"Yay!" Judy Stark cried out to her husband, Richard, as they officially left California. The pair bobbed their heads to '50s music playing on the radio.
Like many other Republican and conservative voters in California, the retired couple have decided to leave the state. A major reason, Stark and her spouse say, is their disenchantment with deep-blue California's liberal political culture.
Despite spending most of their lives in the Golden State, they were fed up with high taxes, lukewarm support for local law enforcement, and policies they believe have thrown open the doors to illegal immigration.
Just over half of California's registered voters have considered leaving the state, according to a UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies poll conducted for the Los Angeles Times. Republicans and conservative voters were nearly three times as likely as their Democratic or liberal counterparts to seriously have considered moving — 40% compared with 14%, the poll found. Conservatives mentioned taxes and California's political culture as a reason for leaving more frequently than they cited the state's soaring housing costs.