Examining the chart above, it is readily apparent that a majority of the blue states were overcounted in the 2020 census, and that a majority of the red states were undercounted. In fact, 75% of the blue states were likely to have been overcounted, the average of which was 2.6%. And the red state statistics are nearly the converse of those: Approximately 67% of them were likely undercounted, the average of which was over 2%. Even allowing for the fact that these miscount estimates are based on statistical sampling and, therefore, each state’s mean estimate is subject to a probability distribution, they still should not have been so lopsidedly biased in favor of one political party over the other.
Of course, the consequences of this are far more serious than the inconvenience of having erroneous population data: This bias undoubtedly enabled a few overcounted blue states to effectively misappropriate representation that rightfully belonged to a few undercounted red states. In fact, based on our Analysis of Apportionment Sensitivity to Population Miscounts, it is very likely that three Representatives who were assigned to blue states should have been apportioned to red states.
In the current media environment, imagine what would have happened if the Census Bureau’s estimated miscounts had revealed the converse outcome; that is, if the population miscounts had shifted representation from Democrat Party to Republican Party control, and to the same extent. That would have undoubtedly been a major news story, and appropriately so! But the real story here is not about which political party may have done a better job of manipulating the census process. The real story is that by keeping the size of the House of Representatives fixed at small number for over a century, Congress has instituted a powerful inducement for states to game the census process.
© Thirty-Thousand.org [Article published 7/25/22]