So says the New York Times in an article on how the housing slump has affected normally fast-growing states. California may hold at 53 seats, probably the first time since the Gold Rush that the state hasn’t gained in representation. Florida’s growth has slowed–only 35,000 arrivals om 2007, one-fifth as many as in the previous year; Wyoming, of all places, bumped Florida from the list of the ten fastest-growing states. Even so, the growth rate earlier in the decade should guarantee the state 2 more seats. The losers include New York (2 seats) and Ohio (2 seats). Nevada knocked Arizona from the top rank among the fastest growing states.
Population shifts affect not only congressional majorities but also the electoral college. In general, the shift from the Rust Belt to the Sun Belt favors the Republicans’ presidential prospects. Four additional electoral votes from Texas would greatly benefit the Rs. The first presidential election that the new population numbers will effect is 2012.