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Oklahoma stands to benefit from demographic trends

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board Published: January 3, 2013

Still, the Electoral College will be affected by the influx of residents and congressional seats to states such as Texas and away from states such as New York and New Jersey. This trend will favor Republicans — but only so much. The rapid growth of minority populations, particularly Hispanics, could provide an offset. This is all the more reason for Republicans to embrace sensible immigration reform and reject measures that are too easily characterized as xenophobic.

Aging baby boomers will play an outsized role in picking leaders. Not only are they active voters, but they will support politicians who favor their interests. Low birthrates in liberal states will play a role as well.

Oklahoma is poised to benefit from some demographic trends because of a relatively healthy economy and a favorable cost of living. Tax policy may play less of a role. Low property taxes here are an offset to any negative effects of having a personal income tax rate of 5.25 percent or taxing the sale of groceries.

Growth begets growth. Even with all its negatives, California is growing — just not very rapidly. After the 2010 census, it failed to gain a congressional seat for only the second time since statehood. But it remains the nation's largest state and has the biggest congressional delegation and enormous clout in the Electoral College.

Despite its rapid growth, North Dakota still has only one congressional seat and three electoral votes. And despite demographic changes, most states with political clout today will continue to have it for years to come.

by The Oklahoman Editorial Board
The Oklahoman Editorial Board consists of Gary Pierson, President and CEO of The Oklahoma Publishing Company; Christopher P. Reen, president and publisher of The Oklahoman; Kelly Dyer Fry, editor and vice president of news; Christy Gaylord...
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