Minnesota Battling Three Other States For Congressional Seat

AP, July 5, 2007

Minnesota is among four states hoping to hang on to a seat in Congress after the 2010 census, the state demographer said.

The demographer, Tom Gillaspy, said Minnesota would lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives if the census were taken today. He said the state is in competition with Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Minnesota has had eight House seats since 1960.

“The difference is very, very small,” he said. “The difference is a difference between those four states of about 2,000 people. That’s easily within any estimating error and easily within a slight modification in growth rates.”

House seats are apportioned based on population. If current trend holds, that would mean southern states would gain congressional seats after the 2010 census while states in the Upper Midwest and the Northeast would probably lose out.

Larry Jacobs, director of the Center for Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute, said Minnesota’s political influence would lessen if it lost a seat. The state would also lose an electoral vote in presidential elections and receive less money from the federal government, which considers population in determining how much to spend on such programs as Medicare and Medicaid.

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