And one-quarter of respondents said they would want to move to a different state if the Supreme Court increased states’ rights.
Sixteen percent of Americans would consider leaving the country if the presidential candidate they support loses the election, according to a Redfin survey of more than 3,000 U.S. residents fielded in October. That’s up from 9% of respondents when we asked the same question in 2016.
The 16% total is broken into three categories: Those who would absolutely leave the country, those who would seriously consider it and those who would consider it. Three percent of respondents would absolutely leave the country if their candidate loses, versus zero in 2016.
Broken down by who they plan to vote for, 20% of people who plan to vote for Joe Biden would consider leaving the country if he loses, while 15% of President Trump’s supporters said the same thing.
President Trump himself has said he would consider leaving the country if Joe Biden wins the election, though his comment seems to fall into the category of “I might joke about it, but I won’t actually do it.”
“The desire to leave the country due to political dissatisfaction is relatable for people on both sides of the aisle, but most people who say they would consider it likely won’t follow through given the financial and legal barriers,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Still, the uptick in the share of people who say they would consider leaving the country since the 2016 election is one sign that the nation has become more politically divided.”
Forty-two percent of U.S. residents said they would be hesitant to move to an area where most residents have political views that differ from their own, according to another question from the same Redfin survey fielded in October. That’s up from 38% in June 2019 and 32% in June 2020.
One-quarter of respondents would want to move if states had more control over their own laws
Twenty-four percent of respondents said they would want to move to a different state if the Supreme Court increases states’ rights with respect to health care, reproductive laws, gun laws, etc. Twenty-one percent said it would make them like their current state more, while 55% said an increase in states’ rights wouldn’t impact how they feel about where they live.
An increase in states’ rights could make choosing which state to live in more significant because the laws from state to state would differ more than they do now. For instance, if the Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, state rather than federal law would determine the legality of abortion.
“Homebuyers could ‘vote with their feet’ and relocate out of a state if their laws change in a way that is misaligned with their values,” Fairweather said. “Businesses may also move for the same reason, or to follow the talent, which would impact local economies. When Georgia passed a highly restrictive abortion bill in 2019, many companies threatened to relocate. Although a federal judge blocked that bill, a more conservative judiciary may have allowed it to become law, which likely would have caused some residents to leave while attracting others.”
Nearly 29% of Redfin.com users looked to move to another metro area in July and August 2020, the highest share since Redfin started tracking migration. That record-high share is partly due to the uptick in remote work stemming from the coronavirus pandemic and it’s an indication that people are more open to making long-distance moves than ever before.
Broken down by who they plan to vote for, 30% of respondents who plan to vote for President Trump would want to move to a different state if the Supreme Court were to increase states’ rights, versus 21% of Biden voters. Twenty-three percent of Trump voters and 20% of Biden voters said an increase in states’ rights would make them like their current state more.
The fact that Trump voters are more likely to want to move based on a potential increase in states’ rights is driven by those who currently live in blue states. Trump voters who live in blue states are much more likely to want to move if the Supreme Court were to increase states’ rights (38%) than Trump voters who live in red states (24%). Biden voters who live in red states are slightly more likely to want to move than those who live in blue states (24% versus 19%). Trump and Biden voters who live in red states are equally likely to want to move based on a potential increase in states’ rights.
Redfin surveyed over 3,000 U.S. residents aged 18 and up between October 7 and October 15, 2020. The demographics of the survey sample were on par with U.S. Census breakdowns for age, gender, race, and geography in order to match as closely as possible to the makeup of the general population. In addition to the questions explicitly quoted in the above charts, respondents were asked who they plan to vote for in the 2020 U.S. presidential election (Biden led in our survey 49% to 43%).