Capitol Report: People are leaving California and New York for red states. Here’s how it could shake up the political landscape

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So, what’s wrong with New York, California and Illinois?

If you ask somebody from any number of red states, they’ll likely you tell you “plenty.” And the latest numbers from the Census Bureau would suggest they’re not wrong, considering some 3.2 million more people left those blue states than came in from other states from 2010 through 2019.

Merrill Matthews of the Institute for Policy Innovation, a conservative think-tank in Dallas, said the data confirms what he’s been saying for years: “Voters around the country are concluding it’s better to be red than dead.”

In a recent opinion piece he wrote for The Hill, Matthews described how voters are increasingly fed up with higher taxes, heavy regulations and the rise of social “wokeness.” These, he said, have come to characterize most blue states.

He posted his story on Twitter TWTR, -1.32% and caught plenty of criticism for it, as you can read in the replies:

Matthews cited Election Data Services analysts of Census data in saying that the population shift points to a 10-congressional-seat change over 17 states across the country by the end of the current year.

Specifically, Texas is expected to pick up three seats, Florida two and Arizona, Colorado, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon one each. Each of these 10 states is projected to shed one seat: Alabama, California, Illinois, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia.

The net impact, Matthews said, ultimately favors the GOP since five of the seven states gaining seats voted for Trump in the 2016 election.

But there’s also potential downside for the Republican Party.

“Some of the people fleeing destructive blue-state taxes and regulations appear to drag their pro-big-government philosophy with them — apparently oblivious to the fact that those policies destroyed the state they are trying to escape,” he said.

Texas, for example, has been gaining Golden State defectors for a while now and turning increasingly blue in the process.

“Many California families have decided to migrate to Texas simply to find more affordable housing, lower taxes and streets that aren’t rife with homeless people, feces and used drug paraphernalia,” Matthews wrote.

This would be the first time ever that California has lost a seat, which, he said, is “a tacit repudiation of California’s over-the-top taxes and policies.”

Finally, Matthews warned that the shift could be a precursor of what’s to come.

“The blue-state exodus is only a snapshot of what dissatisfaction will emerge if those blue-state policies take over the White House,” he said.

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