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Whither Arizona?

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We’ve heard a lot about how the newest influx of retirees to Florida’s exurban areas are what’s responsible for negating the growth of our urban areas and pushing the state back toward the red side of the knife’s edge in elections (keep in mind that statewide races are usually within 1-2% either way and in 2018 gained legislative and congressional seats on the blue side).

But... Arizona is another state with a significant in-migration of retirees and it’s now turning more blue than ever (remember, this was Goldwater’s home state). Why the difference?

Candidates matter and while Senate candidates Mark Kelly and Bill Nelson were both astronauts, one is at the beginning of his political career and likely to win while the other was at the end (and looked it) and lost for the first time in decades.

Nevertheless, I want to dig into the demographics and see why what seems to be a common denominator appears to be leading the two states in different directions. I’ll post here as I dig up the stats and start to formulate a hypothesis.

While a native of the Sunshine State (my dad’s family got here in 1925 and my mom’s arrived in 1945), I only have a rudimentary working knowledge of the culture and politics of Arizona. If there is anyone reading who has thoughts on anything at all about the Grand Canyon State, I’d be grateful to hear them.

Edited by spenser1058
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We’ll start with the basics:


                    •  Arizona 114m sq mi (#6)

                    •  Florida      66m sq mi (#22)

That makes FL about 57% the size of AZ.


                   • Arizona   7.3m (#14)

                  •  Florida  21.5m (#3)

So, FL has ~3 times more people on less area.


Edited by spenser1058
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