Census numbers could mean fewer electoral votes for Obama in 2012

President Obama could get fewer electoral votes in 2012 based on the newly released census numbers.

In two years, if the president were to win all of the states he won in 2008, and using the numbers from Tuesday's census data, it would translate to six fewer electoral votes for the Democrat. 

The shift of six electoral votes is obviously meaningless in the context of 2008, when Obama won by 192 electoral votes. But in a close contest, as in the 2000 race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, it could make for a decisive margin.  

Five of the eight states gaining House seats in Tuesday's census announcement were won by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz. ) in 2008 — Texas, Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona and Utah.  

Texas will have four additional electoral votes, shifting from 34 to 38 in 2012, while Georgia, South Carolina, Arizona, and Utah are each gaining a single electoral vote. 

Three of the states gaining seats were won by Obama in '08 — Florida, Nevada and Washington.

But of the 10 states that are losing House seats, Obama won eight in 2008.

Democrats pushed back quickly Tuesday on the new apportionment numbers, arguing they are far from a disaster for the party's prospects in the House or nationally in 2012.

They point to significant growth in the populations of traditional Democratic constituencies, particularly in Texas, which will gain four seats.