Apr 26, 2021 - News

Florida gains a congressional seat in boost for Republicans

Members of Congress in the House Chamber

Members of the 110th Congress take the oath of office during the swearing in ceremony in the House Chamber of the U.S. Capitol. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The Sunshine State is among the big winners per new apportionment figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau Monday.

  • Florida picked up one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, along with Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon; Texas gained two seats.
  • Losing seats: California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

Why it matters: The gain gives Florida 28 seats in the 435-member House, starting with next year's elections for Congress.

  • It also ups our status in the Electoral College by giving us one more vote, for a total of 30 out of the 538 electors, or one-tenth of the 270 votes needed to win the presidency.
Change in House seats following 2020 Census
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Between the lines: The new apportionment is helpful to Republicans, who control Florida government and will draw the boundaries of the new congressional districts, basically guaranteeing that the state will send another Republican to Congress.

  • That heaps pressure on Democrats, who control the House by the slim margin of 218-212, with five seats vacant.

The big picture: The new data moved seats from blue states to red ones, giving Republicans a clear, immediate advantage.

Yes, but: The new numbers are only total populations in each state, USA Today reports, not the demographics of the population and where they reside that states will use to draw their new House district maps. The Census Bureau won't release granular data until the fall.

Of note: The U.S. population rose 7.4% to 331,449,281, the second-slowest growth rate in Census history.

Florida population over time
Data: U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

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