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Posted at 12:00 AM ET, 12/23/2010

Count down

By Tom Toles

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Redder face

The 2010 census shows swelling population in traditionally red states, and there's no point in trying to spin the facts away. But I will give it a try all the same.

First of all, if somebody moves to a red state, do they instantaneously become a Republican? Is the condition of being an angry white male catching? Mightn't it be the case that this migration makes red states bluer? And if it's the case that people moving around changes election outcomes, isn't that an indictment of the way we have structured our democracy, basing it on strange unrepresentative geographic rules? This is a problem we must all pretend not to notice.

And are red states red by statute or something? Okay, they made a mistake voting for George W. Bush and John McCain. We all make mistakes, maybe even two. Maybe not that BIG of a mistake, but still. Can't Americans review the facts and learn something? Don't answer that. --Tom Toles

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By Tom Toles  | December 23, 2010; 12:00 AM ET
Categories:  Economy and jobs  
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Comments

Isn't it obvious. The boomers are retiring in huge numbers and moving to warmer climates. Which states have the warmest climates? The Northeast states? It shouldn't surprise folks that the population is shifting from the north to the south. It is not due to tax rates, or gay marriage, or red/blue/purple. As a recent retiree I can understand that shoveling snow is not nearly as interesting as basking in the sun.

Posted by: orinski | December 24, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The next question is: why do people move out of blue states and to red states? Many do so because of lower taxes, right-to-work laws that prevent workers from being forced to join labor unions, a friendlier climate for investment, milder weather, cheaper cost of living, among other reasons. Those folks who've chosen to move to another state generally do so because they like the lifestyle. They are not likely to rock the boat. I realize that this is a generalization, but it holds. There's another factor that gives Republicans an advantage: They control the state legislatures in these states and get to draw the district lines, which allows them to pack most Democrats into a few districts and control the vast majority of the others. Democrats do it whenever they can. They've done it in New York and Massachussetts. What creates the advantage isn't that blue states are losing voters and red states gaining them; it's the fact that Republican dominated legislatures will determine where the new voters will cast their ballots.

Posted by: bpadrino | December 23, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

~~~~The real question is why did the blue States lose all the seats?~~
Off the top of my head..."Health Care Bill"(the fear of socialism).
Posted by: bertzel

My solution to the problem...
Educate people to the fact that capitalism has to be based on what is good for everyone not just a fortunate few rich people.
The quality of the society and the quality of people's lives depend on an equitable and just society.
An equitable and just society depends on a social system that is designed to protect human rights, distribute wealth fairly and provide needed health care.
Millions of homeless people and people eating out of dumpsters is not a quality society. It is disgusting and inhumane.
People who want to work need jobs that pay enough to provide for the cost of living.
Otherwise, you will have a lot of angry people, a lot of desperate people and a corrupt society.
Dave

Posted by: OckamsRazor | December 23, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

What a wonderful cartoon and comment! Keep it up, Tom!

Posted by: quiensabe | December 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Well now you’ve done it. You have convinced me to plot my move to some ‘red state’ so I can help control the political spectrum in this country.
After all, Politics is what Life in These “United” States is all about. Is it not? Well that and religion. Oh yeah, money, can’t forget money…yeah and power. Gotta have that power thing. Oh, and control. Yep, gotta try and control everyone not only here but in other countries as well…
guess that control thing would come under politics, which would come under religion, which would come under power, which would in turn come under money…ok. I got it now.

I know there is something missing here, just can’t put my finger on it. Hate it when that happens, you know, when a word is on the ‘tip of your tongue’ but you can’t think of it!! Oh well, it’ll pop into my head eventually, it always does, tho sometimes too late.

On the other hand, I just remembered that I AM living in a red state (the state moved) so I don’t have to move after all…the silver lining?

Posted by: bertzel | December 23, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Of course we all make mistakes; the Post made one when they hired you!!!

Posted by: stormy105 | December 23, 2010 10:49 AM | Report abuse

I was just thinking, the Dems won big in 2006, about half a decade after the last Census and a half decade after any gerrymandering that might have happened in 2000-2001. I wonder if gerrymandering is a less and less effective strategy to follow now that it seems populations in the US appear more likely to move around. Perhaps it's harder and harder for one to predict just what the makeup of a given region will be in just a few years. Just a thought I had that I thought I'd throw out there if anyone wants to think about it.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr

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I follow your logic and I hope the migration does make a difference. I guess it will be up to State legislatures to try and anticipate such things when they do their corrupt gerrymandering .

Posted by: pararanger22 | December 23, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm a blue stater moving to a red state. It'll be a little more purple now. I'm talking about Florida. Ft Lauderdale / Miami is already a hot bed of Democrats, so I'll be amongst good company. We can't let them use Florida again to steal another election.

Posted by: B_Al_Zebub

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The only thing that was ever stolen in Florida was the remainder of any 'ethics' left in the far left. By every conceivable measure, Bush beat Gore in Florida. The Florida Supreme Court, the Liberal Media, and you and the rest of your sour diaspora are nothing but a batch of lying propagandists. But keep it up: your malcontent; your ill will; your deceit will simply stoke the fires of Conservatives for the next election.

Posted by: pararanger22 | December 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

THANK YOU! this is exactly the case I have been making since it came out...

Posted by: emoenergy1 | December 23, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

Yes, I'm a blue stater moving to a red state. It'll be a little more purple now. I'm talking about Florida. Ft Lauderdale / Miami is already a hot bed of Democrats, so I'll be amongst good company. We can't let them use Florida again to steal another election.

Posted by: B_Al_Zebub | December 23, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

"Mightn't it be the case that this migration makes red states bluer?"

A friend in Texas has been talking about the purpling of that state for a number of years now. Bill White (D) had a pretty good run against Perry (R) this year. AZ was fairly competitive in 08, even though the Dems didn't focus on it as McCain's home state. Its a potential swing state in '12. I think the commentators predicting a huge benefit for Repubs may be overcounting their chickens.

Posted by: bsimon1 | December 23, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

Indiana has always been considered a Red State, but it went to Obama in the election. Does that make it a Blue State now? I don't think so since the Governor is a Republican. I always vote for the who I think is the best candidate is regardless of party. People who only think along party lines are narrow minded and resist diverse thinking. FREEDOM & DEMOCRACY is based upon that type of thinking. AMERICA WAKE UP! We should not all be acting like pre-progammed machines.

This endorsement was paid for by
An Independantly Thinking Individual

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | December 23, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Indiana has always been considered a Red State, but it went to Obama in the election. Does that make it a Blue State now? I don't think so since the Governor is a Republican. I always vote for the who I think is the best candidate is regardless of party. People who only think along party lines are narrow minded and resist diverse thinking. FREEDOM & DEMOCRACY is based upon that type of thinking. AMERICA WAKE UP! We should not all be acting like pre-progammed machines.

This endorsement was paid for by
An Independantly Thinking Individual

Posted by: JONAHandtheFISH | December 23, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I was just thinking, the Dems won big in 2006, about half a decade after the last Census and a half decade after any gerrymandering that might have happened in 2000-2001. I wonder if gerrymandering is a less and less effective strategy to follow now that it seems populations in the US appear more likely to move around. Perhaps it's harder and harder for one to predict just what the makeup of a given region will be in just a few years. Just a thought I had that I thought I'd throw out there if anyone wants to think about it.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 23, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

"Can't Americans review the facts and learn something?" Well, first they need to get the facts. When you have the Fox slant and the internet echo chamber, a lot of folks don't even know what the real facts are. Used to be, the newspapers were the fact-check source. Now, not so much and maybe getting less and less. I agree that the migration patterns to the Sunbelt aren't all Repubs, and there may be some dilution to maybe magenta. However, the big deal with the census is that the party in power in the state legislatures will draw the election districts for the next 10 year cycle, and they are masters at gerrymandering to make sure only their folks have the advantage.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 23, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

The real question is why did the blue States lose all the seats?

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

I don't know that all those seats were from "blue states." The house only went Dem a few years ago. A lot of those seats probably could be considered "soft" as far as how strongly Democratic they were in the first place.

Of course, that would make a lot of them "soft" Republican now.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 23, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Well, the rains have stopped. The sky is still blue, no matter how our neighbors vote.

Posted by: GeneTouchet | December 23, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

When I lived in Denton, Texas in the 80's, many moved in from the "north east." Where? We had no idea. But they talked funny. And voted for the Republicans.

This was something new. In High school in the Texas panhandle, we never even saw a Republican.

But when Dick Armey quit his job at the North Texas State University, few of us thought he would be elected. The Democratic candidate was established and in office.

But the new people voted him in.

It could happen again.

This time with a Democratic wave that could cooperate with Texas Hispanics. They vote for the Democrats, too.

Someone needs to pay attention.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | December 23, 2010 6:34 AM | Report abuse

~~~~The real question is why did the blue States lose all the seats?~~

off the top of my head - Loss of hope - Lack of change.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 23, 2010 2:21 AM | Report abuse

It appears that the condition of angry white male has many very blue voices.

Posted by: dalyplanet | December 23, 2010 2:15 AM | Report abuse

If Republicans ran the metro system in Wash DC, Dana Priest would have already won a couple more Pulitzers. Amazingly, the prize winning government investigative reporter has been silent the last two years, but want to bet she will be back in 2011 when the Republican House controlled Congress rolls into town?

Posted by: jornolibist | December 22, 2010 10:51 PM | Report abuse

The Census is a ten year time frame that's 1 year + 1 + 1 + 1 ...= a 10 year Census. Bingo with the ten years of Democrat run blue State socialism. No go with the 1/2 year of socialized medicine the majority of which is not in effect yet.

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 22, 2010 10:17 PM | Report abuse

~~~~The real question is why did the blue States lose all the seats?~~

Off the top of my head..."Health Care Bill"(the fear of socialism).

Posted by: bertzel | December 22, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

As roaxle suggested:
Some US red states are a long way away from having even a 5% influx of the opposite party significantly change their electoral college results, at least using 2008 presidential stats (from http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html):

State MCCain% 2008 Obama% 2008
Wyoming 64.8 32.5
Utah 62.2 34.2
Alabama 60.32 38.7
Alaska 59.4 37.9
Mississippi 56.2 43.0
Texas 55.4 43.6
South Carolina 53.9 44.9
Georgia 52.1 46.9
etc.

But these are, of course, the reddest of the red.

But why presume that those who move to red states are Republicans?

Posted by: redhead1990 | December 22, 2010 9:25 PM | Report abuse

The real question is why did the blue States lose all the seats? The real answer is they are all run by liberal Democrats and the corruption and higher and higher taxes are making people get the heck out of there. Sort of like the Democrats running the DC Metro and paying an employee who has been on administrative leave for the last 13 years no wonder the Metro is short on drivers. Remember Democrats run blue states and the DC Metro.

Posted by: billybeer6 | December 22, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

~~~We need to do what we do best; work together to make this nation the best nation in the world.~~

Ha!

The problem with you dave is that you like to talk the talk. Period. You surmise, yet you give absolutely no answer.

FYI religious zealots do not believe in birth control...I heard they are reproducing like they did back in the day...just sayin'. Maybe there is an ulterior motive?

Posted by: bertzel | December 22, 2010 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Population migration does obviously change the demographics of a state though, obviously. Look at VA in 2008. Never thought I'd see that happen.
Posted by: jhnnywalkr

My Concern...
What ever happened to the Rainbow Party and living in a yellow submarine?

For the want of selling newspapers, the newspapers have become divisive with the creation of fear and conflict through their inflammatory slant to the news.
It would be nice to return to being the United States of America instead of the Divided States of America. We have a Civil War of corrupted words that have been used to manipulate people and they are corrupting our major social systems.
We need faith in our social systems and faith n each other. Otherwise, there is no peace, no good will and a lot of death and destruction.
We need to do what we do best; work together to make this nation the best nation in the world.
Dave

Posted by: OchamsRazor | December 22, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

right now my state is white.
Funny 'toons' Toles...would think that trunk would be inserted in the barrel tho.
oops...

Posted by: bertzel | December 22, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

As a blue person in a red state, I'd like to invite all reds everywhere to join us. Really. We're so red we won't notice the difference. And by coming here, maybe we can concentrate all the redness in one place and the rest of the country can turn reasonable again.

How red are we? Our senators are Kyl and McCain, we think our governor has a high school diploma, and the president of our state senate consorts with white supremacists.

Seriously, if you're Republican, you'll love it here. Did I mention we're #50 out of 51 in education scores?

Posted by: roaxle | December 22, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Really, Red states and Blue states are not as Red and as Blue as they appear. It's usually pretty close, just one outnumbers the other ever so little, it's out winner-take-all electoral system that makes it look different, as far as presidential politics go, anyways.

Population migration does obviously change the demographics of a state though, obviously. Look at VA in 2008. Never thought I'd see that happen.

Posted by: jhnnywalkr | December 22, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

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