California Takes Revenge on Trump

From The New York Times:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/opinion/california-revenge-trump.html

People leaving the Golden State are changing the political makeup of the states they move to.

By Timothy Egan
Feb. 14, 2020

President Trump clearly hates the most populous state in the country he governs. While trashing California with his gutter mouth, the president has used his office to physically trash the home to nearly one in eight Americans — seeking to make its air more polluted, its water less clean, its forests more vulnerable to catastrophic fires.

But now the Golden State is poised to strike back. By moving its presidential primary from June to March 3, California will finally exert a political influence commensurate to its size. Almost 500 delegates, a fourth of the number needed to win the Democratic nomination, are at stake.

Perhaps more consequential — or at least overlooked — is what’s happening among the vast diaspora of more than 7.3 million people who have left California since 2007. They appear to be changing the political makeup of the states they’ve moved to, perhaps enough to alter the Electoral College map in favor of Democrats.

With nearly 40 million people, California is still gaining population — barely. But stratospheric home prices and unbearable rental costs have created a reverse “Grapes of Wrath,” forcing those who are not rich to flee to states with much lower costs of living.

The question is: Are they bringing California values — fierce defense of the environment, tolerance of immigrants and a multiracial society, insistence on universal health care — with them? It could be just demographic churn. But if you look at the changing politics of Nevada, Colorado and Arizona, all fast-growing states packed with new arrivals from California, the answer is yes. Texas may not be far behind.

The most endangered species, California Republicans, make the most noise about how awful the state is. They cite the many thousands sleeping on streets, the failure to enforce basic standards of public behavior, and high taxes. San Francisco, the sad city by the bay, has become a “hostage to the homeless,” as one respected state journal put it.

More than half of Californians say they have considered leaving the state, and a large majority of them are conservatives, as one survey found. But the evidence in the states taking in a majority of ex-Californians — among those who actually leave rather than just whine about leaving — tells another story.

In Nevada, to which 500,000 Californians moved between 2008 and 2018, Democrats won the governor’s mansion and a second U.S. Senate seat in 2018. There used to be more Republicans, by registration. But Democrats now have a 70,000-voter advantage, and they prevailed there in the last three presidential races.

Continue reading at:  https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/14/opinion/california-revenge-trump.html

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