Image Credit: @birb_k on Twitter
The Tennessee Conservative [By Paula Gomes] –
According to charts shared on Twitter, and sourced from federal census data, Tennessee gained approximately 60 thousand possible conservative voters in the span of twelve months between July 2020 and July 2021.
The United States is divided into four “Census divisions” which are West, Midwest, Northeast and South. More than 650 thousand people from the West, Midwest and Northeast divisions moved to the South division during the same period.
Those four divisions are then split into nine regions: Pacific, Mountain, West North Central, West South Central, East North Central, East South Central (which includes Tennessee), Middle Atlantic, South Atlantic and New England. Of these, the Mountain division and all three South regions saw large increases in population. All other regions are down.
Tennessee is one of eight states that saw an increase of at least 40 thousand people moving into their state. Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas were the other seven.
Over 800 thousand people moved from states that instituted vaccine mandates for workers to states that either banned or blocked such mandates or had no policy, of which Tennessee was one. Four blue states, California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts saw the largest net decrease in population (a total of 888,131.) But when looking at migration by political party, nearly a million people who called Blue states home in 2020 now live in Red states.
Looking back to 2018/2019 there was a clear trend of migration already from Blue to Red but it appears that COVID and COVID policies were a “massive accelerator” of domestic migration.
A popular meme that The Tennessee Conservative shared on social media twice last year pokes fun at how Tennesseans welcome newcomers into the state. Conservatives wish for Tennessee to remain Red, but as the data shows, many who have found a second home in our state have come because of the political climate here.
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Some comments from those who have relocated to Tennessee from Blue states:
Sara Shaffern – My family moved here from Chicago and they were told we’re glad to have you, just leave your politics there. That’s no issue for us, that’s why we moved.
Michelle Harvey – Our builder 3 years ago told us if we were bringing any blue crud from California to head back home. He wasn’t gonna build for someone who would ruin this wonderful state! I’m so glad we [chose] that builder and our conservative beliefs have been [enriched] in this great state.
Mike Bakke – When we are asked (cuz we clearly ain’t got the accent) where we are from, I always answer “I’m a refugee from CA”.
Dorthy Estabrook – Moved here from WA state and I definitely don’t want to see any of the loony liberalism in TN that permeates that state.
Yvonne Scott – We escaped Illinois (right down there with CA) this summer. We love TN and all it’s values! Wouldn’t dream of bringing our previous nightmare with us. Finally feel like we “fit in”!
Scott Vicary – So far, I’ve been lucky enough to only run into transplants that are conservative, including every single one from CA (and there are many). I hope that stays true – although as you get closer to the urban areas I would believe that is not the story.
About the Author: Paula Gomes is a Tennessee resident and reporter for The Tennessee Conservative. You can reach Paula at firstname.lastname@example.org.