With illegal border crossings at the U.S.-Mexico border reaching a number that has not been seen in decades, the argument surrounding closing the border has once again reached its peak in our political climate. Democrats, who know immigrants tend to lean left politically, continue to pour out support for refugees and others, while Republicans, who are aware of this fact, are trying their best to block these increasing numbers. However, the right is ignoring the type of immigration that will most likely produce significant political effects, internal migration.
Tennessee has often been praised for its economic stability, with it being ranked third in the nation in this category. Due to this, and Tennessee’s high performing numbers in Foreign Direct Investment and economic freedom, the Volunteer state has hastily become a popular choice for multinational corporations to settle.
As liberal states such as California continue to see a rise in living expenses, average citizens as well as multinational corporations are looking to keep the big city vibe while avoiding the California prices. This has left the former Californians with few choices, choices that seem to point toward republican states. From 2018 to now alone more than twenty-five major companies have packed up their headquarters with their eyes fixed on Music City.
Due to this, Nashville and the surrounding areas increased over 12.5 percent in the last ten years and continue to grow at a rate of over 0.5 percent annually.
With new job opportunities and openings, the city’s growth has resulted in a population concentrated in their 30’s, an age group the democratic party has the majority amongst. With the rise in population, the area has also seen a drastic rise in democratic supporters. Since 2000, the democratic voting base in Davidson county has risen from 57.7 percent to over 64 percent while the GOP voting base has seen a steep decline from 40.33 percent to 32.36 percent.
As the liberal base in the heart of Nashville grows, so it does in the surrounding areas. Areas such as Franklin and Murfreesboro can now only be considered just slightly conservative, while Tennessee’s overall liberal base continues to slowly grow statewide. In Knoxville, another urban area seeing the effects of internal migration, President Biden only lost to Donald Trump by fifteen points, a weak performance compared to the twenty-three points Trump beat Hillary Clinton by in 2016. Meanwhile, Memphis also continues to grow its democratic base.
Tennessee’s economic policies result in freedom for corporations and individuals, creating the perfect recipe for increased international immigration. While the right stays hyper-focused on increasing numbers of external immigration, the left is capitalizing on this phenomenon, slowly reliving the grip the GOP has held on Tennessee for decades.
Written by Jared Watkins, a college student studying social work and political science.