UNF Political Scientist Says ‘Disincentive’ May Have Shorted Florida In Census Results

Apr 27, 2021

Florida will become an even more powerful player in national politics, based on the latest census reapportionment numbers.

Florida will now have 28 seats in the House of Representatives – up from 27 - and it picked up an electoral vote, according to numbers released Monday

Some demographers were expecting Florida to gain two seats in Congress because of population growth, and some people are already alleging there was an undercount. 

Mike Binder, who heads the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab said Tuesday on First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross there may have been “disincentive” by non-citizens to fill out the census forms because of former President Donald Trump’s effort to omit them from the count.

“Even if they’re maybe on the legal path toward citizenship, to simply say, ‘You know what, I’m not getting any direct benefit from filling out this form and I potentially face some real costs’,” Binder speculated.

Binder also said fear mongering may have caused people who distrust the government not to fill out the census. The entire interview with Binder can be heard on Tuesday’s First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, which encores at 8 p.m. on WJCT News 89.9.

Bill Bortzfield can be reached at bbortzfield@wjct.org or on Twitter at @BortzInJax.