January 4, 2006


Where the People Are (John C. Fortier, January 4, 2006, The Hill )

The average congressional district in the next decade will have almost 715,000 people, up from 647,000 after the 2000 census. Compare this to 37,000 per district after the 1790 census and 210,000 per district after 1910 census, when the number of House members was fixed at 435.

Projections are for Texas and Florida to gain three seats, Arizona two and California, Georgia, Nevada and Utah one. Balancing those gains will be losses of two seats each from New York and Ohio and one from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Louisiana.

Overall, the red or Republican states (won by Bush in 2004) will net a six-seat gain and blue states will lose six. But there is some question whether high-growth, high-immigration states such as Nevada, Arizona and Florida might turn more purple as they grow.

If you are afraid of growth, move to Europe, or to Ohio. But remember that most of your friends are moving to Phoenix, Dallas and Miami, and they’ll have more say in future congresses.

But they never do move to Europe, do they?

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 4, 2006 3:04 PM

This is insane.

There is no way 1 person can represent 750K people. No wonder they are bought and paid for by interests.

(Don't get me started on Senators)

We need to increase congress 10 fold. 40-70,000 people would mean that your representative actually might care what you think. People could get elected with out the NRA, NEA ,etc.

Voting should be electronic, visits to Washington should be minimal, Committees should be gutted.

Everyone on this blog would get elected, and the people of the nation would have representation again.

Parties would be weakened, People would be empowered.

That's OJs 60/40 nation.

Posted by: Bruno at January 4, 2006 3:20 PM

Bruno: You had me right up until "Everyone on this blog would get elected."

Posted by: David Cohen at January 4, 2006 3:59 PM

Oh, that's an easy fix. Just move the capital to another time zone.

Posted by: joe shropshire at January 4, 2006 4:41 PM

Those are some pretty wacked-out projections. In order for AZ to gain two, AZ has to pass MA in population, and my state of CO has to pass MN in population in order for MN to lose one. CO has been in somewhat of a slowdown in pop. growth from the last decade. This just goes to show you that an increase in the number of Congresscritters (which has not happened since 1910) by about 100 should be considered. Which would benefit the GOP right now.

So what are you waiting for, Delay?

Posted by: Brad S at January 4, 2006 5:23 PM

Why would people who move to high population growth states have more say in a future Congress? If anything, the people with the most say are voters in states with the smallest population, even if you just count Representatives.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at January 4, 2006 5:40 PM

"But there is some question whether high-growth, high-immigration states such as Nevada, Arizona and Florida might turn more purple as they grow.

The technical term for that process is "californication". A primary symptom is to whine and demand that your new neighbors be more like the old ones you've just left behind.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 4, 2006 5:51 PM


the irony in your post...

Posted by: calif. toe at January 4, 2006 10:14 PM


Is a political body with 4,350 members going to be particularly effective at conducting the peoples' business ?

The voters would have more sway with their Reps, and their Reps would have less pull in the House, so it may be a wash from that angle, as well.

Note to a certain segment of readers: I wrote "effective", not "efficient".

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at January 5, 2006 4:39 AM

I'm dense. Please explain.

Years ago, back in the early '80s, I had jobs in such places as Bend, Ore, and Bozeman, Mont. I liked those places as they were when I moved there, and accepted their ways of doing things. I almost bought a house in Bend (well, 15 miles west of Bend, with NF land on three sides.)

Visiting the places a decade or more later, I was struck by how much they'd changed as they'd grown. And for the worse. From talking with my former co-workers and such, found a large percentage of the influx of the people to such areas are semi-retirees from Calif-land. As such, they aren't dependent on their income for the local economy (unlike people like me, who have to move away when the job goes away). Those are the folks with time on their hands, and the inclination to dabble in local politics, always to "make things better". And it's always their neighbors who need improving, never themselves.

(They are no different from the people who move in next to the airport, knowing its there, then a year or two later demand the airport move because it's annoying, or fight any expansion for the same reasons.)

Here in the Upper Left Washington, I realize that stupid politics goes with the territory. But sometimes you've got to live where the jobs are. I wish Seattle would stop trying to turn itself into a pre-Giuliani New York, but if that's what the residents there want, so be it. And why I avoid the place, and see no reason to go there anymore.On the other hand, I see no problem with the rest of the county and rest of the state resisting their exporting of the side effects their stupidity and self-indulgence, and demanding some accountability when their policies begin to have negative effects outside their borders.

(Inbred cousins to the Californicators are the Urban Environmentalists, who think their annual two week "Eco-Tour" and REI memebership card are all the qualifications needed to manage the world's lands, but that's another rant.)

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 5, 2006 1:03 PM

Nice rant, Mr. Ortega.

Posted by: jdkelly at January 5, 2006 1:45 PM

when you whine about other people whining...

Posted by: toe at January 5, 2006 6:13 PM

oh, it's 80 degrees out and sunny, today. a truly stunning day.

Posted by: toe at January 5, 2006 6:14 PM