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The Census Could Award 5 ‘Red’ States Additional Congressional Districts — But It’s Not All Good News For The GOP

An analysis by a political consulting firm predicts five U.S. states that President Donald Trump won in 2016 could pick up as many as seven extra congressional districts (and thus, Electoral College votes) due to findings in the next Constitutionally-mandated Census this year.

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The report, from Election Data Services, also predicts that 10 states — five won by Republican Trump in 2016 and five won by his Democratic Party opponent Hillary Clinton — could lose one congressional seat each. Those states are: Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.

Seven states are projected to pick up at least one congressional seat or more. Five of those states (Arizona, Montana, North Carolina, Florida, and Texas) were won by Trump in the last election cycle, while two states (Colorado and Oregon) were won by Clinton.

One of the most notable changes includes a shift in power from New York to Florida. While New York state will be losing a single congressional district according to these projections, Florida will be gaining two seats. If these numbers hold true, Florida will become the state with the third-highest number of congressional seats, behind California and Texas, bumping New York down to fourth in the nation.

The Census won’t be completed in time for states to disperse congressional seats among themselves, nor to affect the Electoral College count, for the 2020 elections.

At first glance, the changes that are being predicted seem to benefit Republicans in the future, seeing as more GOP-aligned states (based off of 2016 numbers) are gaining congressional seats and thus, Electoral College votes. However, things aren’t always what they appear to be.

A number of the states where gains are being made, where Trump won, are regularly considered swing states — and two of them, Texas and Arizona (both considered longtime Republican strongholds) are becoming swing states, according to Taegan Goddard’s electoralvotemap.com.

The possible changes could benefit Republicans if the politics of today remain in place. But if those two states and other swing states trend bluer in the future, the changes could actually benefit Democrats in the next decade.