MIAMI (CBS4) – In 2000, the late Tim Russert said the presidential election was all about Florida. Tuesday, the U.S. Census released new data that showed Florida’s presidential influence will only increase.

Based on the new Census, Florida will gain two congressional seats in the next Congressional elections in 2012. That will push Florida’s Congressional delegation to 27 in the next Congressional election.

Florida had a total of 18.8 million residents as of April 1 and remained the nation’s fourth most populous state. The Sunshine State has gained at least one congressional seat during each of the past nine Census’.

The extra seats will also add 2 votes to Florida’s Electoral College delegation. The state will now have 29 votes in the Electoral College, 27 for the Congressional districts and 2 for the U.S. Senators.

Florida’s growth came at the same time that New York lost two seats. That means Florida and New York now have the same Electoral College vote. In other words, the 2012 presidential campaign will spend most of its time in the Sunshine State.

According to the Census data, the migration from the Rust Belt continued in the 2000’s. Most states that saw a gain, including Texas (which added 4 seats), we in the South or in the West. Only one state declined in population over the past decade, Michigan.


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