The New York Times blog The Caucus has a post up on the political implications of the recently released census data, showing more power for the West and South in the 2010 Congress, following redistricting.  Bernie Becker argues that, at first glance, this data could benefit the GOP.  But Becker is jumping the gun.

While the South, the shrinking base of the increasingly regionalized GOP, is gaining in population, Becker hasn’t examined who is responsible for the population growth.  While the GOP might benefit in 2010 with more opportunities to win House seats based on its still-potent white, Southern, and conservative base, what about long-term?  As the GOP base continues to shrink, the South becomes increasingly diverse, especially considering immigration.  Should some of those immigrants naturalize and should some of those fleeing the North settle in the South — like what happened in Virginia and North Carolina — even the South might not be that dependable for the Republicans any longer.

The southern state legislatures did see some unexpectedly long Republican coattails this year, which made 2008 historic, but that was the lone bright spot for the GOP.  Yes, the Republicans could benefit from these trends in 2010, but as we get closer to 2020, the demographics won’t be there.  The GOP might not even want the South to be that powerful by then, considering the actual demographics of the population shift.

Related Reading:

The Consequences of a Millennial-led Republican Party

Fred Barnes: Republicans Will Rule for Decades

The Last Straw