by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
As California gets bluer than blue, one might say that conservatives get sadder than sad. I offer an apology to Michael Johnson for appropriating his easy-listening lyric, but the trip down radio memory lane is inspired by Chuck DeVore‘s latest Federalist column.
More than half of California voters have thought about moving out of state, according to a new poll from the Institute of Governmental Studies at U.C. Berkeley. A full 74 percent of the state’s very conservative voters say they’re looking into moving, and 84 percent of those cite California’s political culture as their rationale for leaving.
Unsurprisingly, the high cost of housing is mentioned by 71 percent of California voters who have considered moving out-of-state. More than half of voters ages 18 to 39 have thought about moving out of state, with more than 80 percent of that group citing high housing costs as the reason.
So, lots of Californians want to move. Who can blame them?
While wages in the state are generally higher than in the rest of the nation (especially close to the Pacific Coast), so too are housing costs, which more than eat up the higher earnings. For instance, workers moving from the tech industry in the San Francisco Bay Area to Austin, Texas, would, all things being equal, see an immediate 46 percent increase in their standard of living. Rent in San Francisco is about three times higher than in Austin.
While the main focus of the poll was Californians’ frustration with high housing costs—much of which is due to the state’s overbearing regulations—the poll’s other big takeaway was the degree to which California’s increasing ideological dominance by the left is driving conservative dissatisfaction within the state.