Issues & Insights

Millions Have Voted For Trump Since 2020 — With Their Feet

Editor’s note: There is an update to this story with exclusive, detailed findings on county migration data since 2020. The Great Divorce? 2.6 Million Fled Counties That Voted For Biden

Over the past two years, vast numbers of Americans picked up and moved. In a mobile society like ours, that’s not news. What is news is where they are moving from, and where they are going to.

Turns out, there’s a mass exodus underway, with people leaving Biden strongholds and heading to MAGA country.

New Census data show that, from 2021 to 2022, more than 2 million people moved out of urban areas that are largely controlled by Democrats and relocated to exurbs and more rural areas that largely voted for Donald Trump.

Los Angeles County, for example, had a net ex-migration of more than 363,000 over the past two years. Cook County, Illinois, lost 200,000. In New York, New York County lost 109,000, Queens County, 158,000, and Kings County, 187,000. Philadelphia County sank 52,000.

In Texas, a state where Trump beat Joe Biden 52%-46%, the two counties that saw the largest ex-migration – Dallas and Harris – both went heavily for Biden. Combined they had a net loss of 130,000 people.

The two biggest gainers in Texas – Collin and Denton counties – went for Trump. They had a net gain of 120,000. Another big gainer – Montgomery County – voted 71% for Trump.

Salt Lake County, Utah, (which went for Biden 58%-39% in a state Trump carried 58%-38%), lost 20,000 people.

The counties in Virginia that saw the biggest outflow of people are all ones that went heavily for Biden.

See also this detailed analysis of county migration patterns since 2020: The Great Divorce? 2.6 Million Fled Counties That Voted For Biden

Still not convinced? Take a look at these two maps in the gallery below. One, produced by the Census Department, shows net migration from 2021 to 2022. The other (click on the arrow) shows the 2020 election results by county. Notice how, across the country, the places losing population almost all voted for Biden, and the ones gaining are almost all Trump counties.

Why is this happening? Conventional wisdom would have it that it’s just a rare concurrence of COVID lockdowns, crime, and costs. And no doubt all are real contributors to people leaving cities in search of more open space and fewer murders.

But not every city in America is suffering these maladies. And the ones that are getting hit worst are all controlled by Democrats. They are the ones who pushed draconian lockdowns, needlessly shuttered their schools, forced people to wear masks (even outdoors), required vaccine passports, let crime run rampant, punished their residents with high taxes, and suffocated businesses with onerous regulations. Cities that haven’t followed this script aren’t seeing their people flee in droves.

What’s more, Americans aren’t just quitting urban Hellscapes. They are moving out of blue states entirely.

New York and California alone had net losses that totaled more than 1.5 million over the past two years. Add on deep-blue Illinois, Massachusetts, and New Jersey and the population loss tops 2 million.

The problem, as we’ve pointed out in this space before, is that while millions are abandoning progressive utopias, they tend to bring their liberal-utopian ideologies with them. And as a result, this diaspora threatens to make the country more leftist, not less.

So, what can be done? How about this:

Those of us who believe in liberty, a civil society, equal justice, who want limited government and free markets, who believe in personal responsibility, who want criminals behind bars and people free to live their faith, those who want parents to be in control of their children’s education, we need to stop cowering to the left.

We need to be proud of our values. Evangelize them. Build up institutions that will strengthen and defend them. We need to welcome the American migrants to our neighborhoods, our counties, our states, with smiles on our faces and brochures in our hands explaining why it is that the freedom they just chose is better than the socialistic oppression they fled.

Or we can just sit back and let the leftist virus spread.

— Written by the I&I Editorial Board

Editor’s note: This is not some veiled endorsement of Donald Trump. It is an observation that the conservative policies that Trump largely embraced work, and those pushed by the left don’t. And that people fleeing leftist encampments should understand this.

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I & I Editorial Board

The Issues and Insights Editorial Board has decades of experience in journalism, commentary and public policy.


  • The problem with all this internal migration is summarized right here.

    “Salt Lake County, Utah, (which went for Biden 58%-39% in a state Trump carried 58%-38%), lost 20,000 people…”

    I have watched the “californication” of Utah for a decade now. The young and hip from California left the golden state because they couldn’t afford a home or the taxes or crime, and many went to Utah to mainly settle in Salt Lake City and area. The are aslo moving to southern Idaho, western Colorado, western Montana, and even parts of Wyoming though weather here drives them away. They have had a dandy education that involved learning things about themselves, the U.S., their fellow citizens, and the Democratic party that just aren’t so.

    One young native of San Francisco told me that she loves living here because she could afford a home and the people are so nice and friendly. She said the only drawback is “you don’t vote progressive.”

    I welcome these folks, but have fears they are merely spreading a disease.

  • We should also promote proof reading: “have also been moving from red states to blue. ”

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