Just As We Feared – California’s Economic Refugees Ruined Arizona in the 2020 Election

Who can blame Californians and Washingtonians for wanting to breathe free, sun-saturated and dusty air in Arizona? We can, actually. People fleeing those states as well a handful of others appear to be responsible for Arizona’s turn to Leftism in the 2020 General Election.

The Seattle Times reports that the ‘fugees from California, Washington, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Oregon, Minnesota, Nevada, Florida, and Utah, in that order, fled to the state with Cactus League baseball, more conservative politics, the Grand Canyon, and the Red Rocks of Sedona. And then they approved legal pot, the state’s highest tax increase ever, and put Democrats in the highest offices – the Senate and White House – to ensure their new home will be every bit as expensive and over-regulated as the one from which they fled. Toke up, ‘Zonies!

Arizona is one of the nation’s fastest-growing states in recent years, drawing newcomers with its strong economy in the Phoenix area, affordable housing and year-round sunshine. About a quarter-million people relocate there each year from other parts of the U.S. — and no state sends more people to Arizona than California, where the cost-of-living can be prohibitive even for college-educated professionals.

I looked at census data on state-to-state migration and found that since the 2016 election — from 2017 to 2019 — about 150,000 Californians who are eligible to vote (U.S. citizens, age 18 and older) moved to Arizona. While the data doesn’t tell us anything about the political affiliations of the those movers, California is, of course, one of the bluest states.

Arizona is one of the more affordable states, but since its population has increased an astonishing 16% since 2010, mostly people from California as the National Review notes it won’t be for long after passing the massive wealth tax advertised as going “for schools” (read: teachers unions), who are assiduously not teaching children in person right now because of COVID. Give that teacher a raise. Stretch pants and flip flops don’t buy themselves, you know.

The Times’ columnist Gene Balk says demographics explain some of it, though President Trump did well with minorities, but Leftist economic refugees were the largest cohort of people hoping to be able to own a home.

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Political analysts have pointed to a variety of factors, from increased Latino and Native American voter turnout in 2020 to the endorsement of Joe Biden by Cindy McCain, widow of former Republican Arizona senator and presidential candidate John McCain.

Changing demographics have also been cited as an influence in a number of news articles — in particular, an influx of priced-out California liberals.

The New York Times reports that the among the new arrivals are those coming to Scottsdale and Phoenix to fill jobs at companies that can’t afford to expand in California.

Yelp, the business-directory and user-review site, is based in San Francisco but has moved hundreds of lower-paid sales and customer-service jobs to the Phoenix area.

[…] If construction and subprime loans were symbolic of the state’s last boom, this time the image would be offices like WebPT, which makes software used by physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists to manage billing and medical information. Over the past decade the company has grown from a handful of people working out of subleased office space in coffee shops and architectural firms to a 500-person operation with headquarters in a downtown Phoenix industrial space that used to be a tortilla factory.

The Times also mentions that suburbs, reviled by the Left, are being sought with abandon by people seeking more room and independence. Exurbs are cool too.

Probably not for long, however. After all, the Leftist Democrats have apparently taken over.

You break it, you buy it.

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