The official poverty measure obscures the point. If you use it, California has a poverty rate that is just a tick below the national average. If you use the supplemental poverty measure — among other things, it accounts for the cost of housing — California has the highest poverty rate in the country. At 17.2 percent, it is worse than the other 50 states, worse than D.C., and accordingly much worse than the national average.
The state’s failure on poverty should count heavily against its governance — especially, given their professed priorities, for progressives.