Growing populations are giving two additional seats in Congress to Texas and one to Florida. New York and California are each losing a seat, not because their head counts are falling but because they’re not rising as fast.
Do these population changes also alter the states’ politics? In many cases, yes, and that generally does not bode well for Republicans. Texas, for example, voted for Donald Trump in 2020, but many of its urban areas did not — and those are the parts of Texas booming with transplants from outside the state.
The capital, Austin, one of America’s hottest cities attracting newcomers, is a liberal supernova in what was a securely red Texas. Austin is the No. 1 destination for tech workers leaving San Francisco. Another is Georgia, a former Republican stronghold that just shocked the world by favoring Joe Biden for president and sending two Democrats to the U.S. Senate.
Austin and the surrounding Travis County gave President Joe Biden 72 percent of its votes. Nearly every officeholder in Travis County is now a Democrat.
Apple will soon open a $1 billion Austin campus with 5,000 workers. Alphabet (Google’s parent), Amazon and Facebook, meanwhile, are expanding their footprints in the city. Suffice it to say, Austin is unlikely to become less liberal — or less important in Texas politics.