Missouri political observers are finding it hard to speak optimistically about census numbers that will be released today.  The question is whether Missouri will be able to hang onto its nine congressional seats…or whether a mediocre return of census forms and population shifts that have let some states grow more rapidly than Missouri has grown will cost this state one of its congressional districts.  

Population is the basis for a lot of federal funding.  It also measures a state’s importance in presidential campaigns…A loss of a congressional seat means a loss of an electoral college vote. Missouri has eleven electoral college votes for nine members of the U. S. House and two senators.

Missouri’s congressional delegation is six Republicans and three democrats. The legislature redraws congressional district lines after each census.  Missouri’s legislature is heavily Republican.