The Great Sorting: California Conservatives Head For Texas

A California geographer says west coasters are moving to the Lone Star State for financial and idealogical reasons.

By Rhonda FanningJuly 24, 2017 11:40 am

Texas and California are as different as black and white – or is that red and blue?

A cultural division some call “the great sorting” has conservatives from California fleeing to Texas. But Texas’ appeal may be more than just Republican politics.

Joel Kotkin, a presidential fellow in Urban Futures at Chapman University in Orange County, California, and executive director of the Houston-based Center for Opportunity Urbanism, says that the move is “pragmatic” for a younger generation looking for lower prices for home and business property.

He says that Californians also may be attracted to the “leave you alone” culture in Texas, where citizens aren’t as pressured to meet more particular community standards.

Whether people move for financial or ideological reasons, political polarization could lead to permanent changes in the influence of political parties in both states.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily a good thing for the country, and certainly not a good thing for either state,” Kotkin says. “I think you have authoritarians in Sacramento, and you have authoritarians in Austin, they just use their authority differently.”


Written by Lila Weatherly.