California is still the most populous state in the country, with ~12% of the US population. That is more than the combined population of these 20 states: Utah, Iowa, Nevada, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kansas, New Mexico, Nebraska, West Virginia, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Maine, Montana, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Dakota, North Dakota & Alaska.
The top 4 states (CA, TX, FL & NY) represent 33% of the US population.
California is also 14.6% of the total GDP of the country. That's 66% more than the #2, Texas.
If California were a country, it would have the 5th largest GDP in the world, right between Germany & India.
You may not like the California politics, but there is no denying the importance of the state to the country as a whole.
"The Luggage had a straightforward way of dealing with things between it and its intended destination: it ignored them." -Terry Pratchett