The 2020 census overcounts blue states, undercounts red

ben weingarten
Conservative Opinion

Ben Weingarten

Federalist Senior Contributor; Claremont Institute Fellow
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US Census 2020The U.S. Census Bureau conducts a census every ten years to determine the number of congressional seats each state is allotted based on its population.

After each census, an independent survey is conducted to estimate which states were undercounted and which were overcounted. For the 2020 census, the Post-Enumeration Survey (PES) reported that 36 states and the District of Columbia were statistically accurate but, in the remaining 14 states, the survey showed there were undercounts in six states and overcounts in eight.

As Straight Arrow News contributor Ben Weingarten argues, it’s no surprise which political party unfairly benefits from those discrepancies.

Why do the census counts matter so much?

Well, the decennial census provides the population numbers that are used to apportion the 435 House seats, for redistricting, and to determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated each and every year.

So if you get the counts wrong, your state may get more representation and more tax dollars than another. It could swing control of the House or even the presidency.

According to von Spakovsky, as a result of these errors, historically blue Minnesota should have lost a congressional seat. It didn’t. Purple Colorado was given a new congressional seat. It shouldn’t have been granted that seat.

Same goes for Rhode Island. Meanwhile, red Texas should’ve gained one seat and Florida two. They didn’t. Population miscounts numbered in the hundreds of thousands within individual states according to the survey.

By contrast, in the 2010 post-census survey yielded a statistically insignificant error rate of 0.1% – with the bureau apparently erring in its count by 36,000 Americans.

Until the 2030 census, these errors will not be remedied. That’s a decade of distortion in our republican system, where the citizens are not adequately represented in Washington D.C.

Yet our political class is totally silent.

It’s deafening among those who claim democracy and our elections are under threat that they are not demanding answers for why the census was so wrong, and what to do about restoring the voting power of those disenfranchised because of it.

If you want a measure of how disingenuous America’s so-called “democracy defenders” are, look no further than their silence on perhaps the biggest story impacting our republican political system for years that you’ve likely heard nothing about.

While the Trump administration was getting savaged by the left over its effort to reinstate a question asking for citizenship status on the decennial 2020 census, the census itself appears to have been corrupted – and almost uniformly to the benefit of one political party.

You’ll never guess which one.

As Heritage’s Hans von Spakovsky, a Republican former Federal Election Commissioner and DOJ Civil Rights official has written, per a post-2020 census survey, the U.S. Census Bureau “significantly undercounted the population of Florida, as well as Arkansas, Illinois, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas. At the same time, it overcounted the population of eight states, all but one of which is a blue state.”

The Bureau uncovered these errors, as von Spakovsky describes it, by speaking with households across the country and comparing their answers to census questions to the ones they had given in their original 2020 responses.

You’ll be further stunned to note that of all the Democrat states that received overcounts, the largest overcount error came in none other than the state of Delaware, home of Joe Biden, overcounting by 5.45%.

Why do the census counts matter so much?

Well, the decennial census provides the population numbers that are used to apportion the 435 House seats, for redistricting, and to determine how hundreds of billions of dollars in federal funds are allocated each and every year.

So if you get the counts wrong, your state may get more representation and more tax dollars than another. It could swing control of the House or even the presidency.

According to von Spakovsky, as a result of these errors, historically blue Minnesota should have lost a congressional seat. It didn’t. Purple Colorado was given a new congressional seat. It shouldn’t have been granted that seat. Same goes for Rhode Island.

Meanwhile, Red Texas should’ve gained one seat and Florida two. They didn’t.  Population miscounts numbered in the hundreds of thousands within individual states according to the survey.

By contrast, in the 2010 post-census survey yielded a statistically insignificant error rate of 0.1% — with the bureau apparently erring in its count by 36,000 Americans.

Until the 2030 census, these errors will not be remedied. That’s a decade of distortion in our republican system, where the citizens are not adequately represented in Washington D.C.

Yet our political class is totally silent.

It’s deafening among those who claim democracy and our elections are under threat that they are not demanding answers for why the census was so wrong, and what to do about restoring the voting power of those disenfranchised because of it.

That tells you that those who claims to care about democracy, well they’re very selective in how they view assaults on our system. And their silence when it comes to the administrative states, mass errors almost solely in one direction, is beyond belief. 

Census inaccuracies proves the fraudulence of those who claim to care so much about defending the integrity of our system.