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Shifting State Populations Send Blue States a Message

Projected changes in state populations should send blue states a message, though it isn’t clear any of them are listening—or even care.

According to the latest assessment from the American Redistricting Project’s 2030 Apportionment Forecast, 15 congressional seats will change states by the next census in 2030. Nearly all of the “winners” are red-leaning states. All of the “losers” are blue states.
As the ARP map shows, California is projected to lose five congressional seats, New York three and Illinois two. Oregon, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island lose one each. And that’s after several of these states lost seats after the 2020 and 2010 census results.

By contrast, Texas and Florida gain four each, while Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Tennessee, North Carolina and Georgia each get one new seat. The lone exception is blue-leaning Delaware, which is projected to gain one seat.
There are lessons to be learned from this blue-to-red state migration.
First, blue state policies—whether it’s high taxes, burdensome regulations, fiscal mismanagement, mandated green energy adoption, culture war overload, high crime rates or homeless populations—are driving people out. And the more states embrace those policies, the more people move.
That’s why California and New York top the loser’s list, and Texas and Florida top the winner’s list.
Second, if these trends continue there could be a sizable shift in future election results. Electoral College votes are tied the number of each state’s congressional districts. If Texas and Florida are adding congressional districts at the expense of California and New York, Texas and Florida will play a bigger role in the Electoral College count.
Third, blue-to-red state population shifts will have a dramatic impact on state budgets. Many of those fleeing blue states are middle- and higher-income folks. They will take their taxable incomes and assets with them when they move, even as the Golden State searches for ways to continuing taxing individuals who no longer live there.
Finally, businesses and the taxes they pay will go where the people are and crime isn’t. The growing number of blue-city business closures is leaving their downtowns empty
, thereby attracting the homeless and drug dealers.
While it’s possible these blue states can recover, that would require them embracing free markets, scaling back regulation, and importantly, cutting spending. In other words, blue states would have to become red states.