Blue State Migrants May Shift Red State Politics

The large wave of residents moving from states such as California and New York to places like Arizona and Florida has resulted in a significant leftward shift in those states’ politics. Should this trend continue, it is possible that other states may continue moving to the Democratic Party.

The wave of residents coming from Democratic-dominated states such as California, New York and Illinois is adding to the population of Sunbelt states such as Florida, Arizona and Georgia. 

However, the potential gain of red states in congressional reapportionment may not be all good news.

For example, California lost approximately half a million residents between 2020 and 2022.

Many conservatives noticed the shifts in politics following significant waves of former blue-state residents coming to Republican states.

There is ample evidence to back this position, including in the last several elections. States that reliably voted for Republicans over the last two decades began to shift into the Democratic column.

For example, Republican presidential candidates consistently took Georgia since 1992 prior to Joe Biden’s win in that state in 2020. The state has moved considerably to the left over the last several decades and now has two Democratic senators.

In Arizona, Republicans had won every presidential election there since 1996 prior to Biden’s 2020 win in that state. In addition, Democrats have won a number of other contests in Arizona, including the 2020 election of Gov. Katie Hobbs (D).

These two states are part of a wider trend in which states absorbed tens of thousands of children of illegal immigrants, as well as a large number of former blue-state residents. The combination has pushed the Electoral College to the left and is chipping away at the power of those states’ Republican parties.

The recent examples go even beyond Georgia and Arizona. Prior to these states voting for Democrats for the first time in several decades, Virginia and Colorado began moving further to the left.

Virginia received a wave of new residents in part due to the growth of the power of Washington. As D.C.’s bureaucracy grew, so did the number of Democratic-voting residents, especially in northern Virginia. The area around Fairfax County has become a stalwart voting bloc for the Democratic Party.Colorado has also moved further to the left and no Republican has won the state’s electoral votes since 2004.

The one exception so far has been Florida, which has moved significantly to the right under Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who won reelection last year by almost 20%. The state has created a number of conservative policy initiatives, which may answer some of why it did not move to the left as Arizona and Georgia did.

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