Robert Paul Preston dreams of splitting California in two to create the nation's sixth-largest state, topping New York in population. It would be called New California, and it wouldn't be liberal-friendly.
Preston, a Yuba City native, in Northern California, wants to create the nation's 51st state because he believes the rural counties of California are underrepresented by the Legislature in a fundamentally unfixable way. His proposed state would give greater representation to California's rural areas, as opposed to the urban and more left-wing coast that Preston said represents bonds of tyranny.
The idea is virtually guaranteed to fail. All citizen-led efforts for a state to split or secede from the United States have fallen short in modern U.S. history. Despite being mostly symbolic, Preston said, the idea is gaining popularity among Californians who are critical of the state's Democratic leadership. California is a Democratic stronghold, with the party holding 80 of the state's 120 legislative seats.
"It's really amazing that it doesn't matter if you're liberal or conservative, or whatever. If you're Californian, everyone is concerned about the nature of the state," Preston told Newsweek. "It seems to really be going across party lines at this point. You would think it might be a little more conservative on the New California side and liberal on the other, but we get calls from Los Angeles County and Sacramento."