The future presidential contests could witness Texas playing a more decisive role due to its increasing population. New projections reveal that the state could get as much as 41 electoral college votes in the near future. Right now, the state has 38 college votes. This is because the Lone Star State has added almost 3.2 million people from 2010. In case this trend continues, Texas could gain three more seats while states suffering from dwindling populations like Illinois will lose seats. The rise in the number of congressional seats means increased electoral votes during the presidential elections.
The change in the US political landscape will be huge. To put in perspective, if this had happened during 2000 to 2010, there was a fair chance that Obama could not have been elected as the President. Even if the Democrat had won, his margins would have been trimmed. For Republicans, this news is cheery. Big states like New York and California are solidly Democrat during presidential elections. For Republicans, Texas is a must-win state for them. The state has remained firmly behind the GOP from the time Jimmy Carter was ousted by Ronald Reagan in 1980. A GOP presidential candidate cannot be a president without Texas putting in the electoral votes.
Texas, even with the increased electoral votes would continue to lag behind California, the latter providing 55 electoral votes. This remains true even as Texas has come up fast behind. California, on the other hand, has considerably slowed down. It has added only one electoral vote from 1990. If this pace continues, Texas will add about 11 seats by 2020. Kimball Brace of Election Data Services said that Texas will catch up with California within a few decades. Such gains will lead to yet another battle. The Texas Legislature will decide which areas of the state get new seats. This can turn out to be tricky as areas with huge population growth does not automatically mean they will enjoy the placement of new seats.
Texas has a confusing history of drawing up confusing congressional district lines due to Republicans and Democrats fighting it out. Only one thing is certain: the electoral votes will not increase until 2024. That will be the year when Trump may finish his second term. The concerned census will not be finished until the presidential elections of 2020 are completed.