Politics is a convoluted subject regardless of where you’re from, where you are or where you intend to go. While every country has its own political direction, when it comes to the United States of America, politics from within our borders has a tendency to affect those outsides of our borders. It comes with being considered the biggest power in the world. The whole world looks to us to take the lead on various topics and, based on that, promote ideals or go against them completely. Simply put, US politics directly or indirectly influence politics around the globe.
Still, when we look inside our borders, things aren’t as simple as other people might think. Unfortunately, we reached a point where the divide in the country is extreme. What’s even worse is that the divide starts from the Senate seats, goes through every media outlet, and reaches the households of many Americans. Over the past few years, due to politics, families were broken, relationships were destroyed, and parents fought with their children. All of this came as a direct result of politicians and their discourse.
If we zoom in even closer and visit the state of California, we can see how things can change and develop and how these changes influence the residents of those states. There are many reasons why people move from one part of the country to another. People commonly reach those decisions based on job opportunities, loved ones, or the desire to change their surroundings. Some even move across the country because of the weather. Still, these changes can change the political make-up of different states. This, in turn, can influence politics in different states. Further on, we’ll take a closer look at how politics can change due to migratory patterns of the population and how the migratory patterns of the population can change due to politics.
Changing demographics change politics
Due to the 2020 census, the congressional district in California was affected by the change in demographics. After every census, the redistricting process takes place. To refresh your memory, the redistricting process takes into account the data from the last census and draws the political districts. These political districts are used to elect Congress members and state legislators. This happens because population changes occur, and the districts need to maintain the number of people. When this happens, both politicians and voters are affected. While politicians may lose their positions to represent their district in Congress, voters are shifted into new districts.
Based on the 2021 redistricting process, California lost a House seat due to a slowed population growth. Furthermore, the new districts increased the share of districts with a majority of Latino population to 30%. This gives more voting power to Latinos in California, and the possible result can come as a benefit for Democrats. Still, the ramifications are countless, and California could see a reshaping period of its political landscape that will impact the next decade.
Constant politics change demographics
If you’ve never heard of the social phenomenon of political migration, we’ve got news for you. The United States of America is becoming increasingly more polarized from a geographical point of view. People across the US tend to move to another state or even district to be closer to people who share their political views and ideologies. While it is normal for people to be drawn to other people who share their views and ideologies, there is an additional side effect when this happens due to drastically different political opinions.
We all see how every national election goes, and we are all familiar with the vast red or blue areas. Due to the political migration that results from people wishing to live in areas where the population shares their views and ideologies, the red zip codes become redder, and the blue zip codes are getting bluer. The restrictions imposed by the pandemic seemed to exacerbate this phenomenon as people wanted to feel safer or freer. Some move to areas with fewer restrictions, while others stay despite the intensity of the restrictions.
Another effect of the pandemic was the great migration to the suburbs. This was also seen in real estate trends and fluctuating prices. Large metropolitan areas experienced decreasing population density, lowering rent prices, and appreciating suburban property prices.
Political directions that don’t change course in California
Some things in California are unlikely to change due to the needs of the state that can not be altered through political ideologies. These needs are facts that state officials and leaders can not argue against and need to fix or attempt to fix through every means possible. Because of that, policies don’t change with every political change because the needs don’t change. There are two main issues that politicians constantly focus on because they aren’t as easily fixed.
These issues, for California, are climate change and homelessness. In order to try to ease the struggle of people living in poverty and ending up on the streets, legislative leaders continue to push through with investment plans which started during 2021. These plans include affordable housing for families in need. Still, at the same time, political leaders intend to provide more temporary and permanent supportive housing for the homeless population throughout the state. Accountability of rent relief, state housing programs, and homelessness are reviewed in order to determine which measures provide the most benefits for the state’s population.
As the investments that went into the homelessness needs of California, adding up to $12 billion over two years, drastic changes to the plan are unlikely to occur. Still, if corrections are necessary, they will be implemented as needed.
The climate change issue is another priority in the state of California. While plans to increase the effort put into lowering carbon emissions and meeting the state’s climate goals for 2030, the focus will not be limited to single-use plastics. Fighting to discover new ways to prevent wildfires across California and address the drought problem the state is struggling with. At the same time, they think ahead and focus on the risk of water and sea levels rising, which are all issues that need to be addressed.
Changing demographics that won’t change political directions in California
When it comes to the demographics of California, as we mentioned above, Latino voters are a growing percentage of the population, influencing votes in different districts. However, when it comes to the whole state, a growing number of Latino voters are unlikely to change the state’s political direction. While generalizing won’t ever help any political party, the Democratic values and ideologies proved more appealing to minority groups.
If you look at how California demographics are based on ethnicity, over 39% of the population have Hispanic or Latino origins. Over the past decade, the population of California with Hispanic or Latino origins increased by 52%, while Asian, African Americans increased only by 22 and 16%, respectively. The population of only white race decreased by around 79,000 (less than 1% decrease).
Still, this shift in demographics could also mean a significant change in political direction. However, so far, it hasn’t. One look at the latest Texas elections will show that the growing number of Latino or Hispanic voters are not 100% convinced by the Democratic or Republican party. That does not offer any guarantees for the Democratic party as the voters need to be convinced in order for the votes to be won. Whether the Latino or Hispanic voters will shift the state’s political direction or not has yet to be determined. What matters to these people is their lives and how their elected representatives improve or deteriorate their quality of life.
Regardless of their political affiliations, ideologies, or views, voters firstly care about their lives. They all have their own interests, donors, and bosses to satisfy, so saying they are biased would be an understatement. Unfortunately, parties and media outlets try to persuade voters to go this way or that through some less than fair or just means.
However, voters firstly care about how their lives look. They care about the schools their children attend, the streets they walk on, how safe they feel and how they will set dinner on the table. Everything else is a smokescreen that the wrong people can manipulate focus on so that the general public loses focus from the things that actually matter to them. Most political scandals are that – a smokescreen that overshadows the needs of the people. For Californians, screens are much less distracting as they live close to the world’s Movie Capital. Many of them can see right through all that smoke.