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3 million Democrat voters would have more impact in smaller states. (Maps from New York Times election coverage 2020)

Move On

A modest proposal to migrate Democrats to seats they can flip

What follows is a thought experiment, mostly to gauge the size and potential impact of mobility activism, rather than its plausibility. In practice, there are hundreds of factors and consequences — both positive and negative — to any move that are not addressed here.

More than the President

In 2016, Hillary Clinton received 2,868, 519 more votes than Donald Trump, who nonetheless took the White House easily. Much hand-wringing ensued over the unfairness of the Electoral College, renewing calls for popular national vote to determine future presidents.

California is Hoarding Voters

The stronghold of Democrat power is clearly in California. The most populous state in America reliably puts almost four dozen elected officials in Congress while allowing the daily lives of its citizens to be shaped by liberal policies. Most political races aren’t close, so California citizens gain a political confidence that is difficult to replicate elsewhere in the country.

New California Dreamin’

Before considering how plausible it might be to entice millions of Californians to live and vote somewhere else, let’s crunch some numbers to show what is possible.

  • Montana
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota, and
  • Wyoming.
  • A gain of at least 15 more representatives in the House
  • An extra 32 electoral votes for Biden

Jobs Have to Move, Too

There is a good reason Democrats choose to live in California. Sunny weather. Great scenery. Social supports. Inclusive culture. Political affinity. Why be represented by Trey Hollingsworth when you can have Barbara Lee speak for you on the House floor? If you are already enjoying those perks, why give that up?

Migration as an Exercise of Privilege

Mobility activism certainly seems extreme. While this proposal is explicitly political, mass migrations are embedded in our 244-year history already and do impact the political landscape.

Change Where it is Needed

When I moved to Indiana in 1999, I met all of the common criteria for mobility of age, race and income. I moved for a job, before I had kids, and haven’t left the state since.

Written by

Community experience designer / geek dad / recovering Informatics doctoral student / whiteboard artist / author / feminist

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