One-third of Californians support Calexit
posted at 3:01 pm on January 24, 2017 by John Sexton
Reuters has a poll out which found a surprising number of Californians are ready to secede from the union now that Donald Trump is president:
One in every three California residents supports the most populous U.S. state’s peaceful withdrawal from the union, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll, many of them Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s ascension to the country’s highest office.
The 32 percent support rate is sharply higher than the last time the poll asked Californians about secession, in 2014, when one-in-five or 20 percent favored it around the time Scotland held its independence referendum and voted to remain in the United Kingdom.
California also far surpasses the national average favoring secession, which stood at 22 percent, down from 24 percent in 2014.
There is already a move to get Calexit on the ballot in 2019. Here’s a sample of the pitch:
In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children…
In 2016, the United Kingdom voted to leave the international community with their “Brexit” vote. Our “Calexit” referendum is about California joining the international community.
Reuters write up on its poll results does not break the responses down by party but it does indicate the support for secession is especially strong among disillusioned Democrats. It would be interesting to see what percentage of California Democrats are ready to bolt the United States because of Trump.
Of course California isn’t the only state which has flirted with abandoning the U.S. Prior to the election, Public Policy Polling, which often asks gag questions intended to embarrass Republicans, found that 40% of Texans would consider secession if Clinton won the election.
This still sounds like a fringe idea but the numbers suggest a lot of regular people on the right and the left are open to it. If the country continues to polarize, you have to assume the states which represent the far ends of the political continuum—California, Texas and maybe New York—could eventually see this become a majority opinion.