Republicans are floating the idea in the media that California could flip to Red in the next presidential elections. The population in the state’s Red counties is growing, Republicans say, therefore the number of GOP voters will rise.
They made the same wild claim recently about the rising population in southern states. If the population in Red states grow, so will the number of Republican voters.
It is logical to assume that when populations rise, the number of voters will also increase. But to assert that new voters moving into Red states or counties will increase Republican rolls more than Democratic numbers implies that more Republicans than Democrats are moving in. And that factor is not necessarily true in the case of either California counties or the Southern states.
For example, most new arrivals in the South emigrate from Blue states like New York, New Jersey and Michigan and Purple states like Pennsylvania. In California, many, if not most, of the emigrants to the Red counties are moving to escape the high cost of living in the vastly more desirable Blue counties.
Here is an example of writer for the Associated Press buying into the Republican’s wishful thinking about taking California:
California is home to nearly 37 million people — one of every eight Americans — and is projected to add as many as 11 million more in the next two decades, roughly the equivalent of the state of Ohio. But while population growth is slowing in left-leaning coastal areas like Los Angeles and San Francisco, it is accelerating in more conservative regions such as the Central Valley and the Inland Empire area east of Los Angeles.
The state’s large Hispanic population, long staunchly Democratic, has become somewhat less so in recent years. Bush won 32 percent of California’s Hispanic vote in 2004, up from 28 percent in 2000. Schwarzenegger won about a third of Hispanic voters in the 2003 recall election even though Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, a Hispanic, was also on the ballot.
To buy this you have to believe 1) only Republicans will move to Red states or counties – or 2) when Democrats move to Red states, they quickly drink the Kool-Aid and become Republicans.
Since most of the voters are Democrats in the states and counties these people are leaving, why wouldn’t the majority of the people moving also be Democrats?
Here in the reality-based world, the decision to uproot and move to another place is a serious and stressful undertaking. Statistically, the top reasons people move are financial/job-related and to be near family. I’ll bet the number of people who move primarly in order to live in a more politically amenable area is zero.