BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Last year, it looked like Idaho could have been in line for a third congressional representative and another vote in the Electoral College. But new projections are casting doubt.
Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. But it’s apparently coming up just short of getting a third congressperson after the 2020 census.
“It looks like you’re missing the potential for gaining that (third seat) by about 50,000 people,” Kim Brace, President of Election Data Services, told Boise State Public Radio .
Brace tracks population trends and what that means for states and their representation in Congress. With more congressional seats also comes more votes in the Electoral College.
Another model shows the Gem State losing out on a third seat by fewer than 19,000 people.
So why the change from 2018? Californians are moving to Idaho, but they’re moving to other states in larger numbers, like Oregon. The Golden State could lose a congressional seat for the first time ever, actually.
Brace says there are other trends, too.
“The Northeast and the upper Midwest are losing population and losing congressional seats that are going to the South and to the West,” he says.
That movement has been happening since the end of World War II, according to Brace.
He expects neighboring Montana and Oregon to be among those gaining seats in 2022, along with Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Texas.
States expected to drop seats, or are in danger of losing one, include: Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.
These projections can be upended by unforeseen events. Most dramatically, Brace points to Louisiana losing many residents in the mid-2000s to neighboring states because of Hurricane Katrina and unexpectedly opening up a new congressional seat for other states.