Americans with strong political and cultural views are increasingly migrating to states where their ideological values and beliefs are predominant, according to a new analysis.
A survey conducted by Seattle-based real estate brokerage firm Redfin forecasts that more people will “vote with their feet” next year, “moving to states that align with their political beliefs about abortion, civil rights, mask and vaccine mandates and critical race theory,” the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
“Now that workers have more control over where they live, more people will seek out areas where there are like-minded people with laws that fit their political beliefs,” Daryl Fairweather, a chief economist for Redfin, wrote in the analysis.
“We will also see more blue enclaves grow within red areas and vice versa, as parents select school districts that align with their preferences regarding mask mandates, critical race theory and other controversial issues,” Fairweather added. “People who prefer to live in areas without mask and vaccine mandates will leave cities like New York and Los Angeles.”
The firm noted that Los Angeles residents who used the service and who moved in the third quarter of this year, just over one-quarter chose blue states while almost 10 percent of users chose red ones. Many of those users cited issues including voting and civil rights laws, as well as abortion, as a primary reason for moving.
“Homebuyers wouldn’t move to an area that doesn’t match their political leaning,” said Redfin Deputy Chief Economist Taylor Marr in an interview with DailyMail.com.
“We predict that this trend of the ‘Big Sort’ will continue next year as local politics and COVID policies will still be top of mind for households relocating,” Marr added.
In October, a Redfin survey of more than 1,000 users around the country found that nearly one-third of them did not want to live in a state or city where abortion was virtually unrestricted; about half of them rejected abortion outright, the survey found.
By comparison, 40 percent of respondents said they want to live where abortion is fully accessible and legal, while 12 percent said that is a deal-breaker for them.
DailyMail.com noted that abortion became a national issue again after Texas passed what some believe is the strictest anti-abortion measure in the country. The law bars abortions after a fetal heart tone is detected, which generally occurs around six weeks. The law does not provide any state agencies with enforcement authority but rather allows residents to sue providers who perform them after six weeks.
In addition to abortion, voter integrity laws have also become a priority, especially after the 2020 election in which a number of battleground states changed voting laws — some argue unconstitutionally — to allow mass mail-in balloting ostensibly to accommodate for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the summer, a number of GOP-led states passed new voter integrity measures aimed at shoring up confidence in the electoral process. But several Democrat-run states countered with laws that codify mail-in balloting and other measures most criticized after last year’s election.
The Biden Justice Department, however, appears to be picking sides: Last month, the DoJ filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas over its new voter integrity measures, claiming the state is violating federal voter protections.
Redfin’s analysis also noted that another hot-button issue for Americans is concern over gender and sexual orientation discrimination. More than half of states this year introduced or passed legislation banning trans-student athletes from competing against others who do not match their birth gender.
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi, Montana, Tennessee, West Virginia, and South Dakota have passed similar laws.
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