This phenomena started right after the Reagan years and politicians (Dimwits) saw how local districts starting going red. Take Texas, before the late 80’s to 90’s Texas was a Democrat stronghold at the district and state level, in the span of a decade it went red. Amazingly it is still predominately red by district, but the state as a whole populus vote (thanks to illegals and dim metroplexes) maybe purple by 2020.
These GOPe people say a way to get elected by riding the wave. There are a few who may have “awaken” to switch to a R but most just took one step right and said looky I am a Republican, case Rick Perry. We will see whether his switch to partial Republican years ago can stand the next few years when it counts standing up to Nobamacare and the likes.