Californians Moving to Arizona Could Capsize 2024 Election

By: Georgia | Last updated: Nov 15, 2023

Recent data has uncovered a significant migration trend: a surge of Californians relocating to Arizona. This migration holds the potential to dramatically shift the electoral landscape of Arizona, particularly as the 2024 presidential race approaches. 

As more Californians move out of the state and settle in Arizona, the state’s political dynamics may see considerable change.

The Shift in Migration Patterns

While Texas has traditionally been a popular destination for Californians looking to move, there’s a noticeable shift in recent years. 

Monument Valley with its iconic red sandstone formations standing tall against a clear blue sky

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Arizona has seen an uptick in Californian migrants, and with its critical role in the 2020 elections, this migration trend may bring about significant political repercussions.


Consistent Rise in Californians Choosing Arizona

Over the past couple of years, Arizona has welcomed a growing number of Californians. To illustrate, over 69,000 made the move in 2021, and this number rose to 74,000 in 2022. 

An overhead view of an Arizona hillside town, with a mix of traditional homes and buildings cascading down the green-covered hills

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This continuous influx is garnering attention, especially considering the potential political implications it might carry.

The Ascending Significance of Arizona in U.S. Politics

Arizona has long been recognized as a pivotal swing state, and this recognition has only grown. 

President Biden stands at a podium with the presidential seal, addressing an audience. Behind him are the American flag and the Arizona state flag, both illuminated. The location, "TEMPE, ARIZONA", is prominently displayed on the stage's backdrop

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Given its history of narrow electoral margins, political experts are closely watching Arizona, with many predicting it to be a central player in the 2024 electoral race.

Democratic Strides in The Grand Canyon State

Post the previous presidential election, Arizona has witnessed notable Democratic victories. Both Senator Mark Kelly and Governor Katie Hobbs secured their respective offices. 

Close-up portrait of Senator Mark Kelly wearing a dark suit and tie against a blurred golden-hued background

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However, the potential political inclinations of the new Californian migrants remain a point of intrigue.

Intricate Voting Patterns across Arizona's Regions

Within Arizona, different regions exhibit distinct political tendencies. Metropolitan zones, specifically Maricopa County, are leaning progressively.

Red rock formations in Yavapai County with layered striations rise against a backdrop of blue sky with fluffy white clouds

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In contrast, counties like Yavapai and Pinal are veering towards a more conservative ethos. This geographical political diversity adds another layer of complexity to the state’s electoral outcomes.


Understanding The Reasons Behind the California-Arizona Move

Migration reasons have become a subject of speculation among experts. 

A sunlit street view featuring a 'California Av' sign hanging above. Beneath the clear blue sky, a traffic light is in the foreground, next to tall palm trees

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Some theorize Californians are relocating due to disagreements with California’s policies. On the other hand, the recent Democratic triumphs in Arizona might be drawing them towards the state.


The Emerging Profile of Swing Voters

An interesting trend emphasized by Jay Townsend is the rise of swing voters in Arizona. 

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A significant number of those who registered after 2016 chose not to affiliate with any major political party. This increasing base of neutral voters could play a pivotal role in future elections.


Diverse Voter Base in the Heart of Arizona

Arizona’s electorate is uniquely diverse. Recent data showcases 34.6% identifying as “other,” 34.4% aligning with Republicans, and 30% siding with Democrats. 

A diverse group of individuals stands in line outside a building, waiting to vote, and in the foreground, an orange signboard offers the option to drop off signed ballots without waiting. The word 'VOTE' is prominently displayed on multiple signs

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This multifaceted political affiliation landscape demonstrates the state’s intricate political fabric.


Generational Influences and Their Political Ramifications

Paul Bentz delves into how age demographics might be influencing Arizona’s political scene.

Aerial photograph of a residential area in Phoenix, Arizona, showing houses, roads, and trees. In the background is Camelback Mountain

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The perspectives and values of older Arizonans, shaped by their generational contexts, could be swaying the state’s political direction, indicating a dynamic electoral future.


The New Wave of Young Californians in Arizona

Beyond the retirees, Arizona is seeing an influx of a younger demographic from California. 

A close-up image of three individuals standing outside near pine trees. On the left is a man wearing glasses and a black hoodie, in the center is a woman with wet hair wearing a mustard-colored top, and on the right is another woman in a black jacket with a red plaid shirt underneath. All three are laughing

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Economic opportunities, especially in sectors like the semiconductor industry, coupled with affordable housing options, seem to be potent factors attracting this younger crowd.


Why Arizona Stands Out

Barbara Norrander, a political science professor at the University of Arizona, has noted that while Texas remains a primary destination for Californians, Arizona is steadily catching up in popularity. 

A sunset in the Arizona desert, casting a warm hue over the landscape. Prominently featured are tall cacti silhouetted against the sky

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The state’s closeness to California provides a convenient relocation option, especially for those wishing to maintain ties back home. Moreover, Arizona’s evolving economic landscape, featuring more high-tech jobs and industries, further boosts its appeal.