A new poll from UC Berkeley has found that over half of all Californians have given at least “some consideration” to move to another state.
While California has seen a jump in moving outside the state in recent years, the Berkeley poll has shown that nearly a quarter of all residents have given it serious consideration – the highest percentage ever polled. This number is on par with a Gallup poll from 2015 that showed similar numbers. As discussed in the Globe‘s series ‘Leaving California’, former Californians have been partially motivated to go because of high housing costs and the general cost-of-living.
The Berkeley poll also revealed the influence of political differences, as 85% of people identifying as a Republican blamed California’s political climate for wanting a move; 77% of Republicans thinking of a move also cited taxes being too high to live in the state anymore.
“This is a far cry from what California used to be only 30 years ago,” explained Stuart Conner, a pollster who tracks historical trends in Orange County. “Going into the 80’s, while California certainly did have a strong Democratic and liberal presence, especially in the Bay Area and Los Angeles, it was still considered to be red. This was Nixon’s state, and Reagan’s. But as California gained more seats and attracted more and more people who were liberal, Republicans became fewer and fewer. Today we only have a small handful of Congressmen who are red, and in Sacramento both the Senate and the Assembly are majority blue.”
“A lot of remaining Republicans don’t like what the state has become and they’re going. From the polls I’ve helped to conduct we’ve found that many of those moving go to Arizona or Texas, two states that are red as well as warmer year round.”
However the poll also found that younger people in California are more willing to stay, as they have an overall younger population, a trend of Democratic leanings, and large amounts of tech jobs that appeal to younger people.
The poll also revealed that half of all Californians considered California the best state to live in.
What does this say about the future?
“Based on Berkeley, Gallup, and polls we conduct, California is going to get more blue, with more Republicans moving out, barring some major demographic change,” said Conner. “We’ve seen it before, such as the Dust Bowl bringing many conservative voters to California, and the rise of the counter-cultural movement solidifying San Francisco as solidly blue in the 60’s and 70’s.”
“But right now the biggest movers are older Republicans and younger and middle aged people in the lower-middle class leaving California because of costs. It also shows, that if housing isn’t made more affordable or wages don’t go up, California may be seeing more people leave. That means possible lost congressional seats and a reduced overall tax base.”
“Only time can tell at this point.”