The growing diversity of California's population isn't showing up in the voting booth, where people who are richer, older and whiter than their nonvoting neighbors are making the decisions that will shape the state's future, a new study shows.
And smarter too? Well, maybe not, or else you'd think California voters would make sure they elected people who would see to it that California adults didn't get any poorer and darker. We recently learned
that California grade school students are among the dumbest in the nation, down there with Mississippi and Alabama, fine states but not what come to mind when one thinks of economic powerhouses.
Although California has been widely trumpeted as the nation's first large "majority minority" state -- one where racial minority residents make up more than half the population -- the minority voting picture is getting worse, not better.
Widely trumpeted? They're happy
about that? One problem the state has is "rotten boroughs
." So while half the adult population may not be voting, they still have a role in shaping the legislature since districts are determined by general population, not registered voters. Which may explain why the state's legislature and congressional delegation are overwhelmingly Democrat.
Among the most frequent voters, 62 percent are ages 45 or older, 77 percent are homeowners, 53 percent are college graduates, and 53 percent have household incomes of $60,000 or more. That's in a state where 76 percent of the people are younger than forty-five, 66 percent are renters, 17 percent finished college and 18 percent earn $60,000 or more.
So we can expect some really great things coming out of the Golden State once the rest of these folks get to the ballot box.