The U.S. Census Bureau is expected to announce Tuesday that South Carolina is among eight states - based in the Sun Belt and out West - that will gain a congressional seat because of population growth since 2000.
Yet, Rep.-elect Mick Mulvaney of Indian Land is not certain the state will get another congressional seat. He is sure the 5th Congressional District will likely undergo significant change because of rapid population growth in York, Lancaster and Kershaw counties.
"Regardless of where the new (seventh) seat is centered, my district must get smaller," Mulvaney said.
It is the second time the state has anticipated an additional congressional seat. South Carolina's population grew substantially in the 1990s, leading to expectations that it would get a seventh seat a decade ago as a result of the 2000 Census.
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Instead, South Carolina barely lost out to its neighbors, watching Georgia pick up two seats and North Carolina gain one.
This time, Georgia is expected to get another congressional post, along with South Carolina, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Utah and Washington.
Texas could be the biggest winner with its projected three new House seats.
States projected to lose seats are Ohio - which could cede two - New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Iowa and Louisiana.
If the national changes in congressional representation match projections, it will be a boon for the Republican Party.
The eight states expected to gain House seats are mainly Republican, with GOP lawmakers currently holding a 44-24 edge over Democrats. The nine states predicted to lose congressional seats are predominantly Democratic, with the party now enjoying a 45-28 advantage over Republican representatives.
Mulvaney, a former state senator, knows that counting the number of Americans each decade is somewhat imprecise with the use of complex formulas that can adjust upward the populations of historically undercounted populations.
If two states are on the bubble, Mulvaney thinks the administration of President Barack Obama might manipulate the final figures in order to give a Democratic state an extra seat over Republican-dominated South Carolina.
"If it comes down to us versus Washington state, I can see a political motivation in the administration trying to steer it away from South Carolina," Mulvaney said. "The political realist in me says that if there's a chance for the numbers to work against us, the administration might take that opportunity."
S.C. Rep. Jim Harrison will play a big role in redrawing the state's congressional map as chairman of the state House Judiciary Committee.
Harrison, a Columbia Republican who has helped recast South Carolina's congressional map once before and helped redraw the General Assembly districts twice, doesn't share Mulvaney's suspicion of possible political shenanigans in Washington.
"It's not an exact science," Harrison said. "There is the ability for those numbers to be manipulated, but I don't believe that happens. I don't have any reason to think that the process could be manipulated so that another state would get the (new) seat as opposed to South Carolina."
Rep.-elect Tim Scott, another Republican newcomer from South Carolina, knows he is a marked man - his 1st congressional district will likely be most affected by redistricting.
Scott and Allen West of Florida are the first two black Republicans elected to the U.S. House of Representatives since Reconstruction.
Thanks to rapid population growth in four counties, Dorchester, Horry, Berkeley and Charleston, a new U.S. House seat for South Carolina could come largely at Scott's expense.
An analysis by McClatchy shows that a redrawn congressional map would likely remove from his district Horry County - a fast-growing area where he drew more than two-thirds of the vote last month.
"These are the citizens who've given me the most incredible opportunity I could have dreamed of," Scott said. "To pick (the district) apart immediately after being elected, that's tough. I like serving people. To have people who've said 'yes' to me serving them taken out of my hands is difficult."
Scott, though, would welcome the change because a seventh U.S. House district would likely tilt Republican - and thus could produce a new GOP congressman.
It will likely be a year before the General Assembly and Gov.-elect Nikki Haley determine the contours of the seventh House district in a redrawn political map.
South Carolina has had six U.S. House representatives since 1930, when a population decline the previous decade cost it the seventh seat the state had held before then.
Regardless of whether South Carolina gains a congressional seat, the statewide map will have to be changed to reflect population shifts over the last decade.