(CBrief) – The U.S. Census Bureau announced that it made serious errors that could very likely impact the next decade’s congressional races and play a crucial role in the 2024 presidential race.
The 2020 Census publicly admitted it overcounted people in mainly Democratic states and undercounted people in Republican states, having effects on both the House of Representatives and the Electoral College.
The Census Bureau acknowledged that 14 states had significant miscounts in the 2020 census.
These states were overcounted: Hawaii, Delaware, Rhode Island, Minnesota, New York, and Massachusetts. Five of these six voted for Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election.
The undercounted states were: Texas, Illinois, Florida, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Arkansas. Five of these six voted for then-President Donald Trump.
The Hill noted:
The changes will impact national politics in a dramatic fashion. The 2020 census led to significant changes to congressional seats apportioned to states. Texas gained two congressional seats, while North Carolina, Florida, Montana, Colorado, and Oregon each gained one. New York, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and California each lost one seat in Congress. There was a significant surprise that population growth winners such as Texas and Florida didn’t gain more seats.
With the possible exception of Illinois not losing a seat, the likely effects of an accurate count would have overwhelmingly aided red states. Simply put, the revised figures show that (mostly) red states had even quicker relative population growth compared to the rest of the country — and especially compared to (mostly) blue states. It is entirely possible that undercounted states could have gained at least one seat in Congress, while overcounted states may have lost at least one each.
The error resulted in over 600,000 overcounted residents in New York and a similar amount undercounted in Texas. Last year, media coverage lamented that New York lost a member of Congress by being 89 residents short. With the revised, accurate numbers, New York may have lost a second seat — had the corrected numbers been available earlier. Considering that Republicans need to flip just five seats to retake Congress, each misplaced seat is crucial.
Notice a pattern?
Every state that was undercounted has been strongly Republican and every overcounted state, other than Ohio and Utah, has been strongly Democrat in recent elections.
Because of the counting issues, Florida will not get two seats in the House that it was entitled to if the Census was counted correctly and Texas is missing one.
That also affects how many votes they get in the Electoral College.
“If a politician from Florida decides to run for president in 2024, his (or her) home state will be short two votes in the Electoral College,” Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation and the American Constitutional Rights Union said, “and when the new session of the U.S. House of Representatives convenes in January 2023, Florida will be missing two congressional seats to which it is entitled.”
No one has explained why there has been a massive explosion in the error rate for the Census since the 2010 count and there does not appear to be a way to fix it.
“Can this blunder be corrected in time for either the midterms or the 2024 presidential election? Nope. The Supreme Court considered whether revised, more accurate numbers could be used for reapportionment in 1999 and determined that such differences could not be considered in congressional seat counts,” The Hill report noted.
“The inaccurate 2020 figures will stand. Since almost every error benefited Democrats, the risk of undermining trust in the Census Bureau and the election is significant. The only potential life-preserver for the GOP is that the current Supreme Court could consider a challenge based on the accurate figure. As of now, no challenge exists — and the time to file one is rapidly running out,” the outlet added.