Just in time for Christmas, the 2010 census results that were released this week gave the GOP many gifts that will last throughout the decade.
The GOP will immediately benefit from a net gain of six electoral votes in the electoral college, if the state-by-state results of the 2008 elections are adjusted based on the new census numbers.
The census also revealed population shifts to the West and the South. This bodes well for both the Southern and libertarian wings of the GOP this decade. The Tea Party movement overlaps both.
Many states that gained electoral votes such as Texas, South Carolina, Utah and Georgia have had nearly a decade of Republican governance and relatively low taxation and regulation that make it easier for businesses to start and survive. That is unlike the pattern in more liberal states such as New York, which lost electoral votes, and California, which did not gain a seat for the first time in history because many businesses — and people — have fled due to the state’s crippling taxes, regulations, and litigation coupled with the state’s oppressive unions.
In the demographic marketplace, states that do not burden business and entrepreneurs seem to be the big winners.
Here are the hard numbers.
According to the census, the population of the United States is now 308,745,538, an increase of 9.7 percent since the 2000 census.
The fastest-growing states are Nevada, Idaho, Arizona, Utah and Texas, perhaps symbolizing the increased clout the nation’s exurban communities will have in the coming decade.
For the first time in history, the population of the Western region is greater than that of the Midwest.
Texas led all states with a gain of four electoral votes (or congressional seats). Florida gained two seats. Nevada, Washington, Arizona, Georgia, South Carolina and Utah each gained one seat.
New York and Ohio lost two electoral votes. So did Iowa, New Jersey, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts, Missouri and Louisiana.
Among the states that the GOP carried in the 2008 presidential election, only Missouri and Louisiana lost electoral votes. The result is that the GOP gained a net total of six electoral votes for the 2012 presidential election.
This becomes more significant because many analysts believe the country is headed toward another close election in 2012 that will be similar to the 2000 and the 2004 elections. This obviously makes the six additional electoral votes in the GOP column even more important.
Republicans now also control the legislature in 25 states; this in part due to the excellent under-the-radar work and organizing by the Republican State Leadership Committee during the last election cycle. Further, six states that will gain electoral votes have a Republican governor and a Republican-controlled state legislature. This will benefit the GOP as congressional district lines are redrawn in these states.
Prognosticators are predicting the GOP may gain anywhere from 10 to 20 additional seats in Congress this decade based on the census results.