New Census numbers show citizens fleeing by the millions from liberal states and flocking in comparable numbers to bastions of right-wing sentiment. Call it the Great Political Migration.
Between 2009 and 2010 the five biggest losers in terms of “residents lost to other states” were all prominent redoubts of progressivism: California, New York, Illinois, Michigan, and New Jersey. Meanwhile, the five biggest winners in the relocation sweepstakes are all commonly identified as red states in which Republicans generally dominate local politics: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Arizona, and Georgia. Expanding the review to a 10-year span, the biggest population gainers (in percentage terms) have been even more conservative than last year’s winners: Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho, and Texas, in that order.
The shift in national demographics has already rearranged the playing field for the upcoming presidential election. States that Barack Obama carried were the biggest losers in the reapportionment that followed the 2010 Census, with New York and Ohio dropping two electoral votes each. Texas, meanwhile, gained a whopping four votes all by its Lone Star lonesome self. Even in the unlikely event that Obama carried exactly the same states he carried in 2008, he’d still win six fewer electoral votes in 2012. Even more tellingly, if the epic Bush-Gore battle of 2000 played out on the new Electoral College map, with the two candidates carrying precisely the states they each won 11 years ago, the result would have been a far more clear-cut GOP victory margin of 33 electoral votes (instead of the five-vote nail-biter recorded in history books).