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Washington comes up a winner in Census count, will get 10th Congressional seat

Post by John Henrikson / The News Tribune on Dec. 21, 2010 at 8:31 am with 22 Comments »
December 21, 2010 12:09 pm

This morning, the Census Bureau unveiled state population counts from the 2010 Census and accompanying Congressional reapportionment scheme. Washington grew enough – up 14.1 percent from 2000 – to pick up another Congressional seat and the clout that comes with it. The state’s population stands at 6,724,540, with the addition of 830,419 people during the decade.

We are one of eight states in the West and South to pick up seats. Texas gained the most – four seats – and Florida gained two. Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina and Utah also gained one seat each. Of note: For the first time since 1920 California did not gain any seats.

States losing seats were mostly in the Northeast and Rustbelt. New York and Ohio each lost two seats, while Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey and Pennsylvania lost one seat each.

The Fix (Washington Post blog) points out that most of the gaining states are red.

Five of the eight states that are gaining seats were won by McCain in the 2008 presidential race. Eight of the 10 that are losing seats went to Obama.

Minnesota just made the cut for the last seat (No. 435), and will keep all eight of its districts, while North Carolina fell about 15,000 people short of gaining a 14th seat.

Republicans, whose 2010 gains make them dominant in the upcoming round of drawing new district lines, will control the redistricting process in eight of the states mentioned above, while Democrats control it in just two. That’s important, because states that lose or gain seats generally see the biggest changes.

In Washington, redistricting is done by an independent Redistricting Commission, which includes two Democrats, two Republicans and a chairman chosen by those four members. Once more localized numbers are available, the commission will begin the process of redrawing the map. It’s expected that the new district will be centered around Olympia, as Les Blumenthal reported this week.

Here’s an interactive graphic the Census Bureau created.

Read on for reaction to the numbers:

Gov. Chris Gregoire’s statement:

“This is great news for Washington state! At a critical time in our nation’s history, not only do I welcome the additional representation in our nation’s Capitol, I am pleased Washington state’s share of federal funding to support critical programs like Medicaid and education will also increase.
“I’m proud of the work of our citizens – many worked tirelessly to ensure Washingtonians were counted, and because of their effort, our state’s mail back participation exceeded the national average. Their effort is an important part in ensuring democracy and representation.
“Congratulations to federal Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke for the successful completion of this important project. I look forward to the work of the state’s Redistricting Commission, which is now tasked with redrawing congressional and legislative district boundaries. I’m pleased in Washington we have a bipartisan commission to handle this challenging undertaking.”

State GOP chairman Luke Esser’s statement:

“This is an exciting time for Washington residents and for the Washington State Republican Party. An additional congressional seat gives our state the opportunity to send another voice to Congress to advocate for limited and fiscally conservative federal government. This year our state helped to fire Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House by electing Jaime Herrera to Congress and by re-electing Doc Hastings, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert. With a new congressional seat we can make even more progress for our nation. We won’t know exactly where the new congressional seat will be located for some time. But wherever it is located, we look forward to electing a Republican to represent the new 10th Congressional District in 2012.”


Leave a comment Comments → 22
  1. the3rdpigshouse says:

    A sad day – the ignorant electorate in Washington will just elect another anti-American socialist democrat to fill the seat!!

  2. What another Crook-Socialist to the Clan?

  3. gosantaclara says:

    Love it! I can’t wait to have one more seat to drown out the ignorance of people like 3rdPig!!! Only in America is stupidity hailed as a mark of authentication!

  4. JeffTacoma says:

    Congratulations to Denny Heck, who will win this seat and represent the new district centered in Olympia.

  5. Just what we need another incompetent idiot supposedly representing the Taxpayer.

  6. PolarBear53 says:

    Elect Dale Washam! LOL sorry had to do it!

  7. BlaineCGarver says:

    In this state, the ‘Crats will gerrymander another socialist district. BTW, I thought Congress got to re-district those?

  8. John Henrikson says:


    Just FYI – redistricting is up to the state commission. Here is an explanation from the Wash. Secretary of State’s office:

    “The actual work of divvying up the state in equal-sized congressional districts and legislative districts will be the task of a bipartisan citizen commission. Four voting members – two Republicans and two Democrats – will be appointed by the legislative caucus leaders, and the four will choose a fifth, nonvoting, person to be chairman. The panel will have all of 2011 to develop and finalize the maps, and three of the four voting members must vote for the final product. The Legislature has virtually no role and the governor cannot sign or veto the maps.”

  9. truthbusterguy says:

    Did you notice the states that lost seats are high income tax states and states being run into the ground by liberals. Katrina is the blame for LA population loss. Low tax states are the winner in these number.

    Listen to this data democrats. Your ideas and policies are a failure. Unions are driving your businesses out of states and out of this country.

    Lets hope the GOP can fill the next available seat. I will donate my federal income tax savings to the GOP so we can elect a rep that will support small government.

  10. Good, Olympia should be a blue district.

  11. fivecardstud says:

    Oh good. Don’t you think it’s time to let the United States Citizens elect their President instead of the electoral ? All this means is we have one more left wing liberal voting for the socialists. It’s ironic that the USSR is now Russia and soon, unless the people wake up, we will be the Socialist States of America, The SSOA.
    Wake up Washington State.

  12. John Henrikson says:


    I was intrigued by your idea there’s a correlation between state tax level and population gain or loss, so I did a quick look. Based on the Tax Institute’s
    rating of state tax burden, the states gaining congressional seats ranked a median of 39 (out of 50) in relative tax burden; those losing seats ranked a median of 25.

    So there’s something to be said for your idea. As you’ll see by the chart below, there are some exceptions. There are no doubt a lot of factors involved in why people relocate, including a state’s overall economy and even the climate. Also, for Nevada, Texas, Florida and Arizona, I think you’ll find that a growth in the Hispanic population is a huge driver – that includes immigrants but mostly native born. Here’s an interesting Fox News piece on the trend: http://tinyurl.com/2ftm6ys

    State Rank Tax Burden
    Nevada 49
    Florida 47
    Texas 43
    Arizona 41
    South Carolina 37
    Washington 35
    Utah 22
    Georgia 16
    median (Gainers)39

    New Jersey 1
    New York 2
    Ohio 7
    Pennsylvania 11
    Massachusetts 23
    Michigan 27
    Illinois 30
    Iowa 31
    Missouri 32
    Louisiana 42
    median (Losers) 25

  13. Norm Dicks turned this into a farce last time in the redistricting game. How about something simple like this ?

    Western Wash 8 seats, Eastern Wash 2 seats

    NW Wash 1 seat
    Snohomish County 1 seat
    King County 4 seats
    Pierce County 2 seats
    Thurston County 1 seat
    SW Wash 1 seat

    NE Wash 1 seat
    SE Wash 1 seat

    Makes too much sense. No chance then.

  14. John Henrikson says:


    What complicates it in part is each district needs to have as close to 670,000 people as possible. It doesn’t cleave neatly along county lines. Snohomish is pretty close to that, but other counties are larger or smaller. Pierce is 815k, Thurston is 250k, King is 1.9m.

  15. I’m totally geeked for this. I think the Congressional seats are pretty obvious how they’ll set up but some of the legislative districts could look quite a bit different.

  16. hightaxes says:

    It’s because they added illegals who shouldn’t have been included. Maybe if it were redone and only legal citizens counted, we might actually lose a couple of seats !

  17. hightaxes says:

    California didn’t gain any seats because California only counted legal citizens.

  18. flyingdutchman says:


    You mean like the Republicans did in Texas? You want to see obvious abuses of the system, just look there.

  19. bobcat1a says:

    So, fivecard, the people elected Barack Obama with a LARGE margin; it was 2000 when the will of the people was ignored with the election of George Bush; that must be what got you stirred up.

  20. bobcat1a says:

    hightaxes, you do realize that according to your theory those red states you obviously prefer would not have gained all those seats, don’t you?

  21. hightaxes, the federal government does the counting. Not the states.

  22. the3rdpigshouse says:

    The people are the losers – Washington’s ignorant electorate will only elect another socialist democrat to fill the new seat!!

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