America’s Mass Migration Intensifies As ‘Leftugees’ Flee Blue States And Counties For Red

California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Illinois lost a combined 4 million residents between 2010 and 2019.

Per Forbes:

America is on the move like never before. Some would say at a tectonic level and for many the driver is as much political as it is economic. The top five states seeing a mass exodus are all Democrat-controlled. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, California, New York, New Jersey, Michigan and Illinois lost a combined 4 million residents between 2010 and 2019.  Conversely, a recent study by U-Haul reported that the top five states to see the greatest influx of new residents include the Republican-led states of Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Ohio and Arizona.

“With a focus on creating the best possible environments for businesses, workers and families to succeed, states led by Republican governors are seeing more and more people become residents,” said Republican Governors Association Deputy Communications Director Mike Demkiw. “People are desperate to escape the heavy handed, regulation ridden big government approach pushed by liberal governors.”

The growing American divide, however, isn’t just between states—it’s also county to county. When urban centers across the country were besieged by rampant crime—including riots and civil unrest last year—many residents took that as their cue to flee as the Covid-driven work-from-home phenomenon became the new normal. For many urbanites, looking for a permanent way out meant migrating to the suburbs and even to rural communities.

Such was the case for downtown Denver residents who watched their city burn last May as the Democrat mayor and Governor seemed powerless to stop the riots and subsequent property destruction—including to the state’s capitol complex.

For nearby Sterling Ranch, Denver’s loss was their gain. “People are migrating to places where they feel safe and secure and can be left alone,” said Brock Smethills, President of Sterling Ranch Development Company. “People want neighbors they can depend on and know are there for them.” 

The community is located 15 miles from downtown Denver in nearby Republican-leaning Douglas County, the ninth wealthiest county in America, according to a December 2020 US News and World Report study. Sterling Ranch is comprised of nine villages that will eventually host more than 12,000 homes at completion. It’s a model community of the future with a blend of natural open lands, trails and an abundance of smart home technologies—including its own fiber optic infrastructure that delivers one-gig of internet capability that is 10 times faster than the national average, a dream for a growing percentage of the population working from home. That same technology, moreover, makes Sterling Ranch a safe place to live with both community-wide and home security systems that integrate with intelligent streetlights—the kind that flash red, blue or green depending on the sort of emergency a resident might be having. For Denver residents who witnessed the lawlessness of last August’s riots, Sterling Ranch is not only a smart community, but it was also a smart move.

“Downtown Denver lost a great deal of its luster during the past year,” said Harold Smethills, Principal, Sterling Ranch. “The pandemic, combined with civil unrest, added an element of doubt and fear to the hustle, bustle and fun of living in the city. We’ve absolutely seen a surge of buyers from not only downtown Denver, but from San Francisco, Chicago, Manhattan and many of the cities that also suffered during the past year.”

The same can be said for many Democrat-led cities across the country. A recent poll found that 42 percent of San Francisco Bay Area tech workers and about 40 percent of New Yorkers would leave those regions if they could continue working remotely. It’s not that they want to live in these expensive urban centers, they feel they have to if they want to stay employed…for now, anyway.

The relocation wave shows little sign of letting up any time soon. “January home sales started the year off with a bang despite the current shortage of homes for sale,” says Adam Contos, CEO of RE/MAX Holdings, Inc. “This year could be a historically good year for housing.”

“We’re seeing a major influx of new buyers throughout our Florida properties,” says Steven Hicks, owner of Little Pink Houses, a home-buying and flipping company based in Fort Myers—a region favored by many northeastern urbanites looking to escape. “Between the high crime, oppressive taxes, high cost of living, lock downs and cold winter weather in places like New York, people are looking for a new life in a safer, more comfortable environment…we continually hear that same theme from our buyers. And when they see what they can buy for under $300,000, their next call is to their bankers.”

These migration patterns could be a sign of the growing political divide in America, according to a recent Penn State report. “It’s a geographic form of polarization,” says Bruce Desmarais, an associate director of the Center for Social Analytics at Penn State. “It’s a phenomenon that political scientists refer to as the ‘hollowing out of the political center.’ Forty years ago, you could find many moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans in Congress. You don’t find that now—and we’re also seeing this dynamic in these migration patterns.”

With the liberal exodus well underway, a key question remains: will those fleeing blue counties and states bring their politics with them or adopt the positions that made their moves attractive in the first place? The Penn State study suggests that people tend to want to live in ideological silos, surrounding themselves with others who share their political views.

With these accelerating migration patterns, don’t look for political divides to be bridged any time soon. And any talk of ‘coming together’ seems as much a fantasy as lower taxes in New York or California.

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