Escape to Idaho: GOP state says two thirds of the 119,000 people who’ve relocated there in recent years are Republican, as conservatives flee nearby Seattle, Portland and San Francisco
- American geographic regions are becoming more politically homogenous
- An unprecedented number of people are choosing where to live based on party demographics
- Idaho has seen a huge influx of voters from Washington and California in recent years, as Ca. The indigenous people feel that their state has imploded and closed down
An increasingly charged political climate has led more Americans than ever to pack up and leave their homes for areas that better suit their beliefs.
Idaho, which has increasingly become a conservative safe haven (at least) over the past five years, reports that of the 119,000 voters who have moved to the Gem State in the past decade, about 65 percent of them have. Republican.
Idaho is a red state, although its party political makeup is only 58 percent Republican voters, according to the Seattle Times.
The data, from the Idaho Secretary of State's office, shows that only 12 percent of new Idaho residents registered as Democrats, 21 percent as “unaffiliated” and two percent chose Libertarian.
Figures support the heavily scrutinized pattern of emigration from intensely blue cities to areas with more conservative, traditional values.
The Times reported that 14,400 Washingtonians moved to Idaho last year, while just over 10,000 went the other way.
Tim Kohl and his wife Jennifer moved to a suburb of Boise, Idaho, last year to leave Los Angeles, where Tim had spent his career as a cop and watched his station be bombed during the 2020 George Floyd riots
Regional exchange appears to be at an all-time high due to increasingly divergent legal and governance rules in red versus blue regions.
In Seattle, Portland, and San Francisco, very progressive leaders have overseen the softening of law enforcement in ways that are taking life from unpleasant to dangerous for some residents.
States like Idaho, which have overwhelmingly conservative legislatures — laws including abortion bans and laws that reinforce gender binaries — have sent some liberals running.
VOA interviewed Tim Kohl and his wife Jennifer who moved last year to a suburb of Boise, Idaho, where he has the freedom to fly his Thin Blue Line flag without fear of recourse — something he couldn't do in his former city Los Angeles, where he was a police officer for many years.
Jennifer said they were “afraid to put it up” but felt confident they had chosen the right spot for their new home when neighbors started complimenting them on the arrangement.
The couple said they felt like they were not being served by the government services they paid their taxes for.
They remember when trash piled up in and around massive homeless encampments, and their taxes went to serving illegal immigrants instead of American citizens.
Jennifer's mother was one such citizen who was placed on many a waiting list to receive government assistance that she qualified for due to her income level.
Idaho has been one of the fastest growing states in recent years, but has managed to maintain a politically conservative bent and culture.
Jennifer said they felt confident they had chosen the right spot for their new home when neighbors started complimenting them on their Thin Blue Line flag.
Kathleen Rickerson moved from Minnesota (a generally blue state) to Colorado to get rid of neighbors who questioned mask and vaccine mandates during the pandemic
Tim's police station, located in the mountains that stretch across West Los Angeles, was bombed during the violent protests that followed the 2020 death of George Floyd.
“Here, of course, the tax money goes to the citizens, not to the immigrants,” Tim said. “Most of the people we met here are originally from California.”
Professor Thad Kousser of the University of California, San Diego said increasing political equality among the state's population makes it harder for individuals from both parties to feel involved.
“It gives one party the opportunity to move a state forward if they do exactly what their constituency wants,” he said.