Report: migration and self-sorting have contributed to Florida becoming more Republican

by | Nov 3, 2022


  • Republicans lost a smaller share of registered voters than Democrats, according to a Redfin analysis
  • Florida is pulling in right-leaning people from liberal parts of the country who want to live somewhere that better matches their political viewpoints

Florida pulled in many conservative people looking to live near others with similar views, according to a new analysis from Redfin.

The technology-powered real estate brokerage said Thursday that Florida’s voter registration trends are partly due to the wave of pandemic-driven relocation, with many remote workers moving from one metro to another in search of affordable home prices and/or a like-minded community, bringing their political views with them.

“Pandemic-fueled migration has changed the political makeup of several key swing states,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr. “Hot-button issues like the economy and crime are playing a big part in this year’s elections, making its outcome difficult to predict. But changes in voter registration, which are largely due to new residents who moved in from other places, offer one clue about how certain states will vote.

Redfin noted that self-sorting is likely one reason why the Senate race in Florida, traditionally a swing state, is leaning heavily toward the Republican candidate. Registered Republicans surpassed registered Democrats there last year for the first time in history, largely due to migration. Republicans make up 36% of Florida’s registered voters, unchanged from 2020, while Democrats make up 34%, down from 37% in 2020.

The Sunshine State is pulling in right-leaning people from liberal parts of the country who want to live somewhere that better matches their political viewpoints. Miami and Tampa are two of the most popular destinations for relocating homebuyers, and liberal New York and Washington, D.C. are among the most common origins for people moving in.

Earlier this week, data posted to the state Division of Elections website showed Republicans extending their lead over Democrats in total ballots cast so far. With one week to go before Election Day, 2.77 million ballots had been cast already, with over 1.9 million voting by mail and the remainder going in to cast an early, in-person ballot.

Republicans account for the lion’s share of all ballots cast, at 1.173 million, while Democrats currently sit at 1.077 million ballots, giving the Florida GOP a lead of just under 100,000 ballots.

Redfin’s findings are part of a larger report which looked at changes in voter registration data in six swing states — Arizona, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, Nevada and Pennsylvania — over the last two years.

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