California Takes Revenge on Trump

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

Comments: 223

  1. For better or for worse California gave us Nixon and Regan. The conservative wave started here. I hope, and pray, that California is once again going to have an outsized impact on American Politics. In CA the Republicans are the third party, they lag not only the Dems in votes and registration but also the, Independents, or decline to state. I have lived here for 20 years, and yes we have problems. But we embrace immigrants, care about clean air and water, and are willing to pay higher taxes to fund schools and to provide health care. We have a horrible homeless problem. The fact that there are not enough places to live here is a sign that people still do fall in love with CA. Our economy is strong and getting stronger. This after we voted to raise taxes. I will be spending my weekends in AZ this fall. Vote as if your life depended on it , because it does.

  2. @Liza I lived in CA and ran a Demmocratic organization. I agree with much of your comment, but CA is definitely not willing to pay higher taxes to fund schools. If that were the case, Prop 13 from 1978 would have been repealed years ago. Statewide school bonds. like this year's Prop 13 (ironically numbered, huh?) are both regressive and don't provide nearly enough money to fix CA's weak public school system.

  3. @Liza Not so sure about us being willing to pay taxes. Witness the decline of theUC system ($20, 000 per year tuition and fees vs almost free prior to Reagan). But our homeless problem is due to two aspects, one of which is never mentioned. That is the cost of living and the fact that it is nicer to live outdoors in the winter in our climate than in any northern states!

  4. @Liza California also gave us Nunes and Kevin McCarthy and that is only for the worse.

  5. I hope that no candidates except Sanders and Bloomberg cross the 15% threshold. We need the delegate race to help narrow the field to just two people after Super Tuesday. Biden should throw his support to Mike Bloomberg. We need to see exactly what the differences are between "progressive" and "moderate." My money is on Bloomberg. Thank goodness, Bloomberg's money is on Bloomberg too. "Only he can fix it."

  6. Bloomberg comes with a ton of baggage from his time in New York City. Sanders still would be my first choice, but if it comes down to Bloomberg or Trump there really is one choice - and it ain’t Trump!

  7. @USNA73 Bloomberg's big advantages are his $60 billion and his willingness to spend some of it. He's underwhelming as a speaker and is 77 years old. His positions are to the right of the rest of the candidates and he supported some GOP Senate candidates in 2016. The only thing he's likely to fix are the worst of Trump's executive orders. Our endless wars overseas will continue and more Americans will be priced out of medical care. I'll vote for him without hesitation if he's the nominee, but he's not going to "fix" much.

  8. @The Poet McTeagle Yes. Simply raising taxes on the wealthy (as some Bloomberg adherents are eager to point out he will do) isn't going to change anything as long as the bulk of tax revenue continues to be spent on the wrong things, such as the military-industrial complex, and not the things that citizens actually need, like healthcare, schools, public transportation, higher education, and other infrastructure. We have to stop funding endless war and endless weapons production. Stop investing in death and start investing in life!

  9. Interesting premise. Unfortunate that we couldn't suddenly re-deploy before November about 1/2 of the Dem surplus, or about 2 million votes, to PA, TX, MI and WI ... and GA + FL for good measure.

  10. @Navigator We "only" need about 100,000 people to move from California to carefully targeted swing states where their votes can potentially make a difference in November 2020 elections. I'm game. There are many wonderful places to live in swing states and I would be glad to join the vagabonds, bringing my money, open attitudes, hard work, education, and spending power to local economies. I grew up in red states and always find great qualities in folks wherever I live. I'm worried about the great divide between our citizens and I would like to reach out and find common ground. We often seem to be living in different realities. Which is the real reality?

  11. California is beautiful, well a lot of it is. My wife inherited property in one of California's small central coast beach towns. It's a small lot sandwiched between other homes in a somewhat cramped sub-division. Looking to build on the lot, she has come up against environmental study costs. the soil must be examined 4 times in case there are snails in this small lot. And if there are, she will need to pay to have them moved. This isn't a vast open space that deserves to be preserved. It's a small lot in a crowded sub-division. As a liberal some times my eyes get opened to the silliness and expense we create for ourselves. We need to save the planet, but come on. California migrants might want to leave these kind of measures behind them when they move to Arizona.

  12. @Bill P. I have seen a deck that's on the Pacific, just built and final inspection, and it didn't even have any railing for the ten foot drop to the rocky terrain below. It was way more beautiful that way, but come on man. Double standard.

  13. The prospect of a second term of a Trump presidency is almost unthinkable. Voters who cannot see the damage this man has wrought to our Nation are not paying attention. Many elderly and working class Americans are lying in the path of more of this destruction, as the Safety Net withers away, making the vulnerable even worse off. With his current confrontation with the US Attorney's office, Trump's quest to turn this country into a dictatorship, masquerading as a democracy, becomes more apparent. The November election offers our greatest hope of getting the nation back on a safe path to meet the challenges confronting us.

  14. @Eric S We should also take note, as Trump no doubt already has, that Putin has convened a meeting at his home with the idea to rewrite Russia's Constitution.

  15. And if those Californians, many of which come to my state for the exact reasons in the article- high taxes, housing costs, traffic, bad schools, etc etc- this is good news and a cause for hope! It may be another thing that helps get this Pestilence out of the White House!

  16. @Eric S Republicans have convinced their base that anything negative that happens to them is a result of Obama or Clinton. That's why they don't put two and two together. And it tends to make them even more staunchly Republican. Too few even know who Mitch McConnell is.

  17. Have you considered that, at least in part, some residents may be moving to escape CA politics, or that they will adopt the politics of their new home? I am a CA expat (25 years) and travel for business to LA and SF quite often (8x per year), and vacation there as well, and serve on two philanthropic boards in the state, and still fully committed to its economy. However, I live in North Carolina with other CA transplants, and many have adopted our “purple state” not because we are from CA, but because it’s the natural trajectory of our state politics. It is quite refreshing to live in a place that has two party politics, and not single party rule like CA or, conversely, AL.

  18. @Mark Arizmendi In recent years the red in the purple of N C has dominated the blue. I’m glad you are there to push back. Your swipe about my home state is accurate, however. Our endangered (and accidental) Senator Doug Jones is the only Democrat in a statewide office.

  19. @Mark Arizmendi South Carolina north would be my label. From my perspective NC represents the worst in both politics and economics of a civilized world. It has never shed its' former slave state status. It denies people the right to vote and those who can vote are sequestered into zones where the outcome is inevitable. It is anti union, anti worker. The only thing going for it in my opinion, cheap real estate. Why anyone who didn't have to would move there is a really good question.

  20. @Paul Over the past few years I have known people from CT who have moved to N/C Carolina when they retired. I also know a fair number who are sorry they made the move. They forgot a basic rule: good services = higher taxes: lower taxes = bad services. When your house burns down because the town doesn't have a professional fire department (only a volunteer group), you start to rethink your choices.

  21. California was having problems with homelessness, fires, and skyrocketing housing costs long before Trump showed up. Suppose whatever "values" led to some of the problems in San Francisco and LA were being transferred with the transplants?

  22. @Talbot : obviously yes. I left California in the early 1980s and many of the factors that made it miserable were already there -- sky high real estate prices and rents, very high taxes, bad schools, gridlocked freeways, pollution, etc. I think we all know as Californians migrated to Oregon and Washington State, they brought not liberal politics but overcrowding, high prices and real estate speculation. As you say, they bring problems with them, not simply "liberalism". It is also entirely possible that the California diaspora consist substantially of CONSERVATIVES driven out of the state because they have no representation anymore -- it is a one party state.

  23. I'm certain the GOP's think tanks are already working to address this problem. The minute it appears Democrats are moving in sufficient numbers to states important to the Electoral College, the GOP will draft legislation to help their party. The Dems will, as always, be caught flat-footed. The GOP strategizes decades ahead which is how they took over the state legislatures and federal judiciary.

  24. @June No legislation alone can change the electoral college system. The only way to change would be a constitutional amendment ratified by 2/3 of the states. Besides, the only party talking about changing the electoral college system are Democrats, not Republicans.

  25. @John Voter suppression is the biggest tactic of Republican legislators, as well as gerrymandering.

  26. Isn't it logical to assume that at least a substantial number of those moving away from California (I think "fleeing" is a bit hyperbolic) are more conservative voters, who don't like the hard-left drift of the state, the high taxes, homelessness, restrictive laws? or resent the fact they have literally no representation in a "one party" state? I think it is MORE likely these newcomers will embrace the conservatism of Texas and Nevada, then push those areas hard left. Also, this is based on no science at all -- but a biased reading of the 2018 midterm elections. Did 2010 and 2014 portend a massive drift rightward? or was it just the usual corrective, as voters "rebalance" Congress, so no party has an absolute lock on the government? Lastly: there is no "law" that made California have its primary in June vs. March, nor is an early primary some kind of "power". The state parties choose the primary dates, and they can be any time they want. Early has influence, but late often means the decisive last "push" for a candidate. Even more so: if it IS influential for California to go in March...and they go hard left and give you Bernie....it may seal in certain defeat. Are you sure that is what you want?

  27. @Concerned Citizen You really think people will change their politics because they moved to a new area? People who have know the advantages of a liberal system are unlikely to want to give up the benefits.

  28. @Concerned Citizen Older, retired people would like to minimize their living expenses which include, of course, taxes. They also no longer have children in school so they don't care if the state ranks at the bottom of the heap in education, and they don't get out much anymore so lack of services doesn't really bother them. All they need is decent hospitals, and they're all set. Younger people have different priorities. So, it really depends on who is doing the moving.

  29. Property taxes are higher in Texas. People move because of housing costs. Usually younger people. Or older people cashing in their homes to unlock the money for retirement. As much as people complain about politics, if they have an affordable house then they do not leave. Absolutely no one leaves “because of the politics”.

  30. I have often wondered how much money and how many people it would take to move people temporarily during election cycles to small red states to flip them to blue. If Bloomberg and Steyer for example spent the money they are spending to run on moving 100,000 CA voters to the Dakotas, Wyoming and Maine long enough to qualify to vote would that be enough to flip the Senate for example?

  31. @TandraE If we're moving voters to other states, they should go to states with more electoral votes than Wyoming or the Dakotas.

  32. @TandraE That’s a draconian solution, but it’s at least a solution. The Constitution can’t be changed because the small population states won’t give up power. Someone else suggested CA becoming four states, but what is to prevent North Dakota doing the same? Trump, and the Republicans, really since Nixon, (Johnson, signing the Equal Rights Amendment), has capitalized on the simple mathematics of electorial votes putting the thumb on the scale from red states. Trump, (And the Republicans) have divided the country to their advantage, and it won’t stop. In fact, it will get worse, because it’s to their advantage to do so. Think, Hillary, who called the red states, “despicable,” which was exactly what the Republicans wanted. Obama, at least tried to unite the country and, at least for him, it worked. I’m from New York, and I have visceral antipathy of the red states, but I don’t like it. And, I think the people from red states, don’t like it either. It’s Fox, it’s people like Trump and McConnell who divide us.

  33. @TandraE Ha! I just clicked "send" on my post suggesting the same thing!

  34. In theory - the Governor of California should be best Democratic candidate of President. That the rest of the country thinks that it is a modern day incarnation of Fritz Lang's Metropolis is indicative of how out of touch the Democratic Leadership is. Californians pay taxes at similar levels Canada and Western European countries - where is the universal health care? Welfare programs? Affordable housing? Public Transit? Until the Democratic Party can run California, they will keep pushing out crypto-republicans like Bloomberg.

  35. @Tom California started doing rail in the 70's and has public transit, even in small communities. It was one of the first states to require paid sick leave, does have a robust family support program for low-income people, and of course was one of the states which expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. But what I reallty appreciate is the environmental leadership, such as the lower auto emissions standards they fought for and which 13 other states adopted, including Washington. Governor Brown's rapid expansion of electric charging stations and adoption of the use of natural energy, like solar, have made it a leader in environmental stewardship. Is it perfect, no, but its people are friendly and forward thinking and you can't beat the climate. As a cyclist I love the friendly attitude of the drivers toward bikers, having twice ridden 101 from Washington to Napa.

  36. @Tom You are 1500 miles removed from California. What the heck do you know? The rest of the country thinks what? Which country are you referring to? You're from Canada, mate.

  37. While some Californians flee high prices and are less than welcome by some states, Texas has been aggressively recruiting California companies to relocate there or open satellite offices by offering huge tax incentives. Many Californians have relocated as a result - so, if the state is now somewhat bluer, they brought it on themselves.

  38. @RAR I am happier knowing that texas May return to blue.

  39. @RAR Agree. Texas Repubs like the $$ this brings but will do virtually anything to keep Repubs in control of the Texas Leg and Governor. Hope the blue turnover happens so quickly the current crop of Repubs in State government never see it coming.

  40. Well, hooray, it is about time that California had some say in national politics. Hopefully this will be the year. It will be all the more helpful if, as Timothy Egan describes, California's ex-pats help spread the word also. I hope something works because each day seems to add to the horror show in the White House.

  41. California native here (2nd generation). Let's get some facts straight: CA is being 'over-loved.' One-eighth of ALL the people in the USA now live in California. 12%. The state is the economic engine that drives the US economy with industries like shipping (5 deep-water ports), THE wine industry, Silicone valley and hi-tech, the entertainment industry (TV, movies), a huge tourist industry, 'agribusiness' that produces about 35% of all the fruits, veggies, nuts of the whole country, a number of military bases and weapons producers. CA taxpayers also pay 12% of the federal budget, propping up less successful states. Why so many homeless--how about the weather vs. winters in Nebraska, say? And of course it is expensive--anyone who understands "supply and demand" can explain it to you. I am frankly glad to hear that others are moving away as it is crazy to think that just one state, as great as it is, can take care of such a large number of Americans without crumbling under the weight.

  42. @Voyageur I lived in LA and San Francisco years ago, and California is a wonderful state, but I agree that it over-loved. I recall a Don Henley lyric: “call it paradise, kiss it goodbye.” This also applies to planet earth.

  43. Viva California! I lived there for years, and there's no question in my mind that it's our greatest state. To the extent that it has a lot of problems, that's because California has become a victim of its own success. So many people want to live there for a reason. In addition to having some of America's natural treasures, it's also home to a few of our greatest industries (think Hollywood and Silicon Valley) and one of the world's biggest standalone economies. I have long wondered why California and other blue states allow themselves to pay a disproportionate amount to Washington, only to governed by the likes of Kentucky and West Virginia. With its enormous size and location, California is particularly disadvantaged. The presidential election is usually decided before its residents are finished voting. I don't want California to secede, but it has long occurred to me that a credible secession movement there may be necessary to bring some equity to our system. A state with 40 million people shouldn't have one-fifth the representation in the U.S. Senate as Idaho, Utah, Wyoming and the Dakotas combined. The Electoral College is another artifact of our founding that does our nation, and California in particular, a great disservice. My hope is that the Golden State, the world's leading innovator in numerous ways, finds a way to lead us back toward democracy.

  44. @GV I spent several months there. Totally understand why so many want to live there (even with all its problems)

  45. @GV If there is a secession (I know, not really possible), it would not just be California. It would be the entire west coast, and probably include New York and a few northern states. I'm all in, I'm tired of sending my blue states' taxes to support red states.

  46. @GV divide California into 4 states of 10 million people each. Add 6 new Democratic senators to the US Senate. Problem solved.

  47. Timothy, I hope you're right that the exodus of Californians seeking lower living costs puts more states in play. But something you said about Trump's draconian EPA rollbacks also hit me hard. I've always thought his environmental regulation rollbacks were caused by his Obama hatred. In the context of punishing specific states, wow, that's a whole new thought to ponder. If he can selectively punish individuals, why not entire states? He's already being sued by New York state for his capricious retaliation against his sanctuary city executive order. I've been joking sarcastically to friends that soon we'll have one set of laws for Democrats, and one for Republicans--of course those loyal to the president. It isn't a joke any more.

  48. Wait till you have a natural disaster that only the military can solve. Our democratic governor gets along well with Trump because he knows he is a governor of a poor state with a lot of the population that lives below sea level and is prone to hurricanes.

  49. @ChristineMcM If taxation without representation was cause for a revolution, what happens when not just taxation but the entire federal code and federal register are enacted without our representation? How long to the blue states and their populations submit to this tyranny?

  50. @ChristineMcM I think Trump will punish anything he can and Susan Collins is about the only Republican saying anything and her nonsense lacks sincerity.

  51. We raised our 3 children in SoCal, then moved to Seattle--sorry! We've since moved to Montana, where our youngest is also living. One daughter is moving here from San Luis Obispo, CA in March and the other from Seattle in July. Probably not enough to make a difference in 2020, but we're 5 solidly blue voters among many more who are moving here. With just over 1 million people in the whole state, that's got to matter.

  52. @Maura Burke We must find what unifies us not dwell on what divides us. We must find our common ground. California is blessed with fabulous weather, a variety of climates from mountains covered with snow to warm sandy beaches with cold water, and a history of good public education, world class ports on the Pacific Rim, and relitavely survivable earthquake faults...also part of being on the Pacific Rim... Montana thrives on big open spaces, beautiful national parks, and salt of the earth values - salt of the earth people. We must celebrate our common strengths and minimize our transitory differences. After all, California has sent both Ronald Reagan and Nancy Pelosi to govern in Washington, DC. We currently have two wonderful female senators - Dianne Feinstein from San Francisco, and Kamala Harris, who identifies as African American and is also a San Francisco (she was our DA). Much as I love California, I am willing to move to another state with less resources and more challenging weather - to make common ground with my fellow Americans. I grew up in Arkansas and Texas, two now confirmed red states, and was educated in Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas as well as at UC Berkeley. The most terrifying thing to me today is the deep division between Democrats and Republicans, who seem to have lost our ability to talk to each other. I want to understand why other people have different opinions and how we can find common ground.

  53. @Maura Burke We need about 2 California companies to relocate to Cheyanne to flip WY

  54. The author failed to mention the Boise/Meridian area which is booming, and has been for over a decade, in most part because of the arrival of Californians. Still not enough to alter the political demographics yet, but if this keeps up, and there's no sign of it slowing, Idaho will turn purple in just a few years.

  55. @Xavier Onasis But aren't the people moving from California largely conservatives who feel disaffected here? That's been my impression.

  56. Fuel standards that Trump is promoting in the EPA is an effort to attack environmental policies that CA has implemented. The ICE war on immigrants is being fought in CA. The blue state tax increase the GOP put into their recent corporate tax cut to punish their flagrant anti GOP politics. CA being the blue state behemoth. These are not idle political debates they have real consequences. Trump was trounced in CA in 2016, which was the main reason that Clinton won the national popular vote. CA is very expensive and gentrification is clearly a major issue in the glamorous big cities there. People are moving into areas that are vulnerable to wild fires. A reverse migration is enevitable. CA is the exemplar of the American Dream in may ways. But the American Dream is unsustainable.

  57. As a sun baked barbarian I need to add to this correct premise that Californians are changing the politics of the states that they are moving to. Many Californians are from somewhere else. My longtime friends were born and raised in: Philadelphia, Michigan, upstate New York, western Pennsylvania and Indiana. I am from New England. I actually cannot think of any native-born Californians that I know as friends. It may be that the native California children of the people who relocated here are the ones who are moving out because of housing costs. In any case, they are bringing their California perspectives (by the way there is a Big difference in the politics of the eastern versus western sides of the states; it is not monolithic here). It is true that the people who are leaving California are changing the politics of their new home states. We lived in Arizona in the 90’s, when it was dismal Joe Arpaio land, and I have long watched that state as a bellwether.

  58. @Almost Can’t Take It Anymore I don't know why you think it's monolithic here in the eastern states. For instance, upstate New York is almost solidly Republican except for pockets around cities which do go blue. New York City is almost solidly Democratic. I know the same to be true in California as I have relatives in Kevin McCarthy's district and I don't think I need to say any more about that.

  59. @Almost Can’t Take It Anymore Good point. Both my parents came here via the military from New York and North Carolina and decided to make it their home. Most people I’ve known here are originally from elsewhere in America, or more recently, talented immigrants, many from Asia and South Asia. Egan should know as well that migration cuts both ways. In my community we are getting wealthy residents moving here from Texas, who are undoubtedly registering as Republicans. Immigrants become citizens who vote, and many of those from Asia used to register as Republicans. (They’re switching parties, though, in light of Trump’s bigoted, ugly attacks on immigrants with darker skin color or different religions). Frankly, I found his story line a great idea, but one not backed up (yet) by facts— his notion that states are turning blue because of Californian migrants is just way too simplistic. I am not sun baked either— as someone who lives in a fog bank, I wish I were.

  60. I so hope you are right. And swapping Arizona for Wisconsin in the win column (should Wisconsin not see the light) would be a pleasant plus plus with future ramifications for the American Southwest.

  61. The grandfather, who lived all his life in California, once said that we were lucky the pilgrims landed on the east coast. Otherwise, the rest of the country would never had been settled. In spite of there being far too many people, it is still a nice place and I would definitely want to live there if it were affordable.

  62. I need to defend the Californians who moved north to Oregon and especially Washington. When I graduated from the University of Washington in 1982, the national unemployment rate was 10.7% and even higher in Seattle. I choose to return to CA and moved to San Francisco, where it seemed like one in three cars had Washington license plates. They moved to CA for economic reasons, just like Californians did in the late 80’s. Washingtonians were angry about it. Interestingly, I don’t remember any hostility when they came to CA.

  63. Obviously the migration out of California has absolutely nothing to do with Trump. If it has to do with politics in any way it relates to lack of opportunity or to high taxation and other costs of living that will be less onerous elsewhere. Now that subject might be worth putting a few words together about.

  64. @Frunobulax So the head line is dubious because in the article it does not blame trump. I think to blame taxes is a misnomer. It is definitely because of a higher living cost. I live half hour from Boston and had lived in Mass for 35 years. There are now more than four cranes in the skyline of Boston. It may be called taxachusets but people love the benefits that comes with higher taxes. I would like to point out that the home I grew up in has a tax of $4200 were as my home in Sandown NH is $8032 this past year. I plan on retiring to Mass because the benefits for elderly are better and property taxes will be half. I will have sewer/water and trash pickup none of those are provided in Sandowm NH.

  65. @oscar jr Many readers won't realize that New Hampshire has no state income tax and no state sales tax, whereas Massachusetts has both (as do most other states). I retired to New England from San Francisco, and taxes had everything to do with my choosing New Hampshire. My income tax savings alone were well into six figures. Yes, property tax rates are relatively high in NH, but property values are relatively modest, and overall the state retains its very low-tax status.

  66. Tim, I believe you have it backwards. In my experience, overwhelmingly people who leave California arrive in their new location with the attitude, "I don't want that to happen here." It may be that liberals who settle in cosmopolitan centers outside of CA are fans of progressive goals since now they don't have to bear their burden (high taxes, poor services, skyrocketing housing costs, rampant homelessness), but those who have moved to escape those social ills are definitely don't want them to arise in their new home state.

  67. @Dr B, I believe you have assumed people willingly change their affiliation. What you speak of makes sense logically but the evidence is clear, most certainly from Trump supporters. Very few people vote from their frontal cortex, but rather from their amygdala.

  68. I know I'm quibbling but pundits should get the math right. Trump beat Hillary by a combined vote differential of 77,000 in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan which means the Democratic nominee needs to flip only half that total or about 39,000 votes to win those 3 states.

  69. @beenthere: The fact is tht Hillary won the election but the republicans installed Donald Trump. They will try to do the same thing this year.

  70. Ah, California, home. born in Glendale California, my mother the same. Two sons in Southern California, a daughter heading for Houston TX for Medical school, ours is the story of California; mixed some staying some going. A liberal family, but diverse in political outlook some moderate and some more progressive, a broad spectrum. Raised in rural sawmill towns in Northern California, working in those mills. Education a product of California, a career in IT. Yes, a very typical Californian of the boomer generation. Many of my childhood friends conservative to the core cry about taxes and long for an Eden that never really existed. They seem eager to leave but are rooted here in the same California, in love with mountains and raw beauty that is Northern California, just as I am. But my daughter will go to Houston, to Texas and become a doctor there and a little bit of California attitude will infiltrate into the body politic of Texas.

  71. @Richard Kinne My daughter is an RN and now lives/works in Houston. Most people forget that one reason Houston (and by extension, Texas) has such a large medical/tech sector, is because it started with Lyndon Johnson strong arming NASA to move its Mission Control there. All those high tech engineers and scientists working for years on the Gemini and Apollo missions were not about to settle for inferior, low tech healthcare. Cue the building frenzy that is now the Memorial Herman Medical Complex.

  72. @Richard Kinne Like the other urban centers, Houston is quite blue, a blue island in the red of Texas.

  73. The article repeats a common misunderstanding that ought to be corrected because it has policy implications. High cost real estate is not what's driving people out. High real estate prices don't just appear in a vacuum. They are symptoms of the actual underlying problem, the state's severe and artificial shortage of housing which in turn results from the local-level refusal to allow more housing, particularly dense housing, to be built where it's needed. It is not a result of top-down policy making. It's the result of an organic, bottom-up preference that is deeply embedded in the state's DNA, and it's time for a gene transplant. California as a GMO if you will. The article a few days ago about Lafayette CA illustrated the issue perfectly: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/business/economy/housing-crisis-conor-dougherty-golden-gates.html The state's housing sector is dying the death of a thousand cuts. There simply aren't enough places for people to live at any price; they are leaving because they are being physically squeezed out, and that can be and ought to be fixed.

  74. @John Binkley and this is happening across the country. Austin is one of many cities where locals are forced out due to insane property taxes and lack of homes. Big battle going on right now on development code which as it stands will only lead to smaller but pricier homes. Nothing in the city for mid income folks

  75. @John Binkley Let's be honest -- developers do not want to build in California out of the goodness of their hearts, nor are they concerned about the homeless. They know they can make a killing in real estate by forcing communities to develop the wildlife habitat, open spaces, fresh air and natural beauty that they love. And then when the community becomes polluted and congested to the point that it takes 3x as long to drive anywhere as it did before, where are the developers? They are long gone, living happily in their mansions far away, surrounded by natural beauty, wildlife habitat, and fresh air for miles around. California simply does not have the infrastructure and natural resources to support to support all of this building.

  76. @LB Of course developers do it for the money. In a capitalist economy EVERYBODY does it for the money. That's how things happen. It's not a criticism. And to claim that poor California might have to put up with long commutes?! Where have you been? California has huge commutes, and pollution, specifically because of low density housing policies and reliance on cars. The building policies it needs would get people closer to jobs and result in reduced demands on infrastructure and natural resources, and less pollution; that's the whole point.

  77. Taking this to the next level, I've often wondered if a progressive billionaire could help create magnet communities in red states, drawing younger and more liberal voters into those electoral districts. For example, instead of spending untold millions on advertising, each and every election, move a regional headquarters to Madison or Grand Rapids. Instead of taking the wealth created by a business to try and convince people to support progressive causes, use the business to attempt to change the demographics of a state.

  78. @ImagineMoments I've often thought the same thing. Why doesn't Mike Bloomberg, Tom Steyer or any of the many wealthy Democrats band together and create jobs and move enough people to the more progressive cities in the battle ground states and make them reliable voters.

  79. @JK Only semi-tongue in cheek do I then point out that it would have to be done quickly, before the GOP legislatures pass laws that one needs to be a 20 year resident before voting!

  80. @ImagineMoments I thought something similar when thousands of Puerto Ricans moved to Florida following Hurricane Maria. Given the shameful lack of emergency response from the Trump administration, there is little doubt how they'd vote. If we could only convince them to cluster in red districts...

  81. The same can be said about the people who have been leaving New York, Long Island in particular, in vast numbers. That’s partly why North Carolina is now a swing state, with most metropolis areas mostly blue.

  82. @Debbe Geiger; The california statistics on population influx continue to show that the majority of new Californians are coming from the poor red states. Why,? Higher wages, better jobs and working conditions, better schools, and better healthcare to nae a few. As Ben Rumson in "Paint your Wagon" said: "There are two kings of people in the world. Those going somewhere and those going nowhere. We attract those going somewhere. he majority of Californians moving the the red states are people with high retirement incomes, who can live like royalty in the red states, particularly in the South.

  83. Mr. Egan, I've been reading your fine writing in the Times for what seems like decades now, but I think you are missing an underlying sentiment that exists here in CA. While the thought of sending out blue voters to flip red states is tantalizing,what ultimately might happen may be Trump's revenge, not ours: flipping California from blue to red. People are not happy here. Governor Newsom has taken over from a centrist governor (Brown) and is putting in place a populist agenda that seems to be catering to the State's 6 to 7 million illegal residents. (Run that number through your head--6 to 7...million.). Taxes are increasing, and he wants to cram in high-rises and housing developments for 20 million more people. The traffic jams are already legion with 40 million, and there is not enough water and too many fires. The people in my community think it's time for a change. Will we vote for Trump? No. But the seeds are being planted for eventual political change in what has been a reliably blue state.

  84. We have quite a few ex-pat Californians here in Missouri, too, and we also brought our Californian values with us. I don't know that there are enough of us to make a difference, but hopefully, there are enough of us to turn this bright red state into more of a delicate fuchsia.

  85. I live in Arizona. I have since 1973. When the Southern California aerospace industry downsized, they moved operations and people to Arizona. Tech operations, like Samsung, expanded to Arizona, bringing more. The list goes on. Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey has crowed for years about California companies finding a tax friendly, housing friendly home in Arizona. "We're open for business," he tells them. They've come by the thousands, churning the economy. Phoenix is referred to as "mini-LA,". They've changed Arizona from red to purple and this year for the first time ever, there's a good chance we will have two Democratic senators and a blue legislature. Congressional seats now number five Democrats and four Republicans. The change has accelerated. Fair warning Governor. Be careful what you wish for.

  86. @Bill I Iived in Tucson for 37 years, and you are right. I hope the state legislature changes, too. It's long past time.

  87. @Bill, in Texas too. The Republicans say "We're Open for Business" and help with tax incentives. So, yes welcome and let's turn Texas Blue!

  88. Texas is a prime example. It is now turning blue. While rural Texas may be solid red, its urban areas are turning blue with an influx of moderate voters, both republican and democratic. Just look at the voting trends in Texas. This same effect is happening all over the south. This is 1 thing the republicans can not influence, where you live. And where you live gives you the right to vote. When Iowa gets all busy and interested in moderate to liberal democratic candidates, you have got to pay attention.

  89. @Per Axel " This is 1 thing the republicans can not influence, where you live." Well, at least for now. A Republican victory this November could pave the way to internal passports. I know this sounds outlandish, but this country's status as a democracy is really not assured. I can't imagine I would have stated such as this until recently. Donald Trump is not one whit better than Benito Mussolini.

  90. @Per Axel Eighty percent of the population in Texas is in the Golden Triangle cities of Dallas/Ft. Worth, Austin and Houston, with San Antonio thrown into the bargain too. However, the state has been grotesquely gerrymandered by the State Legislature, which meets only ONCE EVERY TWO YEARS, for no more than 120 days max. It's all back room deals in Texas, and the good ol' boys club still rules the majority from the rural areas.

  91. Yes, interesting article, but misses the point. Just like the failure of Hollywood actors/actresses promise to leave the country upon Trump's triumph, no one actually leaves the country, or in this case state (California) simply because of surrounding politics ...at least not as a direct result. Sure there are extremists who did but numbers are too few to matter. However, politically motivated actions and changes in laws, regulations, and cultural environment does affect job formations, types of jobs and ease/cost of doing business in California and therefore has direct implications for those doing business in California . That, in turn, makes moving out more likely. So diversity is lessened with possibly more moderates leaving (as extremists will bear the burden for political satisfaction). The extremists will pay more for insurance, energy, transportation, housing, etc...(sound familiar?). Many benefits associated with the political situation...much emotional in nature... of the remaining extremists will be negated by the pecuniary ills here and to come. Meanwhile, the moderate Democrats moving will add to the character of debate and solutions elsewhere. So keep your extremists, its a win win for me.

  92. California, for all its problems, is still a great place to live for most of its residents - beautiful, diverse, and economically dynamic. However, we’re considering moving to a swing state for the sole purpose of adding two votes to the effort to remove the cancer of Trump from the body politic of America.

  93. Not sure you got this correct. I would think many who leave are Pro Trump or maybe Independents and thus will have the opposite effect. California may end up having a larger percent of Democrats and other states get more Trump voters?

  94. The basic premise is that if the popular vote was distributed proportionally among the electoral college vote, the winner would be the same in each. You are showing how it could be happening from a practical standpoint to at least some extent. But from a theoretical standpoint, clearly if Secretary Clinton's 3 million surplus voters had been living in the right proportions in the states she barely lost, she would have won not only the popular vote but the electoral college vote also. The moral is that sufficient Democrats from heavily majority and more populous blue states should emigrate to red states to turn them blue.... Of course, red states then might institute travel bans.... It might be feared that Republicans would move to blue states to turn them red, but that normally would require them to move to cold climates or to California, and they most likely wouldn't want to do either.

  95. I am passing this on for consideration. In the 2016 election if Clinton would have been on the Liberal/Libertarian Party and Green Party line, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin would have been in the Democrat column.

  96. After a lifetime working in California, and loving it with all my heart, retirement said "Move." And so, in 2015, my wife and I moved to Western North Carolina. We paid cash for our home, and our Social Security fully covers monthly expenses. This is a land of great beauty, full of artists and musicians, with four real seasons, but easy winters. Yes, the politics are far right (this is the land of Mark Meadows), but we who move here are pushing the bar to the left. I will ever miss California, but NC was a wise choice.

  97. From my home in California, I'm helping flip elections in other states this year, as I did in 2018, by targeting Democratic candidates who can help turn red states blue--and sending them donations.

  98. @Amelia Thank you to a true blue patriot and generous neighbor in another state. You show we must be united -- coast to coast and in between. Thank you.

  99. @Amelia Join Indivisibles. That is exactly their goal. It's a grass roots organization in which local groups (formed by anyone) target specific elections with national coordination. Get on the Indivisible website, which will show all the groups in your area. There is very likely a chapter near you.

  100. @Amelia Other engaged Californians managed to flip important districts right here in our state. Orange County is now blue! Pulling together to affect our own state and others, we've accomplished a lot in 2018 and we deserve to be optimistic about 2020!

  101. I'm wondering about the impact on Utah too. We're generally assumed to be more conservative than we actually are. Gerrymandering gives the impression the state is 80 percent Republican. The split is actually more like 60-40 and shrinking. We've seen mass immigration over the last decade too. Many of the migrants are from California although by no means all. Like all economic migrants though, newcomers tend to skew heavily young and heavily progressive. It's changing the political dynamic within the state. I don't expect Utah to turn reliably blue like Colorado. In addition to migration, we have a higher than average birth rate. When adjusted for population, Utah has the highest birth rate in the nation. 17.6 births per 1,000 people. The national average is 12.5 per 1,000 people. Utahns have a lot of babies. There tends to be an equilibrium between imported progressives and homegrown conservatives. That said, this year might be an exception. Mormons really don't like Trump. See Senator Romney. I could see anti-Trump Mormons crossing the aisle to form a coalition with urban liberals and progressives. Together, they easily form a majority that could defeat Trump. Provided a spoiler like Evan McMullin doesn't split the NeverTrumpers again, the right Democratic candidate could turn Utah Blue. See Ben McAdams. Surprisingly, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders are the only candidates to poll a majority against Trump in the general election. Even Bloomberg loses. We'll wait and see.

  102. Good ideas have a way of persisting, even when subjected to the avalanche of lies and distortions that is the current GOP/Trump complex. Recognizing that climate change is real and addressing it, maintaining clean air and water, expanding medical care options and improving educational opportunity, a compassionate safety net for those need- all these things and more were made possible when California voters sent the GOP packing. We went from basket case to showcase- Jerry Brown, our superb governor, set an example for the whole nation on how to get the job done. Now we need to take it national- the whole barking mad GOP/Trump complex needs to be relegated to the trash heap while we roll up our sleeves and start the repairs on what the vandals have destroyed.

  103. Life long Texan here. It’s true that outside influence is bending political attitudes here, but I think a fatigue factor is starting to exert itself also. People in progressive areas like Houston, Austin, San Antonio, most of Dallas and other urban areas are tired of repressive conservative minority rule by mostly gerrymandered, rural interests running the state and backing the circus in Washington.

  104. @HKS And Fort Worth. Tarrant County was BLUE in 2016

  105. @HKS I wonder if texas is actually blue if gerrymandering was out of the picture. I wish texas was analyzed more at the National level. I think there are just a handful of counties keeping us in the red.

  106. @HKS I'm a Californian in Texas -- came because a native Texan convinced me. She told me that her Republican parents used to be more liberal -- Republican women used to run local Planned Parenthood boards, etc. Somehow the ultra-wacko theocrats grabbed power and ruined the party, according to her version of Texas's descent into hysterical, one-party fascism. Gerrymandering the cities will not help the Republican cause in the long run, because it has created huge resentments among the urban populations, which are utterly deprived of representation. The state is now trying to rob us of the right to self-determination on a local level. Every time we voters approve local laws that the Republican state gods on high dislike, the legislature goes into action and passes a law forbidding us from enacting them. It is one-party tyranny, and everyone I know is furious about it. But waiting for it to change is increasingly discouraging. My son left for a blue state, and I don't think he's coming back. Some of his friends are also planning on leaving. I don't know myself how much longer I can hold out, feeling my rights being eroded out from under me every day. We talk a lot about where we can go these days.

  107. Long before we had blue and red, I never would have dreamed Nevada and Colorado would be voting blue. I lived in Arizona for 37 years, and I didn't think I would ever see another Democratic senator. Now, there is a good chance there will be 2, like Nevada. But it may be the demographics of the country as a whole that is doing this. Virginia used to be solid red. Missouri changed to solid red last time around. Minnesota came closer to red than many realize. And I'm not so sure Florida is going to be much of a swing state any more. Texas doesn't have to turn blue, just be in play. Then the Republicans will have to campaign there. I'd tell the Democrats not to assume their blue states will always stay blue, but trying to tell that party anything after 2016 seems to be a waste of time.

  108. Interesting idea. I hope you're right! There is also the Cal-Exit movement, which, last time I checked had about 33% support and was growing. It's a secession movement for California, I've read about the possibility of California joining with Canada (as it has done with emissions controls), new trade rules, healthcare, etc. All the issues that are important to so many of us. With Trump weaponizing the Justice Department, with his vicious assaults on the environment, the lack of health care, the falling life expectancy, realignments of countries that have the same values might not be a bad idea. California has a bigger economy than France. It might just be able to stand on its own.

  109. @Joanna Stelling The chance of this happening is 0%.

  110. I wonder if we could persuade enough Californians to migrate across the mid-west in a temporary exodus, just long enough to become eligible to vote. Then they could go back. It wouldn't take that many, just a few million to rescue our country from the death grip of the Republican Party. Wishful thinking. But it is encouraging to watch as western states absorb transplants (I'm one myself) and transform themselves. Very good news.

  111. We moved from reliably blue Illinois to Colorado to be closer to family. But, the idea that we’ll help unseat a Trump enabler in the Senate and give Colorado’s electoral votes to whoever the Democrats nominate gives us solace in these dark days for American democracy.

  112. I would add Montana to your list. While we might not have as many Californians coming here as Nevada, AZ, or Colorado, our small beginning population certainly makes their impact felt. Though anecdotally, it seems like many Californians settling in Montana are the conservative ones (see our embarrassing body-slamming congressman and gubernatorial candidate Greg Gianforte). Californians in Montana seem to be wealthier and white. It would be interesting to think about how that fits in with the rest of your column.

  113. @Rudy Molinek Yes, I know conservative white Californians who’ve moved to Montana and Idaho, often establishing residency to avoid taxes. And in my coastal Californian community, we’re getting conservative Texans escaping the extreme heat, frequent flooding and hurricanes that plague their state. Mr. Eagan’s premise needs a bit more fact checking— there are all sorts of reasons places change their politics. Migration is a relatively small one.

  114. "Wouldn't It Be Nice", the Beachboys said, not thinking for a minute that it would be unintended electoral consequences that would, indeed, be nice. The startling thing is that Mr. Egan is actually citing verifiable numbers. And it would be nice to dilute Trump's support in enough places to impact the general election.

  115. Too many generalizations in Mr. Egan's op-ed. I have lived all over the country - Chicago, Washington, D.C., Denver, and San Francisco. I have lived in Atlanta for the past twelve years, but my time here grows short as I plan on relocating to the Seattle area in the near future. Perhaps I am an exception given reduced rates of relocation in general. I did not leave San Francisco due to housing costs, politics, or commute times. It was all about the Benjamins - a better job and a larger salary. I have no illusions about turning Georgia blue - the Confederacy and white male dominance runs deep in this state, and no amount of transplants from California, New York, Boston, or Philadelphia will change things in the foreseeable future. Mr. Egan also fails to mention that conservative Californians have also left the state - some due in part to disgust with liberal politics. Some of these people have headed to red states such as Texas and Utah or perceived "red sanctuary cities" such as Colorado Springs. Mr. Egan also fails to mention that the majority of California east of the Coastal Range trends conservative. I spent a fair amount of time working in the Central Valley. There is a world of difference between San Francisco and places such as Stockton.

  116. @Lucien Dhooge I think you’re missing the point of Egan’s column. Everything you say I’m willing to agree is true, but it doesn’t contradict Evans main points that people leaving here are mostly liberals who are looking for a less expensive place—and probably most of them are taking their political values with them. Egan didn’t mention turning Georgia blue because that’s not going to happen. Yes, eastern CA is conservative, but is a distinct minority. Egan is identifying a trend, but you’re citing specific instances that don’t fit that trend. You’re probably correct about those, but they don’t counter Egan’s main assumptions.

  117. @John Vasi I disagree with both of you about Georgia. Stacy Abrams was within two points of the combined total for Kemp and the Libertarian. The culture of rural Georgia may be the same as always, but the voter population growth is in Atlanta and that growth leans blue. Take a drive out Buford Highway sometime. Add to that that every four years additional youth, who are far more progressive than the old evangelical white men who have been running things, move into the voter base and you have a recipe for a blue flip. It is coming, sooner than you think.

  118. That’s exactly what my husband and I did! I loved living in San Francisco, and only the need to take care of my mother and wanting to live in a decent home instead of my rent-controlled basement apartment got me to leave for Minnesota’s Second Congressional District in 2014. In October 2018, I canvassed for now Rep. Angie Craig, who flipped this district from a far right Jason Lewis. I’m volunteering again this year (I hear Pres. Trump and company are targeting this district). Campaigning for Angie Craig and Amy Klobuchar for President is invigorating!!

  119. The article and comments are informative, because demography shapes (though does not predetermine) politics. The growth and and participation of second generation immigrants in urban areas shaped Franklin Roosevelt's winning coalition. A more extreme and self-conscious version of demographic destiny was the migration of slave holders and abolitionists to affect the constitution of the Kansas Territory -- what became "bloody Kansas."

  120. I am a second generation native Californian who moved away for work in 1985. In our case we moved to Canada, where blue is Conservative and red is Liberal. Awhile back when there was talk of California secession, a friend here asked me whether I retain my US citizenship or take California citizenship. Is there any question? Even after 35 years and becoming a citizen of Canada, I am still a Californian to my bones and always will be. When flying home to visit family I still tear up as the plane crosses the Colorado River. My grandchildren make fun of me every New Year's because I watch the Rose Parade on KTLA, which for some weird reason is part of our cable TV package. So, obviously, I brought my "California values" with me when I moved. Wouldn't any real Californian?

  121. We are snowbirds, who spend eight months a year in Florida. We vote in Florida because our votes are more important here than in our home state of New Jersey. Florida is a vast swampy state with lots of simple people except for the coasts. The coasts are filled with Liberal Americans from the North Eastern Coastal States. Slowly, Florida may become bluer but ignorance is ingrained and the Republicans have done a stellar job on messaging. That is why so many citizens vote against their best interests and are unable to recognize the truth .

  122. @Carol well dems need to educate the middle of the state hopefully

  123. @Carol Smart observation. Thanks for voting in Florida.

  124. Just a point of clarification: this is not the first time California has had an earlier presidential primary. In 2008 it was February 5th. I was a precinct captain for Obama in a hilly part of San Francisco then, so I remember it well. Remember the hope?

  125. @LP And to the point of the author, now reside in Oregon!

  126. @julie Yes, although when the time came to move, we opted for a politically similar place, with the added bonus of gardening. I'd lived in Kansas and wasn't going back to that, Toto or no Toto. Part of my heart will always be in SF, though. That song is true.

  127. Is the idea of a one-party country really all that attractive. I should think California would be an object lesson in why we should avoid that fate.

  128. @BayArea101 I'm not following you: what, exactly bothers you that is not also happening in the Midwest? Yes, CA has very high housing costs, driven by the large number and power of tech companies and corporations and the enormous salaries. Sure, housing is cheaper in the Midwest - but what about loss of decent manufacturing and blue collar jobs jobs? Corporations value profit over destroying Midwest communities and the GOP doesn't care. What about pollution, which causes illness, contaminated water tables, and degradation. The other problem with CA is climate change and deniers. Climate change is already in the Midwest - failed crops, lowered water tables, droughts and floods. Fire in CA is more dramatic, but it's only gonna get worse in the midwest as well. Other issues: universal health care, protection of the environment and parks, increased education- hard to be against that.

  129. @BayArea101 Oh, a lot of us want more than one party. We just don't want one of them to believe fake information, ignore realities such as evolution and climate changes, encourage corruption, and reduce health care coverage instead of expanding it.

  130. There may be hints of change in The Solid South, but it will not come quickly enough to affect this most critical time in our Republic's history. "The (Civil) War ain't over yet, Buddy, it's only Halftime" is the operative phrase natives repeat with equal parts pride and satisfaction. Currently, "Wow, look at the S&P, look at my 401K" is giving the older phrase some competition. No one will benefit from trump's policies in the long run, but the ones who are right now are trump voters. The many who are or will soon be hurt by his legacy are seduced by the racism, feigned patriotism, and bogus religious beliefs he markets so well; they too are trump voters. It's God, Country, and the Republican Party down heah, folks, though not necessarily in that order.

  131. The attack on California isn't the only attack on Blue states. New York, the 2nd biggest Blue state and Trump's original state is openly being extorted: Trump has blocked New Yorkers from Global Entry status or renewal and has openly DEMANDED that New York drop the investigations and law suits against himself, his businesses, and his family members--as blatant an act of corruption as we have ever seen--An Illinois (former) governor is STILL in prison for a similar action! But Trump's "tax cut" had a more insidious side. One of the reasons most Blue states are more prosperous than most Red states is they invest in education, infrastructure, and helping poorer people get a leg up. But they pay for this with higher state and local taxes--our NJ prop taxes are extremely high. The tax bill exempts any state and local taxes paid over $10,000 from being deducted from the Federal Income Tax. That means we're being taxed twice, and that's JUST the way the vampire Red states want it...we fund them! 26 of Trump's states are leeches and only 4 pay more than they get (and 2 may flip back!) 13 of Clinton's 21 pay more than they get, a 14th breaks even, and only 7 get more. Hopefully, the author is right and enough states and senate seats will flip to have a CHANCE to restore real Democracy in the USA.

  132. It is no longer necessary for liberal minded people to flee the conservative and close minded communities. We have achieved critical mass ; we can bring progress with us.

  133. @Dani Weber Calling it "progress' does not mean that it is good. It may be good and it may not be good. Using the word "progress" means that we are not going to discuss it but will accept certain dogmas without thinking.

  134. But if a large number of people who value "fierce defense of the environment, tolerance of immigrants and a multiracial society, and insistence on universal health care" leave California, will that make the state more Red?

  135. @julie very good question. Let’s hope not!

  136. Ugh, none of this would matter if we simply respected the principle of one person, one vote in this country. We're all Americans, we should all count equally, wherever we live.

  137. Spreading the wealth of Democratic voters? I'm all in on whatever it takes to oust Trump.

  138. California is a well-run paradise that shows just how well the Democrats can tackle homelessness, income inequality, delivering low taxes, the best public schools, and highest standard of living. That is why people are leaving in such large numbers...

  139. This is certainly true in Colorado. A great migration of Californians that began in the 1980s and continued through the 1990s into the 2000s turned that red state purple. Say ciao to Cory Gardner.

  140. It could be more Californian "conservatives" are moving out of the State but like my NY "republican" friends when they talk to Republicans outside of NY and CA, they quickly realize what they support and believe in is actually the Democratic position in the mid west.

  141. Time for Democrats to start playing the kind of political hardball the GOP has enacted in terms of gerrymandered districts and undermining the VRA. Sounds like a good moment to start dividing California and other blue states and break the ongoing and anti-democratic minoritarian power grab.

  142. Hopeful piece and most likely correct. We are seeing a similar thing happening in Montana. Our Democratic Party used to be centered around the union mines in Butte and depression era counties bailed out by FDR. But now the mountain areas with a large influx of wealthy out-of-staters are looking and voting more like California. Some of us welcome it. Go Jon Tester. If only Steve Bullock would run against the disaster daines. This daines character voted himself a $400,000 a year tax break (the annual income of eight hard working Montana families) and hobnobs with the Yellowstone Club crowd. Bullock would make buffalo minced meat of the trump lackey.

  143. We've had 3 California couples move to our community in the past 2 months. We haven't discussed politics other than that they're all happy to have left.

  144. Yes this is the ONLY reason I stay in FL. To shed some light here. Tallahassee does not listen to their constituents as we see on Prop 4 where voting rights were not restored to felons who served their time. Nor any gun legislation since the two mass shootings and the bomber. They are not active in climate change as shows by their "red tide" and unclean Everglades, such a shame. But we stay to change voting here.

  145. Let California and those who leave it create a wide blue wave, THAT would be beautiful!

  146. Timothy, I am among those who have remained in California, the state of my birth. More specifically, I am a San Franciscan. That being said I am among the many who will “faster than a Harvard grad” tell others from where I come! You mention that there are a number of former residents who have left the Golden State for one reason or another. And it is indeed true that along with their exit they take with them an ideology of diversity and a fierce protection and respect of the environment. On the flip side, I know of too many, including some in-laws, who constantly criticize and insult our fair state. Yes, they are Trumpians. I bite my tongue, smile, and wear beige when I am with them. But in private I think, Just leave please! Finally, I have lost count of the suits we have brought against that crazy man and his administration in DC. But you know what? It is a badge of honor to be so rejected and disliked by DJT. California has chosen good rather than evil.

  147. More than half of Californians say they have considered leaving the state...a large majority of them are conservatives..." That's ludicrous. If half the state's population was conservative, they would manage to elect more than Devin Nunes, even if it was for county dogcatcher.

  148. @Ken Lawson I may have misread, but I thought that the author was suggesting that a majority of the 50% who have considered leaving are conservatives. That would tend to imply approximately 30% of the total population of the state. Maybe a bit more.

  149. Although not strictly on topic, I do wonder, if Trump loses in November, what will be necessary to actually remove him from the White House in January. With his track record you could guarantee that he would call the election illegal, state that there has been massive voter fraud and would use every possible move in his repertoire to overturn or at least delay the result. Might be the perfect first mission for the Space Force.

  150. @DavidF : Keep your eyes on Justice Roberts. Once he swears in the replacement, the military can remove Trump from the White House if necessary. If Justice Roberts becomes unavailable for any reason, you'll know the coup is on.

  151. @mlbex I don't think the military is allowed to act in domestic matters. Perhaps the FBI can enforce the Constitution if this happens. Or maybe the local DC police can remove Trump for trespassing. That would be a sight for sore eyes, huh? Trump dragged out of there in handcuffs.

  152. @DavidF We're all worried about that - or at least the majority of us who who aren't part of this new, dreadful cult of hate and ignorance.

  153. I’m still amazed but not surprised at the audacity of the unhinged left and their thinking. Only they can see people fleeing a failing one party state as a political victory.

  154. @Norville T. Johnston You may recall a recent Democratic presidential candidate who used 'Hope!' as his primary calling card.

  155. Sure hope you are right, that California's free- spirit folks show vulgar Trump the exit door...and help restore democracy in all it's richness, and diversity, by integrating people in solidarity. The current devious attacks by Trump and his republican minions are an outrage...and highly unlikely to help solve California's problems.

  156. This is happening on a much smaller scale in the Northeast. Several friends have moved to NH, ME, and even Philadelphia or Pittsburgh since the last presidential election. A similar exodus is happening in Chicago with a lot of friends there moving to MI, WI, or even IN. My very liberal sister in law just bought a house in KY. I know I cannot be alone in having peers who grew up with me in progressive MA or lived with me in Democratic Chicago decamping for redder states. The irony is, their low cost of living attracts the progressives who then want the taxes and services their blue homestates provided. It's how NH turned blue.

  157. Well, we 3 native Californians leave 2 weeks from today for the Blue Ridge Mtns of North Carolina. Moving smack dab into Meadows district (he is retiring to spend more time with his bigotry). I have already reached out to local offices and will be working to defeat his hand picked successor as well as Tillis. I have sent my introductory letters to the two. 3 solidly blue votes in Western North Carolina.

  158. THANK YOU! This column made my day!

  159. The flaw in the author’s premise is that he does not account for Californians who leave because they are sick of extreme, liberal politics. I am thinking of retiring to Texas because it has no income tax and is not hostile to my political and religious beliefs. On the other hand, California is so beautiful, I might just stay here and be a contrarian gadfly, annoying my liberal neighbors and voting center right. Perhaps I will be on the cutting edge of a pendulum swing to the right in California as more California voters get fed up with the state’s problems and Democratic Party rule. Don’t laugh too hard just yet, it might just happen in my lifetime!

  160. @Platypus : This California center leftist doesn't mind center rightists. It's the extremists on both ends that cause me heartburn.

  161. Then Californians are the proud antibodies created to eradicate a dire threat to our body politic. March on. Be strong. We'll soon purge the scourge.

  162. Keep on coming!! We need you here -- badly!! This is the best good news I have read in a long time. And I don't even care that supposedly this influx of Californians is the reason my rent has skyrocketed.

  163. Meanwhile, Republicans in those states are rushing to suppress as many votes as they can.

  164. @Katherine Kovach Please share with us the evidence you have uncovered.

  165. Yeah, I understand. I live in Northern Illinois. I have wondered if I should move across the border to Wisconsin where my vote might actually count. (It won't in Illinois, a Democrat will win, wasted Democratic vote.) Too late now because of residency rules.

  166. @esp The residency rule is you must have resided in Wisconsin for 28 consecutive days in order to register to vote. It's too late to vote now but not for the November election.

  167. Once the 2020 census results in electoral votes going from the aging rust belt to dynamic states like Colorado and Nevada, the Republicans will be in trouble. And Trump has alienated an entire new generation who will be voting for a long time and are now solidly Democrats. Republicans are committing political suicide to help their bully President. Let's hope that 2020 is the beginning of the end.

  168. @Chris This editorial is incredibly cynical. Isn't the bigger issue why are people fleeing California? Elected officials & even many experts in science have been cowed into silence when it comes to addressing the elephant in California’s living room: population growth. This state is on track to hit 60 million people by mid-century. The biggest casualty of the illegal immigration debate in the U.S. has been the ability to discuss openly the staggering effects of population growth on critical resources such as housing, water, hospitals & schools. Democrats control every important office here. They have obliterated the Republican Party. Affordable housing has always been one of the cornerstones of our party. This state should be a showcase of how well we can execute this policy. Instead, it's yet another example of our complete intellectual bankruptcy. It's also symptomatic of a much bigger problem. The growing divide between some Democrats who want to practice what they preach & fanatical progressives who want to strangle everything. Environmentalists will go to the barricades to stop any housing project from being built here. Mind you we are talking about affordable housing for working-class families. Thanks to their efforts the gateway to middle-class security, has been pushed way beyond their reach. The working class is getting crushed. Embarrassing & unacceptable. We all have a stake in solving this crisis. That's the story. Not whether Arizona will flip in 2020.

  169. @Bill Brown Being a Californian, I take some exception to the disparage (not necessarily the argument) of California by Progressives who are in control of the state. It wasn't long ago that we had Conservative controls in the state (Wilson, Schwarzenegger), and at those times the state always mired in budget battles to the point of deficits ruining the state. Since Brown and now Newsome, the state is flush with budget surplus. None of this should ignore the problems in the state as far as housing is concerned, but something has to be said for how California is and will continue to be economically sound and robust going forward.

  170. @Russell Smith I couldn't disagree more. NIMBYism is the highly coveted diamond standard in California. The process by which a piece of land is approved for new construction can be incredibly cumbersome, time-consuming & risky. The typical approval time for projects in San Francisco is over a year. That doesn’t include when land needs to be “rezoned” for residential development, which can take even longer. A housing project often must go through multiple government agencies, including the planning department, health department, fire department, building department and perhaps most importantly, a city council. The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, requires that local agencies consider the environmental impact of a new housing development before approving it. That sounds like a worthy goal, but the law has often been abused to prevent new developments -- even environmentally friendly ones with high-density housing and bike lanes. According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, CEQA appeals delay a project by an average of two and a half years. This is unacceptable. By any rational standard, California has a severe housing crisis. You have teachers and other middle-class people sleeping in their cars. Emergency action is needed. But none will be forthcoming. Too many Democratic leaders have lucrative sweetheart deals with real estate investors who are the real beneficiaries of this crisis. At every level this is outrageous. I'm shocked we tolerate this.

  171. I hope Texas surprises everyone and returns to blue this year. There are a number of factors creating the blue wave. Thanks to California and Latinos younger voters and the suburbs.

  172. I'm sure it's only a matter of time before Republicans figure out a way to at least try and pass some law that considers anyone moving from a blue state as an immigrant and has to qualify for state citizenship after a lengthy waiting period or other road block. However, I'm sure moving red to blue puts you on a no-wait fast track.

  173. Lived in the SF Bay area for 12 years and loved everything about it except the high taxes. In order to continue living the style we had become accustomed to after retirement, we knew we would need to retire to a state with a more relaxed tax system. I search for two years, studying the pros and cons for most every state other than cold winter states. I was mostly concerned with not settling down in a red state because I knew I would be unhappy regardless how beautiful the state was. I caught up with an old friend from many years back who had moved to Florida (red state at the time). She convinced me to check out Orlando. I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't at all about Disney. It is a beautiful BLUE jewel right in the middle of the state. It has one of the highest populated universities in the nation - UCF - and great job opportunities. It has a youthful population and not what one would expect of Florida with a high retirement population. I say all of this because one doesn't have to settle in a Republican environment when moving to a "red state." Your vote will count more and have a better impact in a red state without the sacrifice. Sure we've made a few Republican friends but I believe in time they will begin to lean a bit more left as we gradually open their minds and hearts. And for those who feel they truly need to be near the ocean, as we did, the beach is only one hour drive from the city.

  174. egan presents no empirical evidence whatsoever that it is the ex-californians who are influencing elections progressively, as opposed to other factors. in idaho, political scientists at boise state university showed several years ago that, in fact, more conservative californians are the ones leaving california - to move to whiter states like idaho. states like idaho and utah - which have had among the most immigrants from california over the last few decades, have become much redder.

  175. I am leaving California and will absolutely NOT be bringing California "values" with me. What are California values? Well, they are radical income disparity, decimation of the middle class, the coddling of billionaires, out of control homelessness, the granting of more rights for illegals than for citizens (the ability to break the law without punishment, free legal assistance, free health care, free housing and other economic assistance), out of control traffic and pollution, incompetent handling of public resources like water, exacerbating drought and fires. I could go on... Thank god Garcetti and Newsom are FINALLY agreeing to Trump admin's federal policy plans to address homelessness and crime. And yes, doing so IS indeed an admission of California's failed political efforts. But we're desperate for a way out of the mess we've created and our own solutions have failed way too many times. Anyone who brings failed California policies to other places is just going to destroy those places as well!

  176. Most wealthy Californians who whine the most about leaving are almost exclusively Republicans, and they’re actually staying here, donating more money to Trump than he’s getting in any other state. Those who are leaving are often looking for a more affordable housing and a lower cost of living, and it’s not clear what their party registration is. Egan should know that some of these neighboring states are sending us their Republicans. In my area, Texans are escaping the increasingly severe weather in their state and moving to wealthy areas along the Californian coast. To the extent they claim this state as their main residence, they’re most definitely registering as Republicans. We also get lots of immigrants from Asia and South Asia. Many are small businessmen and entrepreneurs, who tend to vote Republican. (Although that’s changing, ever since Trump began his ugly vendetta against immigrants, especially those with darker skin and different religions.) Egan presents a cute storyline, but its a dubious one at best.

  177. I seem to recall a campaign several years ago urging those who could to move “home” from New York and California — reliably blue states currently — to vote their values in the states where they came from. It’s a tall order to tell someone to give up living in sunny California or active New York to go back to Oklahoma, Kansas or Nebraska and it would take a lot of folks to make that decision, but the impacts on Colorado, Arizona and Nevada are instructive. And, no, Texas won’t be blue any time soon, but the “Beto effect” in ‘18 flipped our county government here in Houston (including our elected judiciary) from reliably R to suddenly D. So, it can happen with the right candidate at the top of the ticket.

  178. @Mark H Yep, I'm never going back to Southwestern PA, ever.

  179. @Mark H You're not entirely correct. Trump won 52% of the votes in Texas in 2016, compared to Hillary's 43%. A swing of 5% would have put the state in Hillary's favor. Only 60% of eligible voters actually voted in that election in Texas, and only 46% of voting-aged people. That means only 31% of registered voters actually voted for Trump in reliably red Texas. If eligible voters actually registered, and then voted, even Texas could swing in favor of the Democrats. Obviously not all non-voters would vote Democratic, but it illustrates that there is still a lot of wiggle room in future elections.

  180. All the growth in Texas is in the urban centers. It’s slowly turning blue. Wouldn’t be surprised if Bloomie beats Trump there in the general.

  181. We can only hope that this is true. I also think that Trump and his meanspirited approach to life has had as much or more impact. Decent people everywhere know what the man in the WH is all about, and they will put him on the street in November.

  182. Brilliant, Tim Egan, your "reverse Grapes of Wrath" in California today! May the California Diaspora in many red states put paid to Donald Trump's presidency and re-election this year!

  183. A point of clarification: Californians have been invading Colorado for decades. In the early 70s, we had a saying: "Don't Californicate Colorado."

  184. Thank you for an enlightening column. Let me add these observations. Presidents are elected by the states, not the voters. The great migration out of California has had a greater impact on presidential elections than most of us understand. That may be very bad for Trump in 2020, but perhaps not as good for progressive policy as many of us hope. The population of California is about 40 million. The Tokyo metropolitan area has a population of about 38 million. What is happening when a president supported by a cadre of small state political interest holds New York and California hostage? As a nation we ought to take a hard look at gerrymandering, wasted vote redistricting and the direct connection between population and the economy. We might find persuasive evidence that our nation and our people would be served better by direct election of the president. The political barriers are great. I hope that they are not too great to be overcome.

  185. My daughter went to CU back in the day and I remember seeing signs saying “Don’t Californiate Colorado.” If it turns the state blue, it will be a perfect example of every dark cloud having a silver lining.

  186. Nice so long as they don't vote for Sanders.

  187. I get that people don't want to move to West Virginia, Tennessee or Mississippi ( I almost laughed ); and that California is a victim of it's own success and climate. Because the south and parts of the Midwest that have lots of room are sad places not just in politics but in the most basic of civilized ways. I'm sorry, I lived in GA for a few years and once you leave Atlanta its a 3rd world country. It's really not throwing shade at these places when you look around at a these rural lands with decimated infrastructure, dirty hospitals, and miles of boarded up strip malls with a few churches sprinkled in between to think Oh Yes, I want to spend my life here?

  188. If you are thinking of moving, just 80,000 people, move to Wyoming. It's beautiful there, Grand Tetons, entrance to Yellowstone,.,,, Senator Barrasso was reelected with only 136,210 votes--- that's not the margin, that's his TOTAL vote (vs 61,227 for the Democrat) Their other Senate seat is up in 2020.

  189. As Californians move to Arizona, Arizona Republicans are moving to disenfranchise many state voters who reliably vote Democratic. This Party talks a fine game about voters but does its utmost in many states to limit them and to limit the actions of any Democrat governor as well. The Party lies and it’s chosen leader also lies. They are true “Elitists.”

  190. But herein lies the problem. Californians ruined the state for themselves. So now they are leaving. But when they arrive in relatively successful red states, the first thing the do is set about ruining their new state. In this way, they will ruin the entire country, many just completely oblivious to what they are doing. Others are doing it with intent because they believe ruination is a valid goal and we need crisis everywhere to make the revolution successful. Maybe we need a wall around California. I am all for the secession of California from the Union. They've proven they cant run their own state, dont let their emigres take control of your state.

  191. @bored critic This is comical, if California were to secede from the US, it would be those conservative states that would lose. There are over 40 Deep Water ports in California, how much do you think Walmart could be charged for their cheap Chinese goods getting to those red states? Let alone the tax revenue that California sends to the federal government. I always love how red states like to look a gift horse in the mouth when they speak of their disgust of California.

  192. @bored critic The tax money from California supports an awful lot of people in Red States. America couldn't survive without it.

  193. Careful - if the Republican party catches on they will institute internal passports so you can't move between states without permission. Don't laugh.

  194. MJ Hegar, a combat veteran and Mother of two young children with a purple heart is running against our Trump enabling Senator Cornyn, who is beholden to the fossil fuels industry and the Medical insurance industry. Let's hope Texans recognize a true Texan and vote Blue.

  195. Hey, let's turn the state we moved to into the state we needed to move from. We're smart!

  196. California, and the whole west coast represent the future. The east coast represents the past. The south represents the 19th century.

  197. California, and the whole west coast represent the future. The east coast represents the past. The south represents the 19th century.

  198. California-ism does appear to be becoming a pan-virus of disturbing reach and morbidity.

  199. Not everyone leaves CA because they can't afford it; people leave for new jobs or for family, for love or even because they need the challenge to see the world differently. I love CA but I've always said tech should spread out throughout the country for the economic good of all incuding CA democratic values. We do believe the environment is sacred as is all life. I am certain everyone shares this belief but, unlike many states, CA does what we should be doing to make that belief a reality. And, we are all enriched.

  200. I would like to add that Californians who moved to states like Oregon, Washington and Colorado years ago and who are now finding those states more expensive to live in are looking at other more affordable options such as Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia and even parts of Texas. Not only do these states offer lower costs of living, but warmer climates and a changing political scape. Case in point: Virginia. I say this as someone who was born and raised in Southern California, moved to Colorado for 26 years, lived and worked in Texas, Virginia, and now in Oregon.

  201. Even better would be Puerto Rico becomes a state.

  202. @Joseph M Puerto Ricans can vote. Many are now fellow Floridians, people who had to leave their homes behind because the current administration did nothing to help them rebuild.

  203. @Gabriele Fiorentino But are they voting and if so, for whom?

  204. @Joseph M And Washington, DC.

  205. Something I read years ago "as California goes, so goes America"

  206. What the Senate, Electoral College, Cabinet and Supreme Court of the United States that America is not and never was meant to be ' our democracy' ? America is and always has been a very peculiar kind of republic. A divided limited different power constitutional republic of united states where the Founding Fathers only originally intended that white Anglo-Saxon Protestant men who owned property including their enslaved black African men, women and children and the lands and natural resources stolen from brown aboriginal Indigenous Native nation men, women and children were divinely naturally created equal persons with certain unalienable rights of life,liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Mrs. William Jefferson Clinton won 4 million more votes in California than Mr. Melania Knavs Trump in 2016. But those votes didn't count nor matter in allocating meaningful Electoral College majority votes in any other state.

  207. I am beyond happy to read Mr. Edsall's remarks about Donald Trump because they're refreshingly honest. No beating around the bush. He calls Trump "the vile and corrupt man occupying the White House." Trump governs "while trashing California with his gutter mouth," Edsall writes. "Trump treats these fellow citizens," he says of Californians, "as aliens." If Americans are not enraged by every action of our president, it's because they aren't paying attention--or they are watching Fox News. At least here in the New York Times, readers can occasionally find accurate descriptions of Donald J. Trump, the worst president in our entire history.

  208. There’s a lot of wishful thinking in this piece. I share the hope that Trump and the GOP is trounced in November, but articles like this make it seem a forgone conclusion. My guess.... the DEMs field a rubbish candidate and many DEM voters stay home, with Trump winning again. In my lifetime (b. 1971), excluding the never-elected Johnson, only two presidents have not won a second term, Carter and GHW Bush. Trump has a seemingly booming economy and incumbency on his side. Demographics and migration statistics might give us false hope.

  209. California leading the future of the rest of America - sure, that has been going on for a while. and as to old conservative argument that they want to 'build things' and not depend on the federal government, the California has built, in just the past ten years, Tesla, SpaceX, Uber to add to those old businesses like Google, Apple, facebook . - All while not vilifying immigrants, with more than 4 ethnic groups living without significant discord, AND sending more to the US Federal government than it receives. Is the Golden State 'Red' state enough ?

  210. @Ramesh G Your comment is very true. As a life- long Californian, I still consider FB "new". I remember Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard, as well as Jobs and Wozniak poking around in their garages to create the unfathomable "home computer". California is, and always will be, the home of innovation. And every tolerant person is welcome here, despite ethnicity.

  211. @Ramesh G "California" did not build Tesla, SpaceX, Apple, Google, Facebook and Uber. Private entrepreneurs built them.

  212. @peversma It is no coincidence they are all based in California

  213. Wouldn't that be nice. I am a transplanted former CA resident from the late 70's/early 80's, long before this trashy crew moved into 1600 PA Avenue NW. It would be ironic if the values of the Golden State that the "right wing" hates the most undid them.

  214. Californians are from all over the country. The people who never leave their home state are the more conservative because they are less aware of different cultures, ideas and religions. They fear the “other”. On the other hand, even without Progressive Californians, the world is a smaller place because of the internet. Less religion, less isolation, more knowledge is a good thing.

  215. One can only hope that this rosy outcome happens! I’m desperate enough to believe that Donald the Destroyer is an aberration, but still wary of the Rub machine. Unless we flip the Senate, the grim reaper is still the biggest threat to reform.

  216. Came from SF where my vote did not count, now in Texas I may make a difference and turn a senator from red to blue.

  217. On the subject of primaries, I think it's time to pull the plug on these first 4 states getting all the outsized attention from the candidates. Every one of them must leave Iowa having promised to continue the ethanol stupidity. It's time for Illinois or some other large, much more diverse Midwestern state to declare their primary day to be the same day as Iowa. More candidates would be judged in the first cut by a much larger and diverse electorate. It would actually be a meaningful contest.

  218. The same can be said for ex New Yorkers who move to places like Virginia, Delaware or the Carolinas where a steady blue dye can be seen coloring those states.

  219. California has burdened us Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan. But it has recently "canned" Darryl Issa and now if it could get rid of Devin Nunes there might cause for celebration. Liberal diaspora from California? Maybe. But perhaps just wishful thinking?

  220. @Fred Ha! Not so fast...Darryl Issa is currently running for Duncan Hunter's vacant seat in the 50th congressional district. He and Carl DiMaio are running ads constantly trying to out-Trump each other and proclaim they have more loyalty to trump than the other. That appears to be the sole basis of their campaigns judging by their ads. One thing California-bashers seem to forget is that we have had decades of mass migration into our state, especially midwesterners who constantly complain about California, all the while informing us of their superiority because they are so "down to earth" and have "midwestern values", whatever that is. They never seem to be able to articulate it. I was recently told by a neighbor who is a transplant from rural Illinois that midwesterners have a superior work ethic. I asked him how is it that lazy, freeloading, liberal CA is the 5th largest economy in the world?

  221. @Kat Vote blue in the 50th: https://www.campacampaign.com/ And, Kat, just getting through daily life in the Midwest is harder and requires more work. Surviving in -10 temperatures, like what I woke up to in Minnesota today, is challenging. Contrast my relatives in SoCal, who can walk out the door in shorts and flip-flops just about any day of the year. Hence that "work ethic" we Midwesterners have, of necessity.

  222. Wow. It is clear Trump really has changed the rhetoric judging by all the comments comparing Californians to "viruses" and "invaders." It wouldn't be so comical if other states didn't siphon off of California's tax dollars. Fair warning to other states: when your state actually becomes desirable to live in, housing prices will also go up.

  223. We actually see this happening within California, as people move from the expensive coastal areas to the more affordable Central Valley with the improved economy. Flipped a few districts in 2018 from red to blue. Hoping that they can vote out that odious Devin Nunes in 2020, but that's a tall order - that area is pretty solid Republican.