Demographic Trends Could Make It Harder for Obama and Democrats

Polidata's estimates of which states will gain or lose electoral votes mean it could be tougher for Obama.


Here are Polidata's estimates of which states will gain and lose House seats and electoral votes based on extrapolations from the 2007 Census Bureau population estimates. Here's a list of which states are projected to gain or lose seats, for Bush 2004 and Kerry 2004 states.

Bush 2004 statesKerry 2004 statesArizona +2California -1Florida +2Illinois -1Georgia +1Massachusetts -1Iowa -1Michigan -1Louisiana -1Minnesota -1Missouri -1New Jersey -1Nevada +1New York -2North Carolina +1Oregon +1Ohio -2Pennsylvania -1South Carolina +1 Texas +4 Utah +1 TOTAL +8TOTAL -8Which is to say that, under the new electoral vote distribution, Bush's 286-to-252 electoral vote margin in 2004 becomes 294-to-244. Bush would have lost in 2004 if Ohio had not gone his way; under the projected post-2010 apportionment, Bush would have won 276-to-262 if Ohio had not gone his way. The demographic trends reflected in these projections would not prevent Barack Obama from being elected this year and re-elected in 2012, but they would make it marginally more difficult. Demography, modestly, favors the Republicans, and more than modestly over the long haul; see my May 2007 article in the Wall Street Journal.

Note: Polidata projects California to lose one congressional seat. This may or may not happen. But if it does, or if California just stays even, this will represent a stark reversal of a very long trend: California has gained House seats in every Census-dictated reapportionment since it was admitted to the Union in 1850. Immigrants are still streaming into California, but the domestic outflow is balancing that off.