Friday, January 6, 2023

California’s Losing Population and Power

California’s population dropped more than 200,000 primarily from people leaving the state. U.S. Census data shows California joining Illinois and New York with the largest population losses (California 218,000, New York 222,000, Illinois 110,000) from July 2021 to June 2022. The two biggest winners of domestic migrants are Florida and Texas.

The decline in California’s population will mean less political power. The state is already losing seniority with the retirement of Nancy Pelosi and Diane Feinstein. But beyond the change in personnel will be:

  • If the pace of loss keeps up, the state will lose another Congressional seat (or even two) in 2030. The out migration could accelerate.
  • The big winners are the two most influential Republican states of Florida and Texas, second and third largest Congressional delegations and electoral vote counts.
  • Florida is the home of a leading Republican candidate for president in 2024, Governor Ron DeSantis. California’s potential Democratic candidate, Governor Gavin Newsom (claiming no interest in 2024), has a major handicap in leading a state that hundreds of thousands are leaving every year.
Gavin and DeSantis Creator: Mark J. Terrill | Credit: AP

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