And most states, Red and Blue, are in deep trouble now, due to Washington trying to balance its books by withdrawing much/most of the state aid that used to go out--and to states making unbreakable pension promises to employees that are now biting them in the you-know-what. Most of those state employee unions are Democratic, but three of the biggest categories of pension pork are solidly Republican--police, prison guards, and firefighters. So it's a bipartisan fiscal black hole.
Moreover, a majority of the people living in most of California's geography--i.e. away from the coast--are actually conservative, politically and socially. And even here on the coast a substantial minority is, like my spouse, socially and politically very conservative.
Lastly, despite the looniness which abounds, to be sure, we've led in things that are now generally accepted and adopted by everyone else--such as banning smoking in public places, and setting higher emissions standards for vehicles and industry.
And we can't get our financial house in order because (1) the state's Democrats and Republicans colluded in making the state heavily gerrymandered, which has stuffed the legislature with left- and right- wing extremists who can't compromise, and (2) our supermajority rule for taxing/spending legislation has enabled one third of the electorate (the conservative third) to dictate to the rest, making for minority rule.