Nancy Mace of South Carolina, the first-year student, described the proposal for state capture as a democratic coup. She told a news conference: “DC would not even qualify as a single congressional district, and here they are: they want the power and authority to be a whole state in the United States.”
Mace did not explain why she believes DC would not become a congressional district. A Mace spokesman did not respond to CNN’s requests for clarification.
But some journalist
, Twitter average users
and two experts who consulted CNN suspect that Mace is suggesting that the population of DC is too small to qualify as a congressional district. So here is a look at the facts related to the argument.
DC was more populous than any congressional district in Nebraska, New Hampshire, Maine, Rhode Island, and West Virginia.
According to the Census Bureau, the average district has 210,328 people in the congressional division that followed the 1910 census. We take note of this historical mess to merely emphasize the apparent fact that the current population of DC is much larger than the population in many districts of generations ago.
“I think it’s kind of an open and closed case,” that Mace was wrong, said University of Georgia professor of political science Charles Bullock, an expert on congressional redistribution.
“Mace’s claim is a complete non sequitur. A state will always have at least one seat, no matter how small,” said Kenneth Mayer, a professor of political science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and another. expert of the re-division said.
Both Bullock and Mayer noted that Vermont and Wyoming are less populous than DC – and that Alaska, with an estimated population of 731,545, was just slightly more populous than DC in 2019. Vermont, Wyoming and Alaska, as well as Delaware, Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, have a single House member and the constitutional mandate of two senators.
Mace’s own district, the first district of South Carolina, is estimated to have a population of 2019 at 821,107. But another district in South Carolina, the 6th District, had an estimated 665,215 people, about 40,000 fewer than DC.
The country with the least population in 2019, Rhode Island’s 2nd District, had an estimated 529,295 people – more than 176,000 fewer people than DC. There were six districts with at least 100,000 people less than DC.
After the census is held every ten years, states are allocated seats to Congress based on their population. States then decide how to draw the boundaries of their congressional districts.
CNN’s Tara Subramaniam contributed to this article.