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Washington may gain Congressional seat with unveiling of census data

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Courtesy Washington Secretary of State's Office
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The state's current congressional district alignment of nine seats. Will Washington add a tenth? Census data coming Tuesday will tell.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Census releases the first numbers from the 2010 population count. The first round of data will be used to reallocate Congressional seats among the states.

Top line numbers will be released tomorrow for the nation as a whole and for individual states. That’s all the info you need to redistribute proportionally the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. 

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Several different analysts have made projections of the expected shifts in Congressional clout. Among them, Kim Brace, the president of Election Data Services in suburban D.C.

“When we were doing our study in 2008, it looked as though the population estimates at that point of time pointed to a new seat in Oregon. But the most recent data we have now points to that new seat being up in the state of Washington,” says Brace.

Brace notes Idaho is not in line for a new member of Congress. The larger trend he sees is the Rust Belt and heartland losing seats to the faster growing Sun Belt and west.

Tom Banse covers national news, business, science, public policy, Olympic sports and human interest stories from across the Northwest. He reports from well known and out–of–the–way places in the region where important, amusing, touching, or outrageous events are unfolding. Tom's stories can be found online and heard on-air during "Morning Edition" and "All Things Considered" on NPR stations in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

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