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Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A Look Toward 2010

What would congressional reapportionment look like if it were based on this year’s population estimates?

This table shows the numbers. You can see what the congressional apportionment would be based on current population estimates and then based on projections of what the population will be in 2010. The table and analysis are done by Election Data Services, a D.C. based consulting firm that specializes in redistricting.

The numbers are interesting: Based on the 2006 estimates, Utah would gain a fourth seat and do so at seat number 411 (based on a total of 435 apportioned). In other words, there would still be 24 seats left to dole out after Utah received seat number four.

Our staff points out that the EDS reports over the last several years make an interesting trend: In 2000, of course, Utah was bureaucratized out of a fourth seat and was next in line at (nonexistent) seat number 436. But the 2001 estimates showed Utah receiving the fourth seat at seat number 435, in 2002 at seat number 432, in 2003 at seat number 428, in 2005 at seat number 417, and now in 2006 at seat number 411 (we couldn't find 04 numbers). Utah's population growth since 2000 has significantly solidified its position to receive the fourth seat.

Another question that comes up occasionally is if Utah might be in line for two seats after the 2010 census. The numbers tells the story, and the answer is no. EDS numbers also project when the next seat for each state would be given -- in other words, how many seats would there have to be in Congress for an additional seat for each state. Based on 06 estimates, Utah's fifth seat wouldn't happen until seat number 524; 89 seats beyond the actual 435.

Bottom line: Utah's fourth seat looks solid after the 2010 census, but a fifth seat is not in the cards this time around.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Utah slated to get fourth seat PDF | Print | E-mail
ALAN CHOATE - Daily Herald

Utah won't be the only western state with greater representation in Congress after the 2010 Census, and that could mean more federal emphasis on regional issues.

Based on 2010 population estimates, 10 congressional seats would shift, mostly from the Northeast and Midwestern states to Southern and Western states.

Utah narrowly missed being granted an additional seat following the 2000 Census. That seat went to North Carolina after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that 11,000 people serving church missions abroad shouldn't be counted as residents.

The state's population growth since then, though, will move it well forward on the list, according to estimates by Election Data Services, a company that specializes in census and redistricting data.

Utah's 2010 population is expected to be about 2.6 million people, up from the current estimate of 2.5 million.

The other states projected to gain one seat in 2010 are Arizona, California, Georgia and Nevada. Florida is expected to gain two, and Texas could add three seats.

The predicted losers are Alabama, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Missouri and Pennsylvania, at one seat each. New York and Ohio would lose two seats apiece, according to the projections.

"In terms of giving the region a greater voice in national debates, any increase in representation has to be helpful," said Daniel Kemmis, a senior fellow at the Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana. "It gains greater significance against the background of other efforts to give the region more voice."

Chief among those is the push for a unified presidential primary among the eight Rocky Mountain states, he said, and the potential for national attention to Western issues.

The center is a regional studies program at the University of Montana

"You could have a substantial increase in congressional representation and it wouldn't make much difference if there isn't a clear message the region wants to put forward," Kemmis said. "The effort to establish a regional primary is helping the region think about, 'What is it we want the rest of the country to pay attention to here?' "

Earlier this month, the Utah Legislature approved a map dividing the state into four congressional districts. Legislation in Congress would have granted a fourth seat to Utah early, along with full voting representation for the District of Columbia -- but members of Congress did not take up the matter before adjourning.

A new, Democrat-controlled Congress takes office this week and the legislation's fate is unclear, although incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has said she wants to keep the measure alive.

2010 congressional changes

Estimated change in representation in the U.S. House of Representatives following the next Census:

Arizona +1

California +1

Florida +2

Georgia +1

Nevada +1

Texas +3

Utah +1

Alabama -1

Illinois -1

Iowa -1

Massachusetts -1

Missouri -1

New York -2

Ohio -2

Pennsylvania -1

Source: Election Data Services
This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page D1.

1/02/2007 8:39 PM  

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