I'm sure readers are aware that there's a growing groundswell of support in California for that state to leave the Union and declare its independence from the USA.
I just can't see that happening. No way, no how. This is why:
- California currently has 55 electoral votes (i.e. in the electoral college). They've gone reliably (very!) for the Democratic Party in every recent election. If California leaves the union, that's 55 fewer reliable electoral votes for a Democrat presidential candidate, making it immensely more difficult for that party to ever win the Presidency again.
- California has 53 congressional districts. It currently sends 38 Democratic and 14 Republican representatives to Washington D.C., with one district vacant. The Democratic Party Congressional delegation, presently with 193 members, would thus lose almost 20% of its current representatives if California were to leave the Union. Again, that would make it much more difficult for Democrats to ever regain control of Congress.
- Not only would Democrats lose the support described above, but it's almost certain that Republicans would gain support if California left the Union. There's already a strong move in the more rural and/or conservative districts to form a new state, Jefferson, in order to escape the stifling voter dominance in the coastal, liberal enclaves. Most of those districts already elect Republican representatives. Given the legal precedent of the formation of West Virginia in 1861-2, and current Republican control of Congress, the Senate and the Presidency, it's very likely that the state of Jefferson would be approved on a federal level, even if the rest of California disapproved. That would mean additional, very reliable Republican votes in the Electoral College, further disadvantaging the Democratic Party. It might find itself down 70-75 votes in the College, compared to the most recent election.
Given those electoral realities, I just can't see the Democratic Party as a whole allowing its members in California (which the party currently controls) to succeed in separating from the USA. It would cost the party too much.
On the other hand, if Democrats in California insist on pushing for independence, that might precipitate a split in the party, as many of its current leaders (including the Minority Leader in Congress) are from California, and would not want to give up their positions of leadership. There'd be a free-for-all as Democrats from other states raced to get control of key positions. It would make great entertainment for non-Democrats, but might rip apart the already stressed and fractured party.