This state is becoming “Trump country.”
Florida is the country’s largest battleground state, however, in recent years, the state appears to be turning more conservative. Even new residents moving from Democratic states have not managed to keep the state from turning more conservative.
Some believe the reason for this is in part the disorganization of the Democratic party in the state, others are also accounting for the changes brought on by the pandemic.
“There’s one word and it’s COVID,” said Nelson Diaz, a Republican lobbyist. “It made red states redder and blue states bluer. It gave people like [Florida Gov.] Ron DeSantis a platform to stand for freedom and it gave Democrats in Democrat states a plan to stand for mandates.”
Diaz also noted that he believes that the conservative policies are part of what has drawn people to relocate to Florida.
“They are Republicans fed up with their blue laws in their blue states or they’re just independent-minded people, to begin with and they’re just fed up with these blue states and they’re enjoying the freedom that Florida has to offer,” he added.
Between July 2020 and July 2021, the growth of population in Florida has been unprecedented with over 211,000 in net migration. According to the Census Bureau estimates, this was the largest growth out of any state.
For the most part, Florida’s new residents are mostly coming from bluer states, with the 2019 Census Bureau data showing approximately 28,000 relocating from California; 28,000 from New Jersey, and 57,000 from New York.
DeSantis utilized the pandemic to launch his ambitious conservative policy agenda which has helped him rise in popularity and has even made him a potential contender for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination.
Aubrey Jewett, a political science professor at the University of Central Florida, explained “Basically what’s happened is the older senior generation — say the New Deal generation — who were pretty loyal Democrats, they’re dying off and they’re being replaced by the Baby Boomer retirees and many of them are moving to Florida and they’re very Republican.”