The results of the 2020 census are in, and they are bringing about an electoral shake-up. Red states are going to gain more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives — and more representation in the Electoral College — while blue states will lose seats and Electoral College votes. This likely bodes well for the GOP in the 2022 midterms and perhaps even for the 2024 presidential election.
Texas will receive two new House seats and Florida will receive one, boosting Republican chances to take back the House majority after four years in the minority. Montana and North Carolina, two other red states that went for Donald Trump in the 2020 election, will also pick up one House seat each, according to the Census Bureau’s tally. Ohio and West Virginia, two other states that went for Trump, will lose one House seat.
Two blue states that went for Joe Biden, Colorado and Oregon, will pick up one House seat each. However, California, Illinois, and New York will lose one House seat each. Michigan and Pennsylvania, two swing states that went for Biden, will also lose one seat each.
Red states have a net gain of three House seats, while blue states have a net loss of one. Republicans only need to pick up five seats to take the House majority in 2022.
Seats in the House of Representatives are assigned by proportional representation. There are 435 seats in the House of Representatives, so when a state gains a seat due to population growth, another state will lose a seat. Texas and Florida have experienced population growth, so their influence in the House will increase. Texas will go from 36 to 38 members, while Florida will jump from 27 to 28 members.
State legislatures draw the new districts, so the GOP legislative control in Texas, Florida, North Carolina, and Montana will likely translate into a Republican bump. Republicans will also manage the fallout from a loss of seats in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. The GOP has majorities in both houses in Michigan but a nonpartisan commission handles redistricting in that state. (While Michigan and Pennsylvania elected Biden and Democratic governors, Republicans dominate their legislatures.)
Democrats control the legislatures in Colorado and Oregon, and they will be able to manage the fallout from a loss of seats in California, Illinois, and New York.
Due to gerrymandering, Republicans may gain far more than three net seats due to the 2020 census. Yet extreme partisan gerrymandering can ultimately backfire.
Each state’s Electoral College votes are determined by adding two to its number of representatives in the House — to represent the state’s tally of congressmen and senators. Texas will now have 40 Electoral College votes and Florida 30, making them second and third behind California. This may make Democrats even more anxious to flip Texas.