Obama's pick for census director moves ahead

WASHINGTON The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved Robert Groves by voice vote Wednesday. The panel sent the nomination to the full Senate, with confirmation all but assured after Groves ruled out the use of statistical sampling in the 2010 head count.

Last week, Groves also expressed concern about a persistent undercount of minorities, who typically vote for Democrats. He has not said whether he would push for a government halt to immigration raids -- as the Census Bureau successfully did in 2000.

Groves is a veteran survey researcher from the University of Michigan. He was expected to be confirmed by the full Senate as early as this week.

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