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Why do people see California this way?

Hoplite

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This has come up a fair bit in the last few days and especially today during the election.

There seems to be a fairly large slice of people who seem to think California is this bastion of "liberal-ness" and that we're this unabashedly left-wing state two steps from nationalizing all our businesses.

But if you really look at what goes on in California, we're not that liberal. For instance, the infamous Prop 8 passed with 54% (IIRC) of the popular vote, how did something that almost everyone labels as "leftist" actually pass? Just today with Prop 19, the legalization of marijuana, it failed to pass, getting only 45% of the vote (Currently not all the results are in so that number may change, but it's projected currently to not pass). Our governors and elected officials tend to be a mix of Democrat and Republican.

I would say our population centers (LA, San Fransisco, Sacramento, San Diego, etc etc) tend to be more liberal, but that's the case no matter where you go in the nation; urban areas are almost always more liberal than less urban areas.

I dont see a reason to call California liberal. We seem to be a fairly middle of the road state.
 

tacomancer

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I think what happens is that when many people think of California, they think of San Fransisco. They forget about it is a large state and the north side is actually pretty conservative.
 

digsbe

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When people think about California they think of San Francisco and LA, which are 2 very liberal city (with San Francisco being infamous/famous for its hard left liberalism). I almost moved to California once to Redding. Outside of the coastal regions California is more conservative. The city of San Diego is also more conservative. When it comes to presidential/senate elections Cali almost always goes Democrat, and usually very liberal Demcorats. When it comes to the House the other areas of Cali elect Republicans. I would say it is a more socially liberal state because their politicians advocate for radical changes (legalizing gay marriage, marijuana, etc). However, many of the people in California don't support this (as seen in recent voting results). I think people think California is a fringe hard left state because of the 2 main cities that represent it, San Francisco and LA. Not only this, but due to their senators and Nancy Pelosi who is (and won't be for long) the Speaker of the House. Both the Senators and Pelosi are very liberal. Plus, when most people visit California they go to the coast, not necessarily to the more conservative areas, thus giving visitors the liberal impression.
 

jallman

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This has come up a fair bit in the last few days and especially today during the election.

There seems to be a fairly large slice of people who seem to think California is this bastion of "liberal-ness" and that we're this unabashedly left-wing state two steps from nationalizing all our businesses.

But if you really look at what goes on in California, we're not that liberal. For instance, the infamous Prop 8 passed with 54% (IIRC) of the popular vote, how did something that almost everyone labels as "leftist" actually pass? Just today with Prop 19, the legalization of marijuana, it failed to pass, getting only 45% of the vote (Currently not all the results are in so that number may change, but it's projected currently to not pass). Our governors and elected officials tend to be a mix of Democrat and Republican.

I would say our population centers (LA, San Fransisco, Sacramento, San Diego, etc etc) tend to be more liberal, but that's the case no matter where you go in the nation; urban areas are almost always more liberal than less urban areas.

I dont see a reason to call California liberal. We seem to be a fairly middle of the road state.

It's San Francisco Bay and LA that give it the reputation. Granted, California overall is still more left leaning than most of the rest of the nation but it has its varied regions.

I love San Diego. Cleanest most well run city in California. It's practically a paradise after living in LA.
 

phattonez

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Did you see the election results? Democrats seemed to win every statewide election. Republicans only won in this state in the local elections.
 

Hoplite

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Did you see the election results? Democrats seemed to win every statewide election. Republicans only won in this state in the local elections.
You need to look beyond a single election and look at the pattern of past elections.

California actually enacted a constitutional ban on gay marriage, that is NOT something a liberal state really would go for and we just struck down a bill to decriminalize marijuana.
 

phattonez

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You need to look beyond a single election and look at the pattern of past elections.

California actually enacted a constitutional ban on gay marriage, that is NOT something a liberal state really would go for and we just struck down a bill to decriminalize marijuana.

Actually every state has done that (at least not supporting gay marriage), so comparatively speaking, California seems to be the most Democratic state in the union.
 

Cardinal

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As a lot of people have already said, the liberal-ness is in LA proper and San Francisco. The nuttiest, most conservative people on this forum would feel right at home everywhere else.

Go to Bakersfield for a day and tell me all of California is a liberal bastion.
 

Hoplite

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Actually every state has done that (at least not supporting gay marriage), so comparatively speaking, California seems to be the most Democratic state in the union.
Last I remember, gay marriage was legally recognized in several other states in the US
 

jallman

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As a lot of people have already said, the liberal-ness is in LA proper and San Francisco. The nuttiest, most conservative people on this forum would feel right at home everywhere else.

Go to Bakersfield for a day and tell me all of California is a liberal bastion.

Oh dude...Bakersfield is actually kinda scary...
 

phattonez

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phattonez

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If I recall correctly, yes

As I don't know this off of the top of my head, do you know which states?

Massachusetts - court decision
Vermont - legislature
Connecticut - legislature
District of Columbia - legislature
Iowa - court decision
New Hampshire - legislature

So I don't see a popular vote supporting same sex marriage anywhere. Saying then that because California banned it by popular vote does not mean that other states would not have done the same.
 
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