(WASHINGTON) -- Texas was the big winner in the 2010 Census, with the latest count of the population set to deliver four additional House seats to the heavily Republican Lone Star State.
But that doesn’t necessarily straight GOP pick-ups in the 2012 congressional elections.
On ABC’s Top Line Thursday, former Rep. Martin Frost, D-Texas, who has focused extensively on census and redistricting matters for years, said that because so many of the new Texans are Latinos who tend to vote Democratic, Texas is likely to send several new Democrats to Congress.
“At least two of the seats are gonna be [majority] Hispanic -- might even be more than that, we'll see how it plays out. At least two, and maybe three” of the new seats are likely to be held by Democrats, Frost said.
He also added that Republicans will want to secure their recent gains in House races by putting more Republican-leaning voters in already GOP-held districts. And, he said, GOP lawmakers in Texas are limited in the gerrymandering they can pursue because of special oversight by the Justice Department, to ensure equal treatment of racial and ethnic minorities.
Frost cast skepticism on whether the legislative burst we’ve seen in late 2010 can carry over into 2011.
“I hope so, but with a Republican House, it's gonna be a lot harder to have real bipartisanship,” he said. “You still have a Democratic House here [in the lame-duck session of Congress] and so, this is gonna be much tougher. I hope it can happen, but I wouldn't bet too much on it.”
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