Massachusetts set to lose a congressional seatNovember 4th, 2010 at 12:26 pm by Ted Nesi under General Talk
One of the many ways Republicans will benefit from their national landslide Tuesday is the upper hand it will give them when the nation’s 435 congressional district borders and other political boundaries are redrawn after the new Census numbers are released. Bloomberg News explains:
After each census, politicians in most states engage in a baldly partisan ritual of adjusting district lines in hopes of sending more of their allies to Washington for elections to come. And as bad a time as they had at the national level, the Democrats suffered equal, if not more devastating, setbacks in state races. …
Republicans will control 25 legislatures, including Ohio, North Carolina, and Minnesota, boosting its power in statehouses by the most since 1928, the National Conference of State Legislatures says. The Republican State Leadership Committee, based in Alexandria, Virginia, calculates that its side enjoyed a net gain of 19 state legislative bodies in the course of taking away more than 500 state legislative seats from Democrats nationwide. The results “exceeded our expectations,” says [Ed] Gillespie, one of his party’s most prominent strategists.
Congressional seats will be reapportioned as a result of the recently completed census. States with shrinking populations will lose seats, and those with growing ones will gain. Eighteen states are projected to be affected, according to Election Data Services Inc., a consulting firm.
One of the states that Election Data Services expects to lose a congressman is Massachusetts, which has had 10 U.S. House seats since the 1990 Census. Here’s a map the firm released two months ago right here in Providence, where the National Conference of State Legislature held its National Redistricting Seminar:
That means the next round of congressional elections in 2012 will take place in new districts – which is sure to set off an intense fight among the state’s House delegation, as The Globe reported last year. But Democrats will be in firm control of the process there – even after making some gains, Beacon Hill Republicans will only control 32 of 160 House seats and just four of 40 Senate seats.
Rhode Island, on the other hand, doesn’t really have much to worry about when it comes to its U.S. House delegation. The state has had two congressional districts since the 1930 Census, which killed off the state’s short-lived 3rd Congressional District. But the state will still need to redraw its political map to reflect the new Census figures at all levels, and the General Assembly set aside $1.5 million in this year’s budget to pay for the effort.