Congressional Democrats' hopes of holding onto the House of Representatives in the next election dimmed slightly Monday, with the new numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau showing a shift in the number of legislators up for seats in the upcoming race that, upon first glance, seems to favor traditionally Republican states.
On Monday, in a live broadcast, the Bureau released its 2020 Census Population Counts for Apportionment — the process by which it determines whether states gain, lose, or maintain their number of U.S. representatives, based on their population.
All told, California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia will each lose one member of their congressional delegation in the upcoming 2022 midterm race.
Conversely, a slate of broadly red states will be gaining seats. They are: Florida, Montana, Oregon, Colorado, and North Carolina. Texas will gain two new seats thanks to its population growth.
This is likely bad news for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which was already facing stiff headwinds to keep control of the House as we head into the 2022 midterms. Democrats currently hold a slim six-vote majority in Congress, with 218 members to Republicans' 212. The addition of new seats in traditionally red states, coupled with the loss of seats in traditionally blue ones, will only increase the difficulty of maintaining that majority.
Similarly, the new Census apportionment data could complicate the next presidential race as well, with Electoral College votes also predicated on the same Census numbers. Once again, traditionally red states will have an increased weight in the total count, while blue ones will lose a portion of clout.
All told, the new count means the U.S grew at just under 7.5% to hit a population total of 331,449,281. Further data is forthcoming, as the Census Bureau continues to process numbers that will be used to actually determine how and where congressional districts will be redrawn. That information is expected to come later this summer.