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December 11, 2023 | Strategic Relocation, Part 2: The “Big Sort”

John Rubino is a former Wall Street financial analyst and author or co-author of five books, including The Money Bubble: What to Do Before It Pops and Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green-Tech Boom. He founded the popular financial website in 2004, sold it in 2022, and now publishes John Rubino’s Substack newsletter.

A question is haunting the dwindling tribe of blue state conservatives: What happens when all their like-minded friends leave and the entire state becomes an impoverished, crime-ridden version of San Francisco?

It seems that a growing number of people aren’t sticking around to find out. From today’s Zero Hedge:

“Escape Liberal Hell”: Oregon, Washington Republicans Flee PNW, Join California Conservatives In Idaho

America is witnessing a seismic shift in its demographic landscape. Recent data from Idaho reveals an unprecedented trend: people are migrating not just for jobs, schools, or lifestyle, but for political alignment. The movement is reshaping the country, according to the Seattle Times Danny Westneat.

The call to “Escape liberal hell,” as echoed by a Boise, Idaho real estate agent, is not just a catchy sales pitch but a sign of the times. Idaho’s voter database sheds light on this great political migration. Approximately 119,000 voters have moved to Idaho in recent years, with a staggering 65% registering as Republicans—a figure that overshadows the state’s already GOP-leaning demographic of 58%.

And it’s not just a trickle of discontented conservatives – it’s a flood. The data also suggests that the narrative of liberals, untethered by remote work, turning red states purple, has been upended. Instead, a “Republican fever dream” (as the Idaho Capital Sun called it) is materializing.

According to the data, among all Idaho voters who moved here from out of state:

  • 77,136, or 65% are registered Republicans.
  • 24,906, or 21% are unaffiliated.
  • 14,711, or 12% are registered Democrats.
  • 1,949, or 2% are a member of a third party, such as the Constitution Party or Libertarian Party.

This political realignment has become known as the “big sort,” where America’s national stratification not just by vocation or socioeconomic status, but by political allegiance. As Westneat writes, Idaho’s dream of becoming a fortress against liberalism—a so-called “American redoubt”—is materializing.

For states like Washington, Oregon, and California, this exodus of Republican voters is more than a demographic shift—it’s a political hemorrhage. According to the report, 75% of Californian expats in Idaho are registering as Republicans. This movement intensifies the political polarization, with red states becoming redder and blue states bluer.

“Are you sick of living in a Blue State with high taxes, radical policies, and high crime?” reads an ad from one real estate company, Conservative Move (Motto: “Moving Families Right.”). “Find a new home in a state and community that reflects your values.”

Parallel economy?

This ‘big sort’ has birthed a cottage industry catering to political migration, particularly on the right. Companies like Conservative Move and GOP Agent aren’t just offering real estate services; they’re selling a lifestyle that aligns with political ideologies. It’s a trend that’s not slowing down, as evidenced by the over 150 attendees at a Seattle info session about moving to red states.

“The interest in moving to red states is not slowing down,” according to Conservative Move’s Facebook page.

As The Economist suggested in June, America might soon see parallel economies where partisanship dictates not just where people live, but what products they consume and services they use, like Patriot Mobile’s Christian conservative wireless network.

This mass migration into Texas, Florida, and, yes, Idaho has locals wondering what happens if millions of Californians show up but don’t change their voting habits. The above voter registration data should put those fears to rest.

The first article in this series, Strategic Relocation — Why, Where, And How, was published here in June. More are coming.

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December 11th, 2023

Posted In: John Rubino Substack

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