Census will strengthen GOP, weaken same-sex marriage movement for a decade

Monday, October 25, 2010

Earlier this fall I documented the effect the 2010 midterm elections will have on the overall movement to legalize same-sex marriage.

Our report based its conclusions on the notion that the Republican Party is poised to not only take control of the U.S. House of Representatives but also win majorities in many state legislatures across the Nation.
Real Clear Politics already projects that the number of House races in the “safe Republican”, “likely Republican” or “lean Republican” category is 223, five seats more than the GOP needs to take the gavel from Speaker Pelosi.

Most importantly, that 223 figure doesn’t take into account any of the 34 House seats considered to be toss-ups. The very idea of a toss-up means the GOP is likely to pick up at least half of them, which would bring them to somewhere in the neighborhood of 240 seats. That would equate to a 23-seat majority.

Yet this is the last House of Representatives the American people will elect before state legislatures across the country, using data from the 2010 Census Report, redistribute representation based on population shifts over the past decade. And this is what is likely to give the GOP a sizable edge going into the 2012, 2016 and 2020 presidential elections.

Based on the Electoral College results over the past four or five presidential elections, it is easy to divide most of the Nation up into blue states and red states. There are a handful of states that have no solidly blue or solidly red trend – which we call swing states. Going forward, these three distinctions will be necessary to keep in mind.

As you know, the amount of electoral votes a state has is determined by adding the number of representatives the state sends to Capitol Hill or – in other words, the number of representatives plus the number of senators. In this way, it is not constitutionally possible for a state to have less than three electoral votes as each state is entitled to two senators and at least one representative.

According to Election Data Services, there are six blue states that are likely to see changes in their congressional representation and thus, the number of electoral votes they may cast will also change.

With the exception of Washington, which is set to gain one seat in Congress, five other states are expected to lose seats. Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan and Massachusetts are expected to lose one seat each while New York State is set to lose as many as two. This would amount to a net loss of 5 electoral votes for future democratic candidates for president, including Barack Obama in his re-election bid.

In of itself not that’s not too bad but what’s on the other side of that equation. Those states are losing representation in Congress due to population shifts. In short, people have moved away from the industrial cities of the Northeast. Where did they go? Surely they didn’t just disappear – and that’s the real killer for democrats.

Election Data Services is projecting that five red states are going to see a net gain of 6 votes in the Electoral College due to population shifts over the past decade. Texas, the state expected to see the largest gain, will grow from 34 to 38 electoral votes while South Carolina, Utah and Georgia are each likely to gain one.  Meanwhile, Louisiana and Missouri are each predicted to lose one.

That’s a +11 vote advantage in the Electoral College for the GOP going into the next three presidential elections. To put it another way, it would be like the GOP picking off Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.
The Democrats are going to have to find those 11 electoral votes somewhere. Unfortunately for them, they won’t find much help from those swing states. The traditional swing states of Nevada, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida will see a net loss of 1 due to the 2010 Census Report. 

Not only is that a +11 vote advantage for the GOP in the Electoral College but those new 11 votes exist because of the existence of new red-state-congressional-districts in the House of Representatives. That translates into an edge for the GOP in keeping control of the House after it's 2010 take-over. So, don't expect to see the Defense of Marriage Act to be repealed.

And indeed we will see appointments to federal benches and the even to the Supreme Court in the next decade. For this reason, among others, the 2010 Census Report spells more trouble, beyond what I detailed in the aforementioned political report on the midterms, for those who support same-sex marriage. 


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