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Census Stats Are a Boon for the GOP — Though Not for a While

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“The instinct some have that these shifts will result in padding GOP gains or helping the GOP win competitive seats is seductive.”

In this July 13, 2014 photo, people watch a parade of vintage cars through the streets of Epping, N.D. for the town's annual Buffalo Trails Day. While in the middle of the state's oil patch, Epping still hints at a North Dakota of old. The town has fewer than 100 residents, but a new residential development being built next to the town will add 400 cookie-cutter houses to the oil patch town, exploding the area's population. (AP Photo/Josh Wood)

Preliminary Census data indicates a potential gift for Republicans, but not one they can really open until after 2020.

That's when state legislatures reapportion U.S. House seats and state legislative districts. It’s also when Electoral College votes will change based on population trends.

In this July 13, 2014 photo, people watch a parade of vintage cars through the streets of Epping, N.D. for the town's annual Buffalo Trails Day. While in the middle of the state's oil patch, Epping still hints at a North Dakota of old. The town has fewer than 100 residents, but a new residential development being built next to the town will add 400 cookie-cutter houses to the oil patch town, exploding the area's population. (AP Photo/Josh Wood) People watch a parade of vintage cars through the streets of Epping, N.D. for the town's annual Buffalo Trails Day, July 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Josh Wood)

And for now, red states growing at a faster rate than blue states, the Washington Post reported.

From July 2013 to July 2014, states that were red in the elections of 2000 through 2012 grew by about 1 million people, while blue states grew by about 941,000 people.

North Dakota has been the fastest growing state in recent years, growing 2 percent in the past year.

In Virginia, however, the growing federal employee population in the northern suburbs has helped shift the once solidly Republican state to a swing state twice won by President Barack Obama. But in other cases, the population shifts won’t be enough to completely flip a state from blue to red.

“The instinct some have that these shifts will result in padding GOP gains or helping the GOP win competitive seats is seductive,” said Richard Kelsey, assistant dean of the George Mason University law school. “However, look at Virginia. Many educated, successful, high income earners have flocked to Virginia over the last decade, but that has only resulted in Virginia moving from red, to purple, to arguably blue."

“The truth is, many refugees from blue states have strong views about taxes and tax burdens, but they likewise bring with them high expectations for government services like the ones they enjoyed in their home states,” Kelsey told TheBlaze. “With those services comes the cost many did not enjoy paying.”

The data from the Census Bureau still shows that California is the most populous state and Texas is still No. 2. Florida, however, has overtaken New York for No. 3 and is even gaining on Texas. In 1950, New York had five times the population of Florida and in 1980, New York was still 80 percent larger than Florida. Though the fastest growing state, North Dakota is still ranked No. 47.

Work opportunities and tax burdens in red states are better for working age people, while the weather in most red states is more friendly for retirees, Kelsey added. That may or may not have a political consequence.

“I am inclined to believe that to the extent working or retiring citizens leave blue states for red, those departures make blue states more blue,” he said. “Which states they make more red, is a bit more complicated.”

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