But a proposal to split California into six states has attracted the signatures of 1.3million people.
Venture capitalist and Republican supporter Tim Draper believes California has become too big and complicated to govern.
More than 20 per cent of the state's 38million-strong population live below the poverty line despite California having a larger economy than Russia.
The campaign, which will now be on the ballot in the November 2016 general election, proposes six small states named Jefferson, North California, Silicon Valley, Central California, West California and South California.
Illustrating the great disparity in wealth within California, Silicon Valley would instantly become the richest state in the US; Central California its poorest.
But the plan has virtually no chance of being voted through with the Democratic majority in the state firmly against it.
Any new states would have to be approved by Congress, while five new governors and ten new senators would need to be elected.
Alaska and Hawaii were the last states to achieve statehood, in 1959.