Mike Aves, 40, a financial planner in Palm Beach, Fla., where he has been active in the Young Democrats, said he was finding it almost impossible from that distance to land a job in Canada. "I've told my wife, I'd be willing to take a step down, socioeconomically, to move from white-collar work to a blue-collar job, if it would get us to Canada," he said.

Many of those interviewed said the idea of moving to Canada had been simmering in the backs of their minds for years, partly as a reaction to what they saw as a rightward drift in the country and partly as a desire to live in a place they see as more tolerant, pacific and, yes, liberal.

But for all, the re-election of Mr. Bush was decisive in their decision to take concrete steps.

"Not everybody is prepared to live their political values, but these are people who are," said Jason Mogus, an Internet entrepreneur in Vancouver whose Web company offers marketing services for progressive companies and nonprofit groups.

"Immigration to Canada is not like packing your family in a car and moving across the state line," Mr. Mogus said. "It's a long process. It can take 18 months or even longer sometimes. And if you hire a lawyer to help you, it can cost thousands of dollars."

So Mr. Mogus said the response to the Web site, from all over the United States, had amazed him. Some are drawn by Canada's more tolerant attitude toward same-sex unions, he said, and there are a surprising number of middle-aged professionals.

"My wife and I have talked for a long time about perhaps retiring to a condo in downtown Vancouver," said Frederick Newmeyer, 61, a professor of linguistics at the University of Washington in Seattle. "But the election was the tipping point."

Since it may take all of the two years he has until retirement to get a permanent resident visa, Mr. Newmeyer said he and his wife had hired a lawyer and begun the paperwork.

Canadian officials decide on potential immigrants by awarding points for certain skills or attributes. Being 21 to 49 years old is worth 10 points, for instance. A bachelor's degree is worth 20, a master's 25, with up to 21 points for certain work experience and 24 points for being fluent in English and French. At the moment, 67 points are required to qualify for the visa.

Under the North American Free Trade Agreement, workers in certain jobs can also qualify for residency permits if they land a job in Canada.

Mr. Key has made several recent trips to scout for jobs in the Vancouver area. He thinks most Canadian employers would prefer to hire a Canadian.

Chris Mares, a recreation therapist in Albuquerque, said that he hoped to move to Canada in about a year, when he qualified for his pension, but that he could not do it without first landing a job.

"I put a bunch of applications in and filled out a bunch of forms and now I'm waiting to hear back," said Mr. Mares, 54. "But it's not easy. It's not like they open the door wide and say, 'Hey Americans, come on in."

Jerry Gorde may be taking the longest view.

"I'm on a 100-month plan," said Mr. Gorde, who runs Vatex, a company in Richmond, Va., that creates promotional campaigns for corporate clients.

A former civil rights marcher and antiwar protester, Mr. Gorde said he built his company in Virginia because the state was not one of America's liberal enclaves, hoping to spread progressive ideas in the heart of conservatism. He was once named the state's entrepreneur of the year.

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"I think George Bush's re-election, in itself, is nothing compared to what happens, over the next 10 to 15 years, if he gets to make three or four appointments to the Supreme Court," Mr. Gorde said. "I foresee a much darker period in front of us."

Beginning now, Mr. Gorde plans to gradually shift his life from Richmond to one of the islands near Vancouver - buying a home, spending a little more time there each year, gradually extracting himself from his company in Virginia until, 100 months from now, his life will be Canadian.

"When I set my mind to something, I'm the most organized and driven person in the world," he said. "I have made this decision and I'm going to do it."

He knows that some who share his political views wonder why he does not stay in the United States and battle it out.

"I'm 53 years old, and I don't know if I have the energy to go out in the streets and organize again," Mr. Gorde said. "Or maybe it's just a matter of becoming a little bit spoiled at this point in my life."