By far the biggest surprises came in the states of Texas, Florida and Arizona in the Sun Belt, where many political strategists expected a total of six seats to be won – three in Texas, two in Florida and one in Arizona. Instead, each state received one seat less than expected: Texas (2), Florida (1), and no pickup in Arizona.
For now, the Census Bureau has only released the top-line numbers, with some of the more detailed demographic data released a few months away. However, many demographics and statisticians are already realizing that a minority of Latino voters may be responsible for the lag in profits in these Sun Belt states.
On the one hand, Latinos and other underserved communities are often more difficult to count from the start. But then Trump and his fools came up with the great idea of including a citizenship issue in the census, which could have further suppressed responsiveness in those communities.
The cost of such an undercount is both human and political. For the next decade “Undercounted municipalities could lose an immeasurable amount of federal funding based on census data, “reports Politico.
California MP Tony Cárdenas, who previously headed the PAC of the Hispanic Caucus of Congress, told Politico: “A countdown means less money is available for the children in your neighborhood and less money is available for the seniors in your neighborhood. That’s the ultimate community cost. “
But politically, it probably harmed the Republicans more than the Democrats. GOP strategists had made fun of the idea of winning five seats between Texas and Florida alone. In Texas in particular, they could have drawn two safe Republican districts and created a third as a Democratic “electoral sink”. So much for that.
In Arizona, where a non-partisan commission would have overseen the redistribution, the Democrats may have missed an opportunity. The ever-growing suburbs of Phoenix could have been a natural way to find a brand new seat.
Some observers also attribute the anemic boom in the sun belt to a lack of investment by state legislators in the region. California, for example, invested nearly $ 200 million in an outreach program aimed at increasing the response rate to censuses in the state.
“Three of the states with large Latino populations – Arizona, Texas, Florida – that underperformed on apportionment profits were also three states that invested virtually nothing in publicity to complement what the Census Bureau did.” said Arturo Vargas, CEO of NALEO Educational Fund, an organization for Latino politicians. “Texas did something at the last minute, but Florida and Arizona didn’t invest the resources you saw in New Mexico, New York, or California, for example.”
That was also the assessment of Michael Li, a redistricting expert at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice.
“We’ll have to wait for more detailed data, but it sure looks like the Texas legislature’s decision not to charge US dollars to encourage census participation, along with efforts by the Trump administration to add a citizenship question “Cost Texas a congressional district,” Li tweeted Monday.