SACRAMENTO (KPIX 5) – When we think of political polarization, we usually think of Washington, D.C., but a recent study shows that California’s politics are actually more polarized than Congress.
Using voting records and a national survey, two political science professors ranked all 50 state legislatures according to how far apart their left wing and right wing politicians are. California blew away the competition. Colorado and Arizona and Washington followed the Golden State.
While there might be a big distance between our political left and our political right, because the political left dominates the legislature, it can get things done without consulting Republicans at all. In Washington, D.C. the power of the parties is more evenly split, which is a recipe for a stalemate. However, the study found that both New York and Connecticut were more liberal than California. 18 states scored as being more conservative than Congress.
According to the authors of the study, California’s legislature is more polarized than the voters. In fact, most Californians are politically in the middle of the two parties. This may explain why lots of Californians – including some Democrats – aren’t happy with the Democrat-controlled legislature. A recent poll by the Public Policy Institute of California showed that only 36 percent of California voters approve of the legislature.
So, next time you’re watching the news and think to yourself, ‘what are those politicians doing? They are going way too far!’ According to this study, you are probably right.