With 39 million residents, California is by far the most populous state, a fact that often works out to the political disadvantage of its inhabitants under American federalism. California gets just two senators, the same as Wyoming, which has 67 times fewer people. California’s immense size also makes such a state with diverse interest sometimes difficult to govern. So how might things look if California were split into multiple states?
Although it’s extremely unlikely to happen, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper is backing a proposed 2018 ballot measure that would do that very thing by splitting California into three. Draper’s push to carve up the Golden State likely stems from his desire to see Republicans gain more power in Southern California, but it’s an intriguing idea to ponder.
As shown on the map above, there’s a more reasonable way to split up California than Draper’s proposal. In this post, we’ll look at the political impact of splitting California up into three states. The coastal North would hold 8 million people, the Central Valley 7 million, and Southern California a staggering 23 million. If California became three states based on these lines, Democrats could stand to gain four more Senate seats, forcing Mike Pence to have to act as tiebreaker.
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