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The media gets it wrong on both sides of the census. When the numbers are being collected, completely silly discussions of what statistical sampling. "Sampling picks up minorities who tend to be Democratic!" Which is only maybe relevant.

There is a place where the labels work - which is that typically there is something "in the water" (so to speak) in the places that are adding House seats. What's in the water in many cases is a Republican-controlled state legislature that will redistrict in Republican-friendly fashion - whatever the politics of the incoming voters are. This effect may fade (depending on who moves in) but it will be important in this redistricting cycle.


To be fair to the media, it's not like all of these new voters materialized in their new homes overnight. We have some recent examples of voting behavior (elections in 2010 and 2008) that already reflect the votes of these new residents. John McCain won Texas's 34 electoral votes in 2008 even though most of the new residents of Texas were already voting in that election. The only real change in 2012 is that the Republican candidate will win 38 electoral votes from Texas.


I'm originally from NC and we saw what you are talking about there. While the state was considered red after 2000, Democrats controlled the state legislature for the better part of a century so when new districts were allotted they went to Democrats.

But I agree with Gary that isn't the biggest initial success in the reapportionment that the states who gained the seats are currently controlled by Republican legislatures? By that thinking yes, these "labels" of seats to a "red state" still apply. Hundreds of thousands of liberals from Massachusetts moving to conservative Arizona may tinge the state more purple over the long haul, but in the meantime, a Republican legislature and Republican Governor will draw the new Congressional districts, resulting in more Republicans in Congress.

Jon Peltier

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At least NPR recognizes this.
"Neidert said while much will be written about a seismic political shift, "the fact is, if you look at the demographics, a lot of blue people are moving to those red states."

William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, agreed, noting that "these states can change in population, but the populations themselves may change voting patterns."



I agree the media is making the assumption that the individuals moving to red states will bolster Republican election outcomes, but this assumption doesn't necessarily have to be that the people moving to the red states are similar to current residents of the state. It is possible that the political environments of these states influence the new transplants' political behavior. There is evidence of this phenomenon:


In any case, the media should be discussing how population shifts will affect US politics and not just make assumptions about these changes.

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