The main point of dividing the state was to relieve the far northern and Gold Country counties of the burden of Bay Area rule. [Actually, as much of the state as possible from Bay Area rule.] This Three Californias plan does not do that. The western state in this plan stops just north of Monterey and Salinas. If it were expanded to include all of ‘Silicon Valley’ from the Six State plan, plus Marin County, it might have a degree of sanity. There is a case for including Napa and Sonoma counties in the western state – it depends on whether those two counties identify more with the Bay Area or with the cannabis belt to the north. I might even try to put Solano and Yolo counties in Coastal California, to take in the leftist enclave around Davis.
Modified in this way, the plan comes close to the Maze and Stone proposals I discussed in an earlier post before Draper ever got into the state splitting business. The Maze proposal sliced off West California [though keeping the Wine Country in the eastern state] and the Stone proposal was to slice out an area the same as the three states proposal’s Southern California. [Though a Southern California without Los Angeles sounds absurd; I would probably call an entity like that Eastern California, because it is in fact east of the others.
Polls have suggested that people would be more comfortable with two states rather than three. In that case, I’d go with separating West California [making sure both LA County and the Bay Area were included] and keeping the rest of the state together. I’m not sure whether the Jeffersonian movement [which now extends as far down as Tuolumne County – I saw signs in Calaveras County this summer] are aching to still be saddled with Orange County and San Diego, but if there are only to be two Californias, too bad. But any sane plan has to deliver the Jeffersonians from the Bay Area and Hollywood. If people wanted to have the new state border on another state, I would give the North Coast counties to Coastal California all the way to Oregon [not Trinity County, however, which is inland and has a very different climate from the redwood counties].
The Republicans may be unhappy, not sure that the inland state(s) would necessarily reliably elect Republicans. But there is a chivalrous way to deal with this. The State of Texas has, by treaty, since 1845, the preapproved right to divide itself into five states. Let the Texans choose a piece of their state to slice off, and give us 52 states, and we will be all even.