Missouri Democrats and Republicans alike have voiced their disappointment that the state will be losing one of its Congressional seats. But a Missouri State University Political Science professor downplays the impact this will have on the state’s political clout.
The latest U.S. Census numbers have determined Missouri’s nine congressional seats will become eight in the year 2012. Missouri State University political science professor Dr. George Connor says this is important; but not a political death knell.
“I think it’s less of an impact on clout than people believe right now. I mean we obviously lose a vote in the Electoral College. The first question is, how often is that going to make a difference? Historically speaking, in the United States, it doesn’t happen very often. So I’m not sure if that by itself is all that significant. The loss of a House seat also has to be taken into consideration with respect to the Senate. We still have two Senators still, essentially, giving us even clout… So no matter what happens on the House side, we still have a full voice in the United States Senate,” Connor said.
But he says the current political climate will also limit the impact, at least in the short-term.
“I think even though we have lost a congressional seat, it’s going to have less of an impact on the state’s clout because we are increasingly a ‘red state’ in terms of Republican representation. Those representatives will be going to a House of Representatives that has switched to the Republican Party. So I think in terms of overall clout, it’s not going to be a significant difference,” Connor said.
Connor joins other in speculating that the St. Louis area will take the hit in losing one of its three seats, specifically Russ Carnahan’s District 3 seat. So people in those areas might notice more of a change than the state as a whole will.
“The people in South County, South St. Louis might see that a little bit differently because they have been used to a certain level of constituency service based on their relationship with Congressman Carnahan’s office. That’s gonna be distributed differently. So I think there are individuals in the state who might feel a loss of services, but I think overall the impact isn’t going to be all that significant,” Connor said.