Iowa loses one seat in U.S. House - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa loses one seat in U.S. House


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- The state of Iowa is officially losing a Congressional seat in the US House of Representatives.  The news coming Tuesday after the Census bureau released its latest population count.  The country now has more than 308 million citizens.  The count showed a switch in 12 seats, affecting 18 states.  Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and others are losing seats.  Florida, Washington, Nevada, and Texas picked a few up. 

Currently, Iowa has five Congressional districts.  But after this census, the map will be remade because we're going to have just four seats in the US House.  And there are concerns that this loss could have widespread affects on the state's power and influence in our nation's capital.

The US House of Representatives will soon see a shake-up now that Census data has been revealed.  And for Iowa, the drop from five seats down to four may not have a big impact on the overall picture, but could be significant in getting dollars designated for the state.

"The fewer representatives you have, the fewer voices you have to support, for example, Iowa based projects.  And in a state that is so reliant on agriculture and specific niche markets like ethanol, sometimes you can use every vote you can get," said Dr. Jeff Stein, KWWL political analyst and professor at Wartburg College.

The Iowa Legislative Services Agency in Des Moines will be tasked with drawing new Congressional boundaries for the state which must be done within 45 days.  The new maps must then be approved by the legislature.  But in 2012, Iowans will be faced with deciding which Congressman will no longer represent the state.

"We just came through the 2010 election with the old boundaries.  The first election with the new boundaries will be in 2012.  And then we'll see which of the two current members of Congress have to face each other. The voters will decide in 2012, either in a primary if the two incumbents are from the same party, or in the general election if one of the current Democrats and one of the current Republicans are now in the same district for the first time," Stein said.

In addition to the loss of a House seat, Iowa will also be losing a spot in the Electoral College, which selects the president during election years.  And when there are close elections, like in 2000 and 2004, every vote can make a big difference.

Meanwhile, the Census also means some changes at the state level.  Iowa's House district maps will also be revised to reflect any increases or decreases in population within the state.

KWWL Reporter:  Kera Mashek

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