Much as we'd seen in previous decades, a long-running population shift from north to south was stripping states like Illinois (-1), Massachusetts (-1), Michigan (-1), New York (-2), Ohio (-2), and Pennsylvania (-1) of Electoral Votes, with states like Texas (+4), Georgia (+1), Florida (+2), South Carolina (+1), Arizona (+1), and Utah (+1) picking up the slack.
In all, 2008 Blue states lost 10 electoral votes, while just two were lost by Red states (one each in Missouri and Louisiana). Meanwhile, Blue states picked up four electoral votes while Red states picked up eight. The net overall shift was negligible: +6 for Team Red, but as conservatives saw it, the long-term trend benefited them. The growing states were Red, the shrinking states were Blue.
Here's the Washington Times:
Migration from liberal bastions in the Northeast and Midwest to the Sun Belt states will boost Republican electoral strength in the coming decade, making it tougher than ever for Democrats to win the presidency without carrying states in the South or Southwest.Similar stuff was written and said from Fox News to the Weekly Standard to even traditional news outlets.
But what was missing from the equation was who those new residents were. And of course, as we well know now, it is mostly Latinos and, in some places like Georgia, African Americans.
There is no big new wave of gun-buying Confederate flag-flying white assholes. They are still an endangered species.
Republicans should learn from this: If you celebrate population growth as a means to electoral dominance, make sure your policies are in line with the people who make up that population growth. So, you know, don't stand in the way of immigration reform or minimum wage hikes or Obamacare.
Of course, none of that will happen. So what was a dream GOP reapportionment is fated to become their biggest nightmare. Unless they evolve as a party, the day where they can't win any state with more than 11 electoral votes is less than a generation away. And Latinos will eventually find their way to Tennessee too.