© 2024 Boise State Public Radio
NPR in Idaho
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Chad Daybell's murder trial has begun. Follow along here.

A Third Congressperson For Idaho Is Not Looking Likely

Emilie Ritter Saunders
Boise State Public Radio

Last year, it looked like Idaho could have been in line for a third congressional representative and another vote in the Electoral College. But new projections are casting doubt.

Idaho is one of the fastest-growing states in the country. But it’s apparently coming up just short of getting a third congressperson after the 2020 census.

“It looks like you’re missing the potential for gaining that [third seat] by about 50,000 people,” says Kim Brace, President of Election Data Services.

Brace tracks population trends and what that means for states and their representation in Congress. With more congressional seats also comes more votes in the Electoral College.

Another model shows the Gem State losing out on a third seat by fewer than 19,000 people.

So why the change from 2018? Californians are moving to Idaho, but they’re moving to other states in larger numbers, like Oregon. The Golden State could lose a congressional seat for the first time ever, actually.

Brace says there are other trends, too.

“The Northeast and the upper Midwest are losing population and losing congressional seats that are going to the South and to the West,” he says.

That movement has been happening since the end of World War II, according to Brace.

He expects neighboring Montana and Oregon to be among those gaining seats in 2022, along with Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Texas.

States expected to drop seats, or are in danger of losing one, include: Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

These projections can be upended by unforeseen events. Most dramatically, Brace points to Louisiana losing many residents in the mid-2000s to neighboring states because of Hurricane Katrina and unexpectedly opening up a new congressional seat for other states.

Follow James Dawson on Twitter @RadioDawson for more local news.

Copyright 2018 Boise State Public Radio

I cover politics and a bit of everything else for Boise State Public Radio. Outside of public meetings, you can find me fly fishing, making cool things out of leather or watching the Seattle Mariners' latest rebuilding season.

You make stories like this possible.

The biggest portion of Boise State Public Radio's funding comes from readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

Your donation today helps make our local reporting free for our entire community.