Was Census Count Rigged, Too? Texas, Tennessee, Florida May Have Been Robbed of Congressional Seats

Was Census Count Rigged, Too? Texas, Tennessee, Florida May Have Been Robbed of Congressional Seats
Balloons at an event to mark the one-year-out launch of the 2020 Census efforts in Boston on April 1, 2019. (Brian Snyder/Reuters)
Stephen Moore

A year ago, my colleagues at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity and I raised the alarm that there were potential shenanigans with the 2020 census. Based on annual estimates from 2011 to 2020, we alerted that the new decennial census count and subsequent reapportionment were slanted against red states.

Based on the census annual state population estimates for the years 2011 to 2019, three red states with big population gains—Florida, Tennessee, and Texas—appeared to have been undercounted in the 2020 decennial census by hundreds of thousands of residents. Meanwhile, the count appeared to have come in way too high in blue states, such as Rhode Island, New Jersey, and New York.

At that time, those of us who dared “question the count” were called conspiracy theorists. But now, our suspicions have been vindicated by none other than the U.S. Census Bureau itself! The bureau now concedes that six states were undercounted in the 2020 decennial census: Arkansas (by 5.04 percent), Florida (3.48 percent), Illinois (1.97 percent), Mississippi (4.11 percent), Tennessee (4.78 percent), and Texas (1.92 percent). All of those states, except for Illinois, are red states.

The census reestimates also uncovered significant net overcount rates in eight states: Delaware (by 5.45 percent), Hawaii (6.79 percent), Massachusetts (2.24 percent), Minnesota (3.84 percent), New York (3.44 percent), Ohio (1.49 percent), Rhode Island (5.05 percent), and Utah (2.59 percent).

New York’s overcount appears to be as much as 500,000 people. These are big errors.

Why does this matter? Well first, the census count determines how much federal funding each state receives. So now more money will flow to blue states.

Second, the census count is used for the reapportionment of congressional seats by state every 10 years. A more accurate count would have shifted three congressional seats to red states from blue states. The states that probably should have received an additional seat are Florida, Tennessee, and Texas. It appears that the blue states of Colorado, Minnesota, and Rhode Island each hold a seat that they don’t deserve.

This census error might also have a major effect on the presidential races in 2024 and 2028. Blue states will have three additional electoral votes, and given how close our presidential elections have been in recent years, that could sway election outcomes in favor of the Democrats.

Whether these errors can be corrected at this point appears somewhat doubtful. The irony of all of this is that it was the left that accused the Trump administration of trying to politicize the census.

Now we can be pretty certain that any mistakes were virtually all in the direction of helping blue states—the states that people are leaving.

When even the census is corrupted, one wonders whether we can trust any of the numbers that come out of Washington.

Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, chief economist at FreedomWorks, and co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. He served as a senior economic adviser to Donald Trump. His new book is titled “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Impoverishing America.”