“Of course, we expect all six states to get richer because governments will be more in touch with their citizens,” Mr. Draper said.
California is so large — its population of 38 million exceeds that of No. 2 Texas by nearly 12 million — that none of the six states as proposed would rank lower than 44th in terms of population, according to the report’s estimates.
West California, which includes Los Angeles, would be the most populous of the states, roughly the size of Ohio. Jefferson would be the smallest with a head count slightly less than that of Montana but more than those of Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming.
“When you ask people here about this, they tell you, ‘If I could live in a free state, I’d live with a few more potholes and some used equipment,’” said Mr. Baird. “We need representation. We’ll figure the rest of it out.”