Will California lose a House seat?


Photo Courtesy of: United States 2020 Census; Wikimedia Commons Map of the United States labelling the reapportionment of congressional seats.

Christian Gobres

With the release of the 2020 census, California will lose a congressional seat due to low population growth.

There are 435 seats in the House of Representatives, and distribution between the states is based on population growth. States that grew the least according to the census have a higher chance of losing a seat, which will then be given accordingly to the ones that grew the most.

With California losing a seat for the first time in its history, it leaves itself with 52 seats. Due to that loss, it also loses a vote in the Electoral College, along with less federal money for funding. In addition to that, it will cause redistricting in the state to be a lot more closely watched than previously, as changes in district lines can make an impact on who will be elected as a representative.

“There’s definitely candidates that are trying to decide whether or not they’re going to run in 2022 and the district lines will be the determining factor,” says Dave Gilliard, a Republican consultant.

The current congressional redistricting will be done by the California Citizens Redistricting Commission, which also has helped with the district lines for the State Senate, State Assembly, and Board of Equalization. The Commission has a deadline set by the state’s Supreme Court to release the district plans by November 1, with the final plans announced by December 15. 

Although the state has its first ever loss of a seat, the state still has the most out of any other, as the second closest is Texas. Texas will gain two seats this year, totalling to be 38 compared to California’s 52.

Several other states that have also lost a seat alongside California are: New York, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.

The loss of congressional seats by those states might affect the House of Representatives’ overall leaning, as most of the states gaining a seat lean towards the Republican party, while most that lost a seat were leaning towards the Democratic party. The Democrats currently have possession of the House of Representatives, but with the rearrangement of a handful of seats, there is a possibility of the House being controlled by the Republicans.