The GOP is worried that an anti-government backlash could lead to underrepresentation of conservatives in the census and shrink the number of Republican lawmakers. Michele Bachmann and Ron Paul have urged supporters not to provide anything to census workers except the number of people in their household. "The census should be nothing more than a headcount," Paul wrote this month. "It was never intended to serve as a vehicle for gathering personal information on citizens."
The sentiment has rank-and-file Republicans worried about getting every conservative counted. Karl Rove has released a video (at left) urging participation. So has Patrick McHenry, the chief Republican on the House subcommittee that regulates the census. "It's your constitutional duty to respond to this," McHenry told the Wall Street Journal. "It's often difficult for conservatives to separate overall government intervention from a question as simple as the census."