MacCallum on trends in Census' Congress redistricting: Never seen 'people move because of politics'

Northeast states, California, to lose congressional seats to Florida, Texas, Montana

Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum react to potential political reasons, implications, on ‘The Story’

The 2020 Census results will shift the nation’s political map ahead of the 2022 elections, with several blue states and at least one red state losing Congressional seats, while the responding gains will be felt mostly in Republican-leaning states.

“The Story” host Martha MacCallum and Fox News host Bill Hemmer discussed the latest trends, with an election map showing Rust Belt states as well as California losing seats to the benefit of Florida, North Carolina, Texas, Oregon, Colorado and Montana.

For the first time in its more than 170-year history, California will lose one of its 52 congressional seats, while Texas is the only state to gain 2.

Heavily-Republican West Virginia and red-leaning swing state Ohio will both lose a seat, while Democrat-led Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Illinois all lose a seat. Blue Oregon gains one seat, as does Montana, a moderately conservative state with a penchant for also electing prominent Democrats like former Sen. Max Baucus and current Sen. Jon Tester.

North Carolina, a state with a Democratic governor in Roy Cooper but a Republican lieutenant governor and two GOP U.S. Senators, gains one House seat.

“President Biden made clear that he wanted to raise taxes on the richest Americans. It could backfire on his own party by driving more people out of those high-tax blue states,” MacCallum said, going on to note her own observations in New York.

“Right now Democrats have a majority of just six seats; a very slim margin in the House right now. California is losing a seat for the first time ever based on the results of the 2020 census.”

She noted that many people have left Democrat-led states like New York, California and Pennsylvania for Florida, North Carolina and Texas — a trend borne out by the 2020 Census map.

Pennsylvania; under Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, Michigan; under Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, New York; under Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and Ohio under Republican Gov. Mike DeWine, have been subject to more extensive social and economic lockdown orders than states like Florida and Texas.

In Florida’s case, officials like Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd have taken note of the population shift in their favor, with the Lakeland lawman remarking to new residents last week: “Welcome to Florida, But don’t register to vote and vote the stupid way you did up North; you’ll get what they got.”

California meanwhile has also seen people exit eastward over the recent months and years as the state’s politics become more progressive.

“I don’t ever remember a time when you saw people moving from one state to another because of their politics,” said MacCallum. “Literally just picking up stakes.”

“I’ve seen families that lived in the Northeast their whole life. COVID exacerbated it. Their political beliefs in terms of taxes and smaller government and all of that, also drives it; safety, police reform, all of those issues. So that’s a phenomenon that I have never seen before.”

Hemmer, who hails from Ohio, said that as a Midwesterner, he has seen the factors that have led to the apparent exodus from that region over the years as well.

“Edward [Lawrence’s] map there is rather telling. Some of that is predictable. I’m from the Midwest. I’ve seen the decay. I understand how Illinois and Michigan and Pennsylvania, and to a lesser degree, Ohio has lost a seat.”

“Think about a president in the White House. When he’s in power, his party has mostly lost seats the past 20 years,” said Hemmer.

Looking to the Census shift’s potential impact on 2022, Hemmer noted that — save for the 2002 midterms during the Bush-Cheney administration — every recent president’s party has lost seats during their first midterm election. President Obama’s Democrats most notably lost 63 seats after the partisan passage of ObamaCare.

“Who knows how you can forecast in November of 2022. You’ll hear a lot tomorrow night during the State of the Union address of bipartisanship. The problem this administration has, they haven’t had any Republicans vote with them so far,” he said.

“If they go in the mid-terms with that posture, are you looking at something like this from 11 years ago? — [when] Republicans picked up 63 seats? Or do you see more than just two or three Republicans voting with the Joe Biden administration? Maybe you pick up several dozen the next 18 months.”

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