• With: Fred Barnes, Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer

    This is a rush transcript from "Special Repor," December 22, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


    ROBERT GROVES, CENSUS BUREAU DIRECTOR: The resident U.S. population is 308,745,538 persons.


    The effect of the official 2010 population counts at state level of Congressional apportionment is a shift of 12 seats affecting 18 different states.

    LARRY SABATO, UNIVERSITY OF VIRGINIA: Beyond the electoral votes even in states that didn't have a change, you have the population flowing to places that tend to vote Republican more often, to the ex-urban localities rather than the central cities.


    BRET BAIER, HOST OF “SPECIAL REPORT”: Well the census came out with new data today and talking about a slowing population growth. As you take a look at the population in the census figures over the last 30 years, there you see 308.7 million, this year's census and comparing it to 2000 to 1990.  What does it mean for house seats? Well in the pick-up, the gaining, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, Texas and Washington.  And states losing house seats: Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.  Texas the big winner with four new House seats and Florida with two new House seats. What does it mean politically in the big picture?  Let's bring in our panel, Fred Barnes, Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard, Mara Liasson, national political correspondent of National Public Radio, and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer. Fred, your take?

    FRED BARNES, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, THE WEEKLY STANDARD: Obviously the Republicans do better than Democrats because there will be more House votes. Look at Iowa and where he would lose one and then there is Michigan another state he won. If you took at the numbers, the new seats and you put them in the 2004 and 2008 presidential races, George Bush in 2004 picked up and four extra electoral votes in Texas because Texas has more seats.

    So the Republicans, Bush in 2004 would have had six more electoral votes. Kerry six fewer, and John McCain would have had six more in 2008. It would have had an effect if you go to 2000 where Bush won by five electoral votes. If he picked up six it would have been divisive. It matters.

    In the House races, they say the Republicans will do so well. I have been through these things where there are predictions with people doing well and it never works out that way. Republicans shouldn't get the hopes up too high.

    BAIER: Mara, the White House, Robert Gibbs saying some are purple states and it depends on each race. Inside, do you think the Obama administration looked at the electoral map in 2012?

    MARA LIASSON, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT, NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO: The electoral map got harder for the president. Look at the gain for the mid-term election. All the new western state governments that flipped the big electoral rich must win for Democrats like Ohio and Michigan and Pennsylvania and Iowa and Illinois and Wisconsin.

    The reason there are tens of millions of dollars spent on obscure state legislature races this fall is because of this. The census comes out and then we have reapportionment. Then you have redistricting. Every congressional district will have the boundary redrawn. Then the Republicans make enough gains to control governor mansion and state legislative body totally so they have control over about 195 congressional seats.

    BAIER: In other words draw districts more favorable for Republicans so they get elected.

    CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER, SYNDICATED COLUMNIST: Exactly. In almost 200 of the districts, the Democrats have control of the two houses in the state, and governorship. Sorry, Republicans have control. So Republicans have a free hand drawing the line to make it work for Republicans. The Democrats have a quarter of those, about 50. So it's a huge district.

    The reason it's important is obvious shift where you have the democratic states like New York losing seats, Texas among others, and Georgia, South Carolina, clearly Republican states are gaining, a swing of about six.

    Then you add that are redrawn in state not gaping or losing where the Republicans in control of the house and governorship will enable them to gerrymander it.

    At the presidential it looks as this is a switch of the six electoral votes which will make difference in close election. But what I think is hidden in this is a large percentage of the growth of states now red states Texas are Hispanic so not all seats ends up Republican. It could likely go Democratic. So it's not a one to one correlation.

    BAIER: What about that, Fred? President met with the Hispanic caucus. It's still getting pushback from Hispanic groups saying you're not doing enough. But that could be a battleground in 2012.

    BARNES: It certainly could. I agree with Charles. Remember how well Obama did better than two to one amongst Hispanic voters. There are not much Hispanics voting Republican. In the presidential race I don't know that they have lost appreciable Hispanic support.

    Look at Illinois and New York. The Republicans picked up seven House seats. You can see the nature knocking off the two of the seven Republican seats and Illinois the same thing. It will surely be a Republican there.

    Louisiana loses a seat and it's bound to be Republican seat but the Democrat is minority seat. So there are bigger things that affect the election than reapportionment.

    BAIER: Mara, what about the other things you're seeing in the census data, where you see the people moving from the urban areas to the rural areas to try to find jobs outside of cities.

    LIASSON: That is a trend going on for a long time. As Fred said, you can't read into the numbers, but it's generally a strong hold, and the 100 fastest growing counties how we used to talk about it where the Republicans are stronger. We see trends going on a long time, south and west.

    BARNES: You had Democrats with a landslide in 2006 and 2008.

    BAIER: What about the accept census overall? Worth the money?  They came in under budget about $1.87 billion.

    KRAUTHAMMER: Absolutely always. I must say it adds to the particular we ought to have for founders, to think in the 18th century the importance of this, people interested in the science, empirical evidence, they hungered for information. This tells us who we are. It's also an act of fairness.

    It's a reaction against the British system where seats in the House of Commons which became empty over time. But the lord retained the seat. They wanted country to adapt the general population and growing change. It's a footnote but wonderful it's in the constitution. The constitution is a restriction on the government action. This is a rare instruction on stuff that the government had to do, an idea of genius as always.

    BALDWIN: And 75 percent of the nation mailed back the forms.  That is good.

    BARNES: My wife did.

    BAIER: I did, too. Is the census worth the money? Let us know what you think on FOXnews.com/specialreport.

    Next up, net neutrality. What does it mean and why is it important to you?



    ROBERT MCDOWELL, (R) FCC COMMISSIONER: The United States is abandoning the longstanding bipartisan and international consensus to insulate the Internet from the state meddling in favor of preference for top-down control by unelected political appointees, three of whom will decide what constitutes reasonable behavior.

    JULIUS GENACHOWSKI, (D) FCC CHAIRMAN: It is essential that the FCC fulfill its historic role as cop on beat to ensure the vitality of our communications networks to empower and protect entrepreneurs and consumers of those networks.


    BAIER: The Federal Communications Commission in a three-two vote today voted to move ahead with the net neutrality. Shorthand, it would prohibit phone and cable companies to abuse control over Broadband connections to discriminate against the rival content or services.