Friday, February 24, 2012

California is not loved …

I don't get it. According to Public Policy Polling, my state is viewed less favorably than any other in a national opinion survey. A lot of people don't like us: California ranks 27 percent favorable and 44 percent unfavorable, lower in positive responses than any other state. Huh?

In the cross tabs there is some data about who thinks well of us and who doesn't. Note that there is nothing overwhelming in any of this; these opinions seem more vague notions than some decided revulsion.

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Men like us a lot less than women.

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Republicans really don't like us, while Democrats feel a little better. Note these are Republicans nationally -- there are lots of states where Republicans make up a larger fraction of the whole than in California.

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The majority of white respondents disapprove of us; others are more mixed with Latinos most favorable. The latter is not surprising; Latinos are the largest ethnic group on the state.

All I can draw from this is that California is on the cutting (sometimes bleeding) edge of continuing changes in what this United States is becoming. And these changes make all the groups who perceive themselves as losing status uncomfortable. We're a laboratory for diversity and social egalitarianism as well as smog and sprawl.

I do love California. I moved here almost 50 years ago because, unlike either the Rust Belt where I was born or New England whose mountains speak to my soul, this place draws in fascinating, jostling people still making an uncharted future. It's a mess -- often -- but it is never boring and sometimes revelatory.

3 comments:

Kay Dennison said...

I like California -- more specifically northern California and particularly your fair city!! I left my heart there decades ago. It' has an energy/attitude that really touched my heart.

MadPriest said...

My guess, as a complete outsider, is that the poll results may be a reaction to the amount of attention California gets. The image of the state that we get from films and television is that California is full of smug, rich, arrogant, self-possessed actors and media types. California likes to advertise itself as being better than everywhere else, sunnier, more modern and full of the most beautiful, talented people. It's human nature to respond to such continued claims with jealousy.

I realise, of course, that although the above aspect of California does exist, it is only a very small segment.

janinsanfran said...

Hey Mad Priest -- I guess you watched the Oscars. I really can't blame anyone who doesn't like California because they think it full of those "beautiful" twits. If those folks were representative of my neighbors, I'd hightail it out of here.

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