Free Minds & Free Markets

Trumpism Hastens Orange County’s Shift From Red to Blue: New at Reason

By careening towards populism, the GOP handed over to the Democrats modern, growing, diverse and prosperous suburbs such as Orange County.

Paul Harris Pacific Coast News/NewscomPaul Harris Pacific Coast News/NewscomIt's clear that the Democrats' modest blue wave turned into a "double overhead" by the time it crashed into OC's beaches. The registrar of voters is still tabulating the final totals, but it's possible none of Orange County's congressional districts will be held by Republicans. Democrats went into the election already controlling three area districts, including the 46th, held by Rep. Lou Correa. It was quite a thing when he ousted a Republican to take a state Assembly seat in 1998, and now he chalked up a congressional re-election with a landslide margin.

Then Democrat Harley Rouda defeated outspoken Trump ally Dana Rohrabacher in the Huntington Beach area's 48th district, which was the heart of OC Republicanism. Darrell Issa's 49th district, which includes parts of San Diego County and southern Orange County, is going for Democrat Mike Levin rather than Republican Diane Harkey. Democrat Katie Porter has pulled ahead of Republican Rep. Mimi Walters in inland South Orange County's 45th district. At this writing, Republican Young Kim is holding a 122-vote lead over Democrat Gil Cisneros in the 39th district centered in Fullerton. Late ballots trend Democratic, however, and there are thousands more to count.

Trumpism won in 2016, but in appealing so directly to the concerns of working class voters in struggling heartland towns, the party handed over to the Democrats modern, growing, diverse and prosperous suburbs such as Orange County. This isn't Ronald Reagan's Midwestern-like OC anymore, which means the GOP has a long road ahead if it hopes to recover from its losses, writes Steven Greenhut.

Photo Credit: Paul Harris Pacific Coast News/Newscom


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