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California transplants: will they turn Idaho blue?

Californians moving into Ada County, will they turn the state blue?

"Build it and they will come," that’s the saying.

It certainly holds true when it comes to housing developments in the Treasure Valley. Ada County is adding about one thousand people per month.

A quick stroll through the DMV parking lot on this day revealed license plates from Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, Washington and California.

Ada County elections officials say many newcomers to Idaho voted on Tuesday.

“In terms of raw number of votes, there were certainly more votes… one of the interesting things we had happen here in Ada County… we actually had more votes cast on election day this election than we did two years ago in the presidential election,” said Ada County Clerk Phil McGrane. “It was interesting to see such a high volume, it was way more people than we anticipated.”

In casual conversation, you likely hear people say that they believe transplants moving in from out of state will turn Idaho purple… and ultimately blue. But so far that’s not showing up in the election results.

In 2014, 58 percent of the votes were Republican votes for Governor Otter, going back four years ago. And this year for Brad Little it was slightly higher than that.

"It didn’t hit sixty percent but it got really close,” McGrane said.

The vast majority of people moving into the Treasure Valley are from California. A little more than half are registering as Republicans. Unaffiliated and Democrats together account for the balance. Based on the election results Tuesday, transplants don’t seem to be changing the political landscape.

“Despite the huge growth and seeing these big rises we’re not seeing a sea of change… partisan changes. It’s still very modest in terms of the partisan changes, they're slowly shifting,” McGrane said.

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