California Breakup Plan ‘Dead on Arrival,’ Says GOP Leader

Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon predicts voters won't want four more liberal Democratic senators in Congress

Californians will vote this fall on a proposal to split itself into three states, but a Republican Party leader in the Golden State dismissed the idea Friday.

“It’s dead on arrival, but it does spark some interesting conversations about what’s wrong with California, what’s wrong here with the big cities that are very liberal here in California,” Republican National Committeewoman Harmeet Dhillon said Friday night Fox News’ “The Ingraham Angle.”

Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper has pushed the idea for several years, arguing the state has grown too big to be governed effectively. This month, he finally got enough signatures to place the measure on the November ballot.

Under the proposal, California would become three states — with lower-income areas dispersed in such a way that all would be wealthier, on average, than the current state.

The new state of California would consist of Los Angeles, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties. An analysis by the Sacramento Bee shows it would have a median household income of $86,915, compared with $63,800 for all of current California.

It would also be reliably liberal. The Bee reports that Democrat Hillary Clinton would have defeated President Donald Trump there, 69 percent to 25 percent, in 2016.

The new state of Northern California basically would cover the upper half of the state, dominated by the San Francisco metropolitan area. It would have a $101,202 household median income and would have backed Clinton by a margin of 65 percent to 28 percent.

Finally, the new state of Southern California would make up the rest of the current state. It would have a household median income of $83,438. And while the 2016 presidential contest would have been closer there, Clinton still would have won a comfortable victory of 58 percent to 42 percent.

Dhillon predicted voters will reject it.

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“This is a wacky proposal that has been put on the ballot by a billionaire … It’s gonna fail,” she said. “For starters, who wants six liberal Democratic senators in Congress? I don’t think anybody wants that. The way these lines are drawn, it’s going to be two liberal states and one moderate state that will still probably vote liberal.”

Even if voters did decide to break up the mega-state, that would not be the final word. Congress would have to approve it, and the president could veto it. Odds are high that Republicans across the country would not be eager to multiply California’s political influence by tripling the number of senators west of Nevada and Arizona.

But progressives can dream.

PoliZette senior writer Brendan Kirby can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.