A new study by Election Data Services says there’s not much question about it: Minnesota is going to lose a seat in Congress after the 2010 Census.
From their just-released report: “States scheduled to lose a single congressional representative based on all five models of the new 2010 projections include the states of Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri. Also the state of Ohio would lose a second seat in all five projection models.”
The entire Upper Midwest is poised to take it on the chin, in fact: Iowa, Illinois and Missouri are all on the list to lose at least one seat.
That would tee up any number of political scenarios: two of Minnesota’s incumbent members of Congress may face each other in 2012; one could retire, ceding the district to a neighboring member; a redistricting might set off a free-for all in the Twin Cities suburbs, similar to what happened after the last redistricting in 2002.
It also raises the stakes for 2010. A veto-proof majority for the DFL wouldn’t just let them run the table for a session (if they don’t win the Governor’s office). A veto-proof majority might allow the DFL caucuses pick the battle for the shrinking Congressional delegation, potentially pitting Erik Paulsen or Michele Bachmann against John Kline, rather than pairing Democrats together. Legislators taking their seats in 2011 will get the first crack at redrawing the state’s district boundaries.
And a loss of a seat it won’t just be a matter of representation on the Hill. Each state’s presidential electors are doled out similarly. Minnesota would drop to nine and Iowa to six. (Wisconsin lost one of its 11 seats after the last census and North and South Dakota are already at the minimum three electors.)