Twenty-five California counties chose Donald J. Trump for President of the United States, while 33 went for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. And seventeen of the 21 California counties proposed for the “State of Jefferson” went for Trump, most by more than 10 percent.
19 of the proposed 21 California “State of Jefferson” counties currently have active petitions to form the 51st state, according to soj51.net. Of the 25 that went for Trump, 24 voted for him by more than 10 percent — and in 14 of those counties, Trump outperformed 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, according to the Sacramento Bee.
The Bee calculated several characteristics of each of the 14 “super-Trump” counties, and found that on average they had twice as many military veterans than other counties in the rest of the state.
The Bee also reported that in these 14, on average, unemployment was higher; bachelor’s degrees were less common; more had household incomes under $30,000; many had a decreasing migration rate of 15-30 year olds (from 2000-2010); more residents were likely poor or disabled; many were less ethnically diverse; more residents were 50 years and older; more were likely to be on government aid;median home prices were much lower; crime and suicide rates were higher; the rate of gun sales was more than double; and the accidental drug overdose rate was higher.
Most of the 14 counties were located in California’s Central Valley and northern mountain regions. The Bee pointed out a differentiation between some rural Trump counties and rural Clinton counties, such as Imperial and San Benito, which have heavily Latino populations. Nevada, Humboldt, Mendocino and Alpine Counties, which went for Clinton, were also noted for their similarities to the 14 “Strong Trump Support” counties, a potential marker that there may not be a clear demographic line that separates Trump counties from Clinton ones.
Among the more interesting Golden State surprises in 2016 were the fact that Orange County flipped to the Democratic column, voting 50.4 percent for Clinton. The country has historically favored Republicans for the presidency. The result came despite Trump receiving more votes in the Republican primary election than Clinton did in the Democratic primary in that county; however, more total Democrats voted than Republicans in that election.
40-year Lassen County Supervisor Jim Chapman told the Los Angeles Times that people in the Sierra region were sick of government control: “I think people here went to the polls to vote against government…. It is a scream of ‘enough is enough.’”
Chapman blamed government dependence for the fact that a local “State of Jefferson” ballot measure fell short of success in June, with just 42 percent support of Lassen voters.
Lassen was the most pro-Trump country in the state, where the Republican won 73% of the vote. The Times also reported that approximately 65 percent of Lassen County workers are employed in government positions, including one federal and two state prisons.
Follow Michelle Moons on Twitter @MichelleDiana