September 27, 2019 / 8:28 PM / 19 days ago

Half of California voters have considered leaving over housing costs, politics -poll

LOS ANGELES, Sept 27 (Reuters) - More than half of California voters have thought about moving out of the nation’s most populous state, citing the high cost of housing, taxes or it’s political culture, according to a University of California, Berkeley poll released on Friday.

The survey of 4,527 registered California voters conducted by the university’s Institute of Governmental Studies found that 52% had given “serious” or “some” consideration to leaving - with most citing some of the highest housing costs in the nation.

“However, there are significant partisan and ideological differences when examining the opinions of voters giving serious consideration to moving out of state, as three times as many Republicans and conservatives as Democrats and liberals report this,” the poll’s authors said.

California is considered a deeply blue state in presidential elections, voting reliably for the Democratic candidate each year since 1992. Both houses of its state legislature and the governorship are controlled by liberal Democrats.

Most voters in the poll, 71%, cited housing costs as the reason they had considered leaving California, a feeling reflected more in younger people. Another 48% of respondents said “high taxes” were driving them to consider leaving, while 46% gave the state’s political culture as a reason.

“Two in three of the state’s registered voters (65%) say they consider California a land of opportunity for people like themselves and their family, while 35% do not,” the authors reported.

“However, views about this are also highly partisan and ideological, with about twice as many Democrats and liberals as Republicans and conservatives saying this,” they said.

The poll, which was conducted Sept. 13-18 for the Los Angeles Times, also found that 50% of California voters considered the state to be “one of the best places to live,” up from the 43% who felt that way in 2013.

In 1977, however, a full 75% of state voters called California one of the best places to live with only 2% scoring it “poor.”

The study’s authors said that the partisan and ideological differences in voters’ feelings about living in California had widened even since 2013. (Reporting by Dan Whitcomb Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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