Comprised of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the six New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont, the Northeast sends a combined total of 83 representatives to Congress, or about 20% of the total representation that the country has in the House of Representatives. Of those 83, only 13 are Republican. States like Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have not even a single Republican representing them in the House.
It was not always that way.
Much more political parody did once exist, but over the course of the last two decades, all parody was lost. Coincidentally, this decrease in Republican representation correlated with a decreasing growth of population in the Northeast. The region has been losing many residents to the South and to the West and as a result, not only are their fewer Republican representatives in that corner of the country, with less population, there are fewer congressional districts as well.
Between the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses, states like New York lost 10 congressional districts. In 1980 they lost five seats, in 1990 they lost three more and in 2000 they lost another two. The declining growth of population took the Empire State from 39 seats in 1980 to 29 seats in 2010.
New York was the hardest hit but most all the of the Northeast lost seats. New Jersey has lost 2 seats and Pennsylvania saw a decline of 6 seats.
Now with the region already having one of its lowest ever percentages of representation in the Capitol, after the 2010 census figures come out, they are expected to lose even more representation.
But another change may also be sweeping the region.
As resentment towards the Democrat controlled government increases, the anger is even seeping into the normally liberal friendly Northeast.
In states like Pennsylvania, not only are Republicans likely to maintain their hold on the six seats they currently occupy, but they are on the verge of picking as many as six new Republican seats. While in New York, in addition to the paltry two Republican seats that are in their column now, they are looking at picking up as many as 8 new Republican seats.
But the gains are not limited to the states with the largest delegations.
Rhode Island which has two seats could see a seat change in the district currently held by Senator Ted Kennedy’s son, Patrick.
After representing his Rhode Island district, now for eight terms, Patrick Kennedy woke up one morning to a WPRI-News 12 poll that stated the results showed him to be in for the race of his life with only 35% of the voters saying that they would vote for Patrick Kennedy again.
Since then, Patrick Kennedy has announced that he is retiring and not running for a ninth term in Congress.
South of the Ocean State, Connecticut is spicing things up with more than just nutmeg as they find two seats heavily in play and likely to swing in favor of Republicans. And North of the Ocean State, the Bay State of Massachusetts which sent a wave change sweeping through the nation after Republican Scott Brown won Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat, they may elect two new Republicans to Congress.
Of the two congressional seats occupied by Democrats in the Granite State, New Hampshire voters are looking to likely replace incumbent Democratic Carol Shea-Porter and pick up the Democrat seat that is being vacated by Congressman Paul Hodes, who is seeking the US Senate seat that is held by retiring Republican Senator Judd Gregg.
In New Jersey, one seat looks likely to change hands and go to the G.O.P. but as many as two more could follow.
The changing face of the congressional makeup of the Northeast is a powerful sign of things to come nationally. It is the strongest region for Democrats in the country but in the 2010 midterm elections it will produce some of the weakest results possible for Democrats. They are results that put the fear of God into them when they look at Republican strongholds such as the South and the West.
Add to that bad numbers and lagging prospects in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states and what you have is a Democrat Party that is running for cover. Unfortunately for them, it looks like the leader of their Party, President Barack Obama, won’t be able to provide that cover. In fact, it would seem that he is why they need it in the first place. Just ask Creigh Deeds of Virginia, Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Martha Coakley of Massachusetts. All of them used Barry in their campaigns but now after sound defeats at the hands of the voters, they will all probably be among the first to tell you that if you want any chance of winning, keep the President as far away as possible.