And there is a nice diversion into the reasons Ohio, “the biggest loser,” lost its two seats. Such case studies are rarer in the other reporting, which focus either on the big Dems-vs.-GOP picture, or dig into the minutia of strategic redistricting to come.

The biggest loser for total seats could be Ohio, which has played a pivotal economic and political role for two centuries. It is the birthplace of seven presidents and a core member of the nation’s manufacturing heartland, producing automobiles, rubber, steel and glass.

Since January 2000, Ohio has lost 409,000 manufacturing jobs — a 40 percent drop — Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows.

…Ohio’s industrial heritage has taken a back seat to Wal- Mart Stores Inc., Kroger Co. and the Cleveland Clinic, the state’s three largest employers, according to the Ohio Department of Development. General Motors Co., once a major employer in the state, ranks 23rd.

As jobs moved out, the state’s political influence began to slide. Ohio had 24 members in its congressional delegation in 1972. Today, it has 18, and that number is projected to drop again this time.

“It’s all about votes and power,” said Ned Hill, an economist and dean of the college of urban affairs at Cleveland State University. “Ohio and the Midwest are going to be at a huge competitive disadvantage.”


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Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.