Washington (CNN) - How many people live in the United States, and in each state? And which states will gain congressional seats and electoral votes and which states will lose them?
These are all questions that the Census Bureau is expected to answer Tuesday, when it releases the results of the 2010 Census. The U.S. Constitution mandates that a census be conducted every ten years to accurately reflect the population shifts in the country. The new numbers spell out congressional reapportionment, as the states divvy up the 435 seats in the House of Representatives.
The report will kick off a fight next year between Democrats and Republicans over redistricting, as states gaining or losing seats will have to draw new districts. But even most states which are assigned the same number of House seats may redraw the boundaries of their congressional districts to make each one roughly equal when it comes to population. In states where one party dominates, the redistricting process could give that party an advantage, and the results could have a big impact on the 2012 battle for control of Congress.
The census numbers could also have a big impact on the next race for the White House, as some states will gain or lose electoral votes, and thus influence over the outcome of the next presidential race.
Texas is expected to be a big winner in the process. An estimate by Election Data Services, a political consulting firm that specializes in redistricting, suggests that Texas will likely gain four congressional seats, with Florida adding as many as two, and Arizona, Georgia, Nevada, South Carolina, Utah, and Washington state possibly each gaining a seat.
According to the estimate, Ohio and New York could be the big losers, with each state likely losing two seats. Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania may each lose a seat.
It's expected that California will remain steady at 53 seats, the largest congressional state delegation in the country.
So which party is the big winner here?
It appears the Republicans, for two reasons. "Many of the population increases are expected in Republican leaning states in the South and West, while tradition strongholds of the Democrats in the North and Midwest are expected to lose population," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
But there's another even more important reason. The GOP made major gains in last month's midterm elections when it comes to control of governorships and state legislatures, which have control over the redistricting process. The election results will give the Republicans a much bigger say in how the electoral map is redrawn.
Follow Paul Steinhauser on Twitter: @PsteinhauserCNN