California is fingered as the second most politicized legislature in the country in unique ranking system. The recent post “Political Scientist Boris Shor Says California is Now Only Second-Most Polarized State Legislature in Nation” was published on Ballot Access News by Richard Winger:
Political scientist Boris Shor, who regularly tallies hundreds of thousands of roll-call votes in state legislatures, and who keeps track of polarization in state legislatures, now says California has been overtaken by Colorado as the most polarized legislature. Here are the new rankings.
The rankings bolster other political science research, which has found no correlation between type of primary system and degree of polarization. Among the seven most polarized states are one closed primary state (Colorado); one semi-closed primary state (Arizona); three open primary states (Missouri, Montana, and Texas); and the two top-two states, California and Washington. Although Colorado has recently switched to a semi-closed primary state, all its legislators were chosen in a closed primary system.
The the American Legislatures project, run by Boris Shur, aims to “measure the ideology of individual state legislators and state legislatures as a whole over the past several decades”. Also, more on Shor’s work can be assessed through links on his bio:
I am an Assistant Professor at the Department of Political Science at the University of Houston. Previously, I was a Visiting Assistant Professor at the Department of Government at Georgetown University. In 2011-2013, I was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy, located at the University of California, Berkeley. Before that, I was an Assistant Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy in the University of Chicago.
My CV is here. The major parts of my research agenda are linked above. You can find my Google Scholar citations here, and my SSRN page here (with my working papers). I occasionally blog about issues of the day as they touch upon my research here. Or you can follow me on Twitter.
Visit the American Legislatures website, which has my state legislative ideology data for all 50 states–at the state and individual legislator level–for 1993-2014. A new data release was posted on June 2015, extending and cleaning the data substantially. You can also download my scores for the 2012 congressional candidates.