Sunday, September 19, 2010

Blue to Red: State Migration Trends a Mixed Blessing

Here's an interesting clip from Glenn Reynolds' Instapundit:
PEOPLE TEND TO TRAVEL IN THE DIRECTION OF GREATER FREEDOM: State Migration Trends, 1993-2008: From Blue States to Red States.
The link takes you to University of Cincinnati College of Law professor Paul L. Caron's "TaxProf Blog" which offers a pair of charts that list states with net out-migration vs. net in-migration from 1993-2008. Regarding the states with net out-migration, Caron observes that:
Nine of the ten states voted for President Obama in 2008 (the tenth state -- Louisiana -- suffered massive migration from Hurricane Katrina).
The ten states with top in migration?
Five of the ten states voted for John McCain in 2008; nine of the ten states voted for President Bush in 2004.
Without the help of useful stats like these, I've been observing for at least a decade that population has indeed consistently drained from Blue states to Red ones. It's good to finally have some statistical backup. But I've also been pointing out a chilling sub-trend that neither of these bloggers nor, apparently, anyone else noticed.

Fleeing Blue-staters bring with them a fatal flaw. They do not change their voting habits. They make no connection between cause and effect. They fail to recognize their own complicity in electing left-wing Democrats who never fail to bring cities, counties, and states to their knees with high taxes and union favoritism. Thus, one by one, Red states that experience heavy Blue state in-migration start tilting Democrat and Socialist.

Take one state on the list, the usually reliably conservative state of New Hampshire. ("Live Free or Die.") Throughout the '80s and '90s, New Hampshire experienced in-migration from that wildly Blue Kennedy fiefdom known as "Taxachusetts." And wouldn't ya know--while it's not yet true Blue, New Hampshire is now a vastly dicier political environment for Republicans. It's no longer reliably Red. Escaping Massachusetts denizens still reflexively pull that D lever, apparently oblivious to why it was that they fled their home state to begin with. A reliably Blue New Hampshire is only a matter of time.

Likewise, states like North Carolina, Florida, and Colorado. All once solid Red, they're a lot tricker these days. Out-migrants from New York and New Jersey have transferred their reflexively Blue voting habits to the once solid South. NC and FL must increasingly be regarded as solid Purple. The tendency is not good, as evidenced by the Democrats' political chicanery in Florida in the Y2K election. Gore's selective vote-counting trick could only have been enabled by a cadre of veteran Blue-state machine Democrats who'd transferred their votes and their tactics to the Sunshine State.

Meanwhile, Colorado, once a very reliable part of the solid-Red West, has also fallen into the Purple ranks. The cause here is a bit murkier, but I suspect it's mostly ex-Californians who are the mischief-makers as they scramble for the exits of the near-bankrupt mess they created over the last 20-30 years.

Given the cluelessness of those who are fleeing, how long will it take before dynamic states like Florida, Texas, etc., are also brought to their knees as new True Blue voters slowly strangle what attracted them in the first place? When will they ever learn?

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