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Will Census cause Michigan to lose a seat in Congress?

The US Capitol
Jonothan Colman
Michigan is expected to send one less representative to Congress after the Census releases its numbers this week.

This week the U.S. Census will release its initial population totals for the country and the states. That data will begin the scramble to redraw Michigan’s congressional districts.

Michigan will probably lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives when the new census numbers come out (going from 15 to 14 seats).

The state’s incoming Republican governor and Republican controlled legislature are expected to redraw congressional boundaries so they can favor Republican candidates.

I talked with Doug Koopman, a political science professor at Calvin College. He says Republican members of Congress might try to improve their own reelection chances by poaching from their fellow republican members:

“There are some attractive areas that they might see a next door neighbor has that they will want to get some of those people.”

Koopman expects 9th district congressman Gary Peters will be the Democrat who will find himself without a seat after the legislature redraws the congressional map during the next year. Koopman says the legislature may use redistricting to try to increase west Michigan’s strength in Congress too.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.