Saturday, January 13, 2007

O: Oregon to get an additional congresscritter?

I was a bit under the weather yesterday and didn't get this up--plus it seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the local blogtopians:

Boom May Be Boon In Congress:

Congressional reapportionment experts crunching the latest Census Bureau estimates say the two states appear to be on track to add seats in the new decade. Oregon last gained an additional U.S. House seat -- its fifth -- after the 1980 Census. Washington, which now has nine seats, gained one seat in 1981 and another in 1991.

"I have Oregon and Washington each picking up a seat, but not by much," said Clark Bensen, a Virginia-based analyst who advises Republicans on reapportionment strategy through his firm, Polidata. He puts Oregon

This Jeff Mapes piece also notes that this puts Oregon and Washington into higher status when it comes to Presidential politics as it increases their Electoral College votes.

If Oregon was to be assigned an additional Congressperson, the next step would be to decide from what area of the state they'd be elected. This would be decided by the Oregon Legislature and then signed by the Governor.

Mapes speculates that the potential new Congressional district would come out of carving up the Wu-Hooley suburban areas. Depending on how those are drawn up, Mapes speculates that the seat could conceivably be a Republican one. But even with the best case Republican scenario, I think it would be a short term GOP seat at best. Washington County continues to trend blue. The population surges in these regions only make things tougher for the GOP.

Of course all of this is rank speculation and wouldn't even come to pass for another four years.