Tomorrow, Californians will vote in a gubernatorial election, but judging by television ads and lawn signs, you’d never know it. Incumbent Gov. Gavin Newsom is up by more than 20 points on his Republican challenger, who has raised a paltry $400,000 for the entire race. Newsom isn’t running any television ads, and his campaign website doesn’t include a platform.
With the Democratic governor cruising to such an easy victory tomorrow, one might expect Californians to be extremely happy with the direction in which their state is going. But the opposite is true. The most recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California shows 54% of likely voters believe their state is headed in the wrong direction. Compare that to say, Florida, where the flip side is true: 57% of Florida voters say their state is on the right track.
And Californians have every reason to believe their state is heading in the wrong direction. California has the highest poverty rate of any state in the entire country. Its reading and math scores were already far behind the national average before COVID, and it has only fallen further behind after Newsom shut down schools for longer than most other states.
Crime is rising steadily in Newsom’s California, as is the number of homeless, which is now higher than that of any other state. Newsom had pledged to fight homelessness by building 3.5 million homes by 2025, but in four years, only 452,000 new homes have even been permitted, let alone built. He has now lowered his goal to 2.5 million homes permitted (not built) by 2030. No one expects him to reach that goal either.
Newsom’s efforts to build a high-speed rail system have also been a complete and total failure. Originally sold as a $33 billion project that would connect San Francisco and Los Angeles by 2020, the project is now estimated to cost $113 billion, and the first segment connecting Merced to Bakersfield isn’t scheduled to be completed until 2030.
Adding to California’s transportation woes, the state now has the highest gas prices in the nation, all thanks to the state’s own carbon regulations and gas taxes. The state has even pledged to ban sales of all gas-powered cars by 2035 while asking consumers not to charge their electric vehicles due to the state’s continued inability to produce reliable levels of energy.
No wonder millions of middle-class families are fleeing Newsom’s California every year. For the first time ever, California lost population in 2020 — and again in 2021.
Lucky for them, Californians still live in the United States and are therefore allowed to escape to better-governed Republican states such as Arizona, Florida, Idaho, and Texas, which they have been doing in droves. But what if Democrats get their way and make the rest of the country a one-party state like California?
Where will middle-class families flee to then?