Politics & Policy

Nearly 70 Percent of Californians Oppose Seceding from the Union

California’s secession movement, CalExit, gained momentum immediately following Donald Trump’s victory in November, but it seems to have already fizzled out.

“Yes California,” the leading political action committee fighting for California’s independence from the union, capitalized on the shift in public opinion after Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly carried the state on Election Day. Last January, for example, the campaign committee submitted a proposal to Secretary of State Alex Padilla, allowing it to collect the signatures necessary to create a ballot-box measure for the November 2018 election. The proposal, intended to repeal the provision in California’s Constitution that describes the state’s relationship to the union, must receive 585,407 signatures by July 25 in order to qualify for the ballot.

According to a Berkeley IGS Poll published on Monday, nearly 70 percent of Californians say they will oppose the CalExit provisions if it makes it onto the 2018 ballot. The majority of Californians may loathe Trump, but not enough to declare their state’s independence.

The leaders of “Yes California” argue that “the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values.” Kevin de León, the Democratic leader of the California State Senate, has echoed this sentiment: He and his Democratic legislators — who hold a super majority in both legislative chambers — argue that they ought to resist the Trump administration to safeguard “the values of the people of California.”

Indeed, Democratic legislators have resisted Trump in his mere 69 days in office, and this effort seems to have failed in the eyes of the public. According to the Berkeley IGS Poll, 53 percent of Californians would rather have their state leaders compromise with Trump than oppose him — especially “if it risks negative consequences and losses in federal funding.”

The liberal safe haven can’t always choose the president. It’s time for California’s leaders to listen to their constituents: compromise with the Trump administration, don’t resist.

Austin Yack — Austin Yack is a William F. Buckley Fellow in Political Journalism at the National Review Institute and a University of California, Santa Barbara alumnus.

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