Poll shows half of registered CA voters considered leaving state

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A UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll found that more than half of its respondents had considered leaving California for financial or political reasons.

The report surveyed 4,527 individuals from different age groups, ethnicities, political parties and ideologies, regions and genders. The survey consisted of four questions and was administered through email to registered California voters — determined through a random sample — from Sept. 13 to 18.

According to the poll, 71 percent of respondents said they would consider moving because of the high cost of housing. Of those who indicated they would move, 58 percent cited high taxes, while 46 percent said they would move because of the state’s political culture.

The impact of California’s cost of housing was consistent among racial and ethnic groups in the report, but individuals between the ages of 18 to 29 who considered moving were far more likely to cite housing costs.

According to ASUC External Affairs Vice President Varsha Sarveshwar, the state’s rising housing costs have especially impacted younger voters.

“It’s not surprising that so many Californians are thinking about leaving the state,” Sarveshwar said in an email.This state has a housing affordability crisis, and is steadily pricing out people who are young, renters, low-income and working-class, and from communities of color.”

Of those who said they wanted to leave the state, people of color were more likely to cite high costs of housing, according to the poll.

The poll also examined ways in which partisanship affected Californians’ desire to leave.

While some elements of the report were consistent among both dominant political parties — including the impact of high housing costs — Democrats and Republicans cited different reasons for wanting to leave.

Thirty-eight percent of registered Democrats said they considered moving out of the state, while 71 percent of Republicans voiced a desire to leave, according to the report. Similarly, 43 percent of responders who identified as “very liberal” considered moving whereas 74 percent of individuals identifying as “very conservative” said the same.

Registered Republicans said they considered leaving mainly because of California’s high taxes and political climate.

According to the report, 36 percent of Democrats and 77 percent of Republicans cited high taxes as a reason to leave California. Similarly, 11 percent of Democrats said they would leave due to California’s political culture, in comparison to 85 percent of Republicans.

At the moment, the issue of rising housing costs should be a priority as it has led many Californians to consider leaving the state, according to Sarveshwar.

“When state legislators return to Sacramento in January, I hope that they see this crisis for what it is and prioritize passing legislation that will address our dramatic housing shortage,” Sarveshwar said in an email.

Contact Aditya Katewa at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @adkatewa1.