30% of House Democrats come from two states

United States Capitol

There has been a lot of talk about Republicans ceasing to be a national party due to much of its support coming from the South. Josh Kraushaar, executive editor of the National Journal, noted yesterday that 46% of House Republicans come from that region.

While this does underscore a problem for Republicans, a new analysis from the University of Minnesota shows that the Democratic Party faces a similar problem as nearly 30% of House Democrats come from just two states:

When the 113th Congress convenes in January, 29.4 percent of the 201-member Democratic caucus will hail from California (38 members) and New York (21 members).

That marks an increase from the two-state delegation’s collective previous all-time high of 28.1 percent recorded after the Republican tsunami of 2010 (increasing for a few months to 28.5 percent after Kathy Hochul’s win in NY-26 in 2011).
While California and New York are two of the three most populous states in the country, it is important to note that the number of representatives from the two states collectively has remained relatively flat over the last 50 years.

Since 1962, New York and California have accounted for between no less than 18.2 percent and no more than 19.1 percent of all seats in the nation’s lower legislative chamber (with California’s delegation increasing and New York’s decreasing during this span).

And yet, during this 50-year period, the percentage of the Democratic caucus hailing from these two states has increased by more than two-thirds: from 17.4 percent in 1962 to 29.4 percent in January 2013.

Politics in these two states are dominated by Democrats, and have been for a long time; but Republicans are a regional party, so are their counterparts.

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