Inc. New York and Ohio would each lose two seats.
There would be several beneficiaries, according to the estimates.
Six states -- Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington would each gain one seat. Florida would gain two seats, and Texas would gain four.
We were most surprised at the shift of an additional district out of New York and down to Florida, even though that follows the population movement in this country since World War II, said Kimball Brace, president of the election data firm.
There are 16 states that are on the cusp and could still change, according to the study, but Massachusetts is not among them. It is firmly in the category of states projected to lose a seat.
No other state in New England would be impacted, although Rhode Island is only narrowly expected to keep both of its current congressional districts; if the census numbers come in lower than expected, it could lose one of those seats.
The reapportionment process will begin shortly after the US Census numbers are released. Each state will then have to draw new congressional districts in time for the 2012 elections.
Matt Viser can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Political Intelligence
Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.