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Thursday, January 18, 2024

Population and Political Trends

Louis Jacobson at US News:
Put simply, most of the faster-growing states are red, and most of the slower-growing states are blue, according to the Census Bureau’s estimated state-by-state population changes between July 1, 2022, and July 1, 2023.

Of the 10 states that experienced the fastest percentage growth in population from 2022 to 2023, the top five voted for Donald Trump in both 2016 and 2020: South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Idaho and North Carolina. Two others in the top 10 did so as well: Tennessee and Utah.

If those population-growth patterns continue for the rest of the decade, it could seriously imperil the Democrats’ long-term chances of winning the White House. Each state gets one electoral vote for each congressional district, plus two for its Senate seats. So electoral votes are linked to population, but not on a one-to-one basis.

Several analyses, including one by New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, have projected what the electoral vote map would look like if the population-growth patterns seen in 2022-23 continue uninterrupted until the next round of reapportionment, following the 2030 Census.