The Campaign Spot

Reapportionment Bites Obama and the Democrats, Hard

The new Congressional reapportionment numbers are out.

States gaining Congressional seats: Arizona (1), Florida (2), Georgia (1), Nevada (1), South Carolina (1), Texas (4), Utah (1), Washington (1).

States losing Congressional seats: Illinois (1), Iowa (1), Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Missouri (1), New Jersey (1), New York (2), Ohio (2), Pennsylvania (1).

You’ll notice John McCain won six five of the eight states gaining seats.

You’ll notice Barack Obama won eight of the ten states losing seats.

Regarding the redistricting in these states, there are a few points to mitigate GOP giddiness: 1) Some Republicans in somewhat safe seats will want to expand their cushion, and thus some district lines will not be drawn to maximize the total partisan gain. 2) When a person moves from, say, California, to Arizona or Nevada, they don’t always vote in line with the locals. In other words, when Democrats move from heavily-Democrat states to more Republican states, they sometimes turn red states purple. 3) People move over the course of the decade (sometimes in great numbers, like post-Katrina Louisiana) and their views change, so the impact of redistricting lessens over time.

Quick reactions:

  • The surge in Republican support, and GOP control of Florida and Texas is well-timed. They could or should take at least five of the six new seats.

  • Already there’s speculation that New Jersey mapmakers will target newly-elected Republican Jon Runyan.

  • There’s no way Massachusetts lawmakers can avoid pitting two Democrats against each other in a primary; their state’s delegation is all-Democrat. (Mike Memoli observes this is incentive for one of the current incumbents to run against Republican Scott Brown in the 2012 Senate race.)

UPDATE: If my math is correct, this moves six seats (and electoral votes) from Obama states to McCain states.

McCain states gain 8 seats (AZ, GA, SC, TX, UT) and lose 2 seats (LA, MO); Obama states gain 4 seats (FL, NV, WA) and lose 10 (IL, IA, MA, MI, NJ, NY, OH, PA).

Of course, there are a couple of states Obama won in 2008 that will probably be tough climbs in 2012, and Florida appears to be one of them.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Assume, for the sake of argument, that the 2012 Republican nominee wins a quartet of traditionally GOP-leaning states that Obama won in 2008: Virginia (13 electoral votes), Indiana (11 electoral votes), North Carolina (15 electoral votes) and Florida (now 29 electoral votes). Add in the one electoral vote in Nebraska that Obama won by 1.1 percent. Add in the six net votes from the 2008 McCain states, and that puts the Republican at 248 electoral votes, needing another 22.

Those 22 votes could be won in a variety of ways, but the most likely scenario would appear to be Ohio (18 electoral votes) and any other state (Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania).

Most Popular


What We’ve Learned about Jussie Smollett

It’s been a few weeks since March 26, when all charges against Jussie Smollett were dropped and the actor declared that his version of events had been proven correct. How’s that going? Smollett’s celebrity defenders have gone quiet. His publicists and lawyers are dodging reporters. The @StandwithJussie ... Read More

Kamala Harris Runs for Queen

I’m going to let you in on a secret about the 2020 presidential contest: Unless unforeseen circumstances lead to a true wave election, the legislative stakes will be extremely low. The odds are heavily stacked against Democrats’ retaking the Senate, and that means that even if a Democrat wins the White House, ... Read More
Politics & Policy

The Lessons of the Mueller Probe

Editor’s Note: The following is the written testimony submitted by Mr. McCarthy in connection with a hearing earlier today before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on the Mueller Report (specifically, the first volume of the report, which addresses Russia’s interference in the 2016 ... Read More

Why Are the Western Middle Classes So Angry?

What is going on with the unending Brexit drama, the aftershocks of Donald Trump’s election, and the “yellow vests” protests in France? What drives the growing estrangement of southern and eastern Europe from the European Union establishment? What fuels the anti-EU themes of recent European elections and ... Read More
Energy & Environment

The Climate Trap for Democrats

The more the climate debate changes, the more it stays the same. Polls show that the public is worried about climate change, but that doesn’t mean that it is any more ready to bear any burden or pay any price to combat it. If President Donald Trump claws his way to victory again in Pennsylvania and the ... Read More
White House

Sarah Sanders to Resign at End of June

Sarah Huckabee Sanders will resign from her position as White House press secretary at the end of the month, President Trump announced on Twitter Thursday afternoon. Sanders, the daughter of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, succeeded Sean ... Read More
Politics & Policy

But Why Is Guatemala Hungry?

I really, really don’t want to be on the “Nicolas Kristof Wrote Something Dumb” beat, but, Jiminy Cricket! Kristof has taken a trip to Guatemala, with a young woman from Arizona State University in tow. “My annual win-a-trip journey,” he writes. Reporting from Guatemala, he discovers that many ... Read More