You can take a look at the interactive map at the Census site to see the 2010 numbers and changes in districting over the past century. The conventional wisdom is that Republicans are going to get gains in Congress because there’s greater population in red states. I think that’s a dumb ass assumption that doesn’t take into consideration the race and age composition of those higher numbers. There’s a reason some states are more purple these days and even turned blue like North Carolina did for Obama in 2008.
When you’ve got younger people and stronger diversity, it means to me that no one should be assuming anything for the next 10 years about how folks are gonna be voting. If I was the GOP, I wouldn’t be counting my chickens before they hatched. Cuz chickens come home to roost — especially in red states with large minority populations where legislation such as the DREAM Act, blocked by Republican senators this weekend, impacts millions of people. Congrats to good old US News for actually using their brains on this one:
Superficial analysis will hail this as a political windfall for Republicans, largely because Texas is expected to pick up four congressional seats.
Recent history, however, warns against such claims. In winning three of the last five presidential elections, the Democrats have shown their ability to compete in the Sun Belt, especially in the West. Even in last November’s disaster, the Continental Divide acted as a firewall, with Democrats winning crucial statewide elections in Colorado, Nevada, California and Washington.
The reason is pretty obvious: Republicans have a problem with minority voters. Multi-racial coalitions gave Barack Obama victory in Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, California and other crucial states in 2008. Yes, the Sun Belt is growing, but to a great extent that growth is Hispanic. Newt Gingrich can take all the Spanish lessons he wants, but the Tea Party Republicans won’t let their party bend on immigration. Senate Republicans did themselves no favor by rejecting so moderate and fair a measure as the DREAM Act last week. [Check out our editorial cartoons on the Tea Party.]
Politics runs in cycles. When the GOP stopped running Californians (there was a Nixon or a Reagan on the GOP national ticket in seven of the nine presidential elections between 1952 and 1984), and stepped up the bashing of Hispanic immigrants, it shoved the nation’s biggest political plum, majority-minority California, into Democratic hands and forfeited its once-vaunted Electoral College “lock.” [See a roundup of editorial cartoons about immigration.]
Also, btw, Washington D.C. which remains majority black still does not have a full vote in Congress, preserving taxation without representation for those resident there. Note the grey box denoting that. Puerto Ricans don’t have full rep in Congress — but they also don’t pay federal taxes unlike folks in DC. Cute. Anyhow, here’s the data which lacks age and race info for now.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
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