Immediately after Katrina, I looked at the refugee situation and thought that the the Republicans, the wealthy, and the whites would find a way to keep most of the poor, Democratic, and black refugees from returning. It would give the Republicans another seat in the House and probably also give them Landrieu's Senate seat when she comes up for reelection.
Digby has some numbers up today tha make me want to qualifty that prediction. According to the US Census, in June southern Louisiana had 344,781 fewer people than before Katrina. Many will probably never return. While I still think that this will lead to the Republicans gaining a House seat when they stop letting the refugees vote absentee as Louisiana residents, it might be that they only hold on to that seat for one or two terms. A permanent loss of over a quarter million people from the state will probably cost Louisiana a house seat during the reapportionment following the 2010 census. Sure, Utah will probably gain that seat, but the West has been turning a bluer shade of purple lately.