Texas, Florida win big in census shift of House seats

McClatchy NewspapersDecember 21, 2010 

AUSTIN — Texas will pick up four more congressional seats, expanding the state's U.S. House delegation to 36 seats and further boosting Texas political clout in the nation's Capitol.

Texas had the biggest increase of any state as the Census Bureau announced new congressional apportionment based on population shifts over the past decade.

Florida, meanwhile, picked up two new seats, making it the biggest up-for-grab state in the race for the White House.

The new seats, announced by the U.S. Census Bureau, give Florida equal standing with New York, and only California and Texas will have more electoral college votes, though neither state is considered up for grabs like Florida.

The boost is expected to help Republicans, who already control two-thirds of the seats in Florida, but some say privately the party could have a tough time carving out two new seats without jeopardizing incumbents.

State legislatures will determine the location of the new districts when they redraw district boundary lines.

The Census Bureau released population figures more than a week before the legal deadline for assigning 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, based on each state's share of the national population. The new seats will be in place for the 2012 elections.

(Montgomery reports for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.)

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