Real estate data suggests that many new Florida residents have no plans to return back north. Contracts on condos and single family homes have risen steadily after doubling in July. Contracts above $1 million increased by 250 percent over last year only in Palm Beach County. The timing may also swing the election. One Florida realtor believes the allure of voting in a swing state in a general election may be attracting new residents.
Perhaps more important than the numbers is where the new residents are coming from. Florida is usually evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. The 2016 election was decided by 113,000 votes from Florida. Most people who have gone to Florida are from blue states like New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The number of New York residents leaving due to the pandemic marks a 50 percent increase over recent years. The coronavirus, along with the increasing crime for New York, offers families a reason to leave for the lower taxes and relative safety in Florida.
Imagine shifting the Florida population to account for those moving from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The greatest proportion of those people are from cities. Interest for moving vans from New York to Florida has increased by 10 percent since last year. We do not know the number of new residents who will vote or how they will vote. But if the significant majority of them vote, along with other recent transplants from the blue states, the result could make the 2000 recount look like a picnic.