Most Young Californians Say They Can’t Afford the Golden State

(CN) – All that glitters is not gold, at least according to a poll Wednesday that found over 40 percent of voters – and most voters under 35 – can’t afford to live in the Golden State.

In this Tuesday, Sept. 4, 2018, photo, pickup trucks run between farmlands and residential areas in Salinas, Calif. Salinas is an affordable location compared to Silicon Valley, where median home prices are about $1 million, but with a less-wealthy population and a median home price that has ballooned to about $550,000, it’s one of the least affordable places in America. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

According to the independent Quinnipiac University Poll, 43 percent of California voters polled said they couldn’t afford to live in their own state, with 61 percent of respondents age 18 to 34 saying California is too expensive.

That sentiment is shared across the spectrum of those polled – including Republican, Democrat, independent, male, female, white and Hispanic voters, who all agree there is a housing crisis in the state. Over 80 percent of Democrats, women and coastal voters said there is a housing crisis in California.

California’s wildfires are also a concern for some respondents, and more than half of those polled think climate change is to blame for the deadly fires that have swept across the state in recent years. Blame for climate change, however appears to be a partisan thing: Over 80 percent of Democrats blamed climate change compared with 29 percent of Republicans.

President Donald Trump has slammed California for what he called mismanagement of federal forests. “There is no reason for these massive, deadly and costly forest fires in California except that forest management is so poor,” Trump tweeted this past November after the Camp Fire nearly wiped out the town of Paradise, California.

FILE – In this Nov. 15, 2018, file photo, residences leveled by the wildfire line a neighborhood in Paradise, Calif. (AP Photo/Noah Berger, File)

Fifty-seven percent of voters – most between the ages of 18 and 34 – say California lawmakers could be doing more to address climate change.

The wide-ranging poll also broached Trump’s demand for a border wall, with 64 percent saying they oppose such a project. Democrats and San Francisco Bay Area residents most strongly oppose a border wall – 94 percent and 80 percent, respectively, while most Republicans and older Californians say they’re in favor of the project.

While not directly threatening another shutdown of the federal government over the issue, Trump in his State of the Union Address on Tuesday said that one way or another he will get what he wants.

“In the past, most of the people in this room voted for a wall, but the proper wall never got built. I will get it built,” he said.

As for the 2020 presidential race, the poll found California Democrats particularly excited for two candidates: their U.S. Senator Kamala Harris and former Vice President Joe Biden, with a slight edge going to Biden.

“It’s former Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris neck and neck and everyone else an afterthought in the very early Democratic presidential race,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, in a statement.

California Sen. Kamala Harris appears at a fundraiser for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., of which she is a member, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019 in Columbia, S.C. Sen. Kamala Harris returned to South Carolina on Friday, using her first visit to this early-voting state as an official presidential contender to tap into a sorority network that could prove crucial as she develops her campaign. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

“But while Sen. Harris gets the nod for generating excitement among California Democrats, the total pool of voters is noticeably ambivalent about whether she has what it takes to be a good president.”

Respondents gave somewhat favorable marks to other Democratic candidates, including U.S. senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont and former U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas.

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