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This Once-GOP Stronghold Has Flipped to Dems for First Time Since 1970s

Former President Ronald Regan said during his 1984 reelection campaign that Southern California’s Orange County is the place where “good Republicans go to die.”

For decades, the wealthy, suburban county – about 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles – has been a conservative stronghold in a state that has become increasingly liberal. But since the 2018 midterm elections, the so-called “Orange Curtain” has come down and Democrats have made huge gains in an area once dominated by Republicans.

The shift speaks to the GOP’s ever-shrinking foothold in the Golden State. Just recently, the number of registered Democrats surpassed the number of registered Republicans in Orange County for the first time since the Watergate era, with the county Registrar of Voters – as of Wednesday – having 548,952 Democrats compared with just 548,095 Republicans.

While not an enormous advantage, it does mark a drastic shift from the Republican Party’s halcyon days of the early 1990s, when it enjoyed a 22-percentage point advantage over Democrats, and mirrors a trend seen in recent years across California’s more conservative areas.

In the last few years, neighboring San Diego County flipped to the Democrats and, on election night last November, California’s 25th Congressional District went Democrat for the first time since 1993 when upstart politician Katie Hill defeated incumbent Republican Steve Knight. The 2018 midterm elections also saw all of Orange County’s districts go Democratic as well as most of San Diego County – turning the state’s congressional delegation, and statehouse, an even deeper shade of blue.

Republicans now hold only seven of the state’s 53 congressional seats, and both seats in the Senate are held by Democrats.

“We have seen since 2016, and even before that, that we’re becoming bluer and bluer,” Ada Briceño, the chair of the Orange County Democratic Party, told Fox News. “We know that trend is going to continue. The changes in our demographics are going to ensure that and the fact that we have activists and leaders on the ground working extremely hard to make sure that we are moving and speaking and enamoring people.”

Both Democratic and Republican leaders have cited the changing demographics and voter base in the region as one of the main reasons for the shift in political alignment in recent years.

The immigrant population of Orange County, for example, grew five times as fast as the general population between 1980 and 2000 and, despite a slowing influx of new immigrants, the region’s Asian and Latino populations are likely to continue on an upward trajectory thanks to the children of immigrant families born in the United States.

In California’s 48th Congressional District, which last fall saw longtime Republican fixture Dana Rohrabacher lose to Democrat Harley Rouda, the Latino population went from 38,803 in 1980 to 145,585 in 2017 – or from 8 percent of the district’s population to 21 percent.

Similarly, in the state’s 45th Congressional, where Democrat Katie Porter won last November against incumbent Republican Mimi Walters, the Asian-American population skyrocketed from 14,528 in 1980, or 4.4 percent, to almost a quarter of the district’s total population in 2017 with 175,540.

Republican leaders in California admit that they need to do a better job of fielding candidates that appeal to a diversifying voter base, but say that Democrats are playing “identity politics” and that eventually the pendulum will swing back toward the right.

“The Democrats are really good at playing identity politics, but identity politics is a sugar high,” Tony Krvaric, the chair of the Republican Party of San Diego County, told Fox News. “Eventually people are going to wake up and realize Democrats have done nothing for them.”

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50 Comments
  • DAEMW says:

    Yeah? Are the all alive

  • Tmc says:

    Cut it loose; let it drift out to sea.

    • Patriot says:

      …..and let ‘er sink!

    • Jackson says:

      Actually it is already drifting. Just not fast enough. Southern California west of the San Andreas fault is on a plate that is moving Farther North. Point Reyes used to be down by Big Sir. LA will someday be next to the Olympic Penninsula…before it vanishes below the Continental plate underneath The Pacific Northwest. So much for Sunny California.

    • Derek says:

      Sell California to China and then build a wall!!

      • Jerrold says:

        Nah, Let China build it. They’ve got more experience. Maybe it would be another “Great Wall” tourist attraction….

  • WILLIAM FORTUNE says:

    time for Trump to start removing military bases from CA !

  • kat says:

    That’s because a lot of Fruit Loops have moved to Orange County.

  • Lynn A says:

    That is because all the illegals are voting and the Democrats are vote harvesting. The only way Democrats can win is to cheat!! The cheating is going on all over our country, which means we are doomed.

    • Ronald says:

      Our education system is dominated by progressive liberals. They are successfully indoctrinating our childrenand we are seeing the results.

    • Sandy says:

      California is a real mess with all the homeless and poor homeless people pooping in the streets, sad, would not live there for anything

  • 2WarAbnVet says:

    Why would anybody who loves our country vote fi=or those who despise it?

  • Stephen says:

    Indies run OC not Dems

  • chris says:

    Vote harvesting should be outlawed, along with electoral with 1000’s of deceased people STILL on them, and voters need proper ID…

  • William Conley says:

    Could be because conservatives are running the hell out of the state of California in general due to all the taxes and just crazy ass liberal nonsense. Personally cannot understand any reason why anyone would stay in California unless they’re one of those crazy liberals or an illegal.

  • Pogi says:

    san diego and surrounding areas will soon be like LA and San Francisco.

  • VietnamVeteran says:

    Looks like most of the conservative voters have moved out. Nothing left in California except liberal lunatic demo-rats, illegal aliens, and other third world moochers.

  • Gary Schuy says:

    Time for California to go their own Way and pay for their own Way.

  • John Boyd says:

    If every American old enough to vote voted knowing what is coming we would win. A lot of Americans do not vote. Maybe this time they will.

  • MO says:

    Yeah, we see the democrats gains up and down the streets in the major cities in Calif. Piss and shit along with needles thrown on the ground amongst the tents of once respectable Californians that have been reduced to peasants among the rich and spoiled hollywood elites. A rather disgusting view for anyone with respect for this country and the rights of honest Americans. The left only wants votes from the illegals and have thrown the Americans to the curb in their quest for power and control. They must be stopped before they truly destroy the rest of America.

  • Ronald says:

    Tony krvaric got it wrong. Hopefully the people will eventually realize what the Democrats have done TO them. Highest poverty rate, bad roads, bad schools, highest taxes, major cities awash in human excrement and used needles, etc, etc. Due to the massive homeless population our cities are becoming rat infested and the Dems want to ban the most effective rat poison.
    Dems have had majorities in BOTH houses of the State Legislature 53 out of the last 60 years. Been 22 years since Republicans have had a majority in either house.

  • Notalib says:

    Immigrant population. Does this include legal and illegal? Under the continuous control of liberal Democrats this state is doomed. This is one of the reasons we must control our borders and those coming into our country.

  • Wayne E Allies says:

    California, the state that is financially broke is going to meet it’s ultimate demise under Democrats rule. Already they are finding Black Death, bubonic plague among the homeless populace. Black Death killed 50 million people in the 14th century, or 60 per cent of Europe’s entire population. The disastrous mortal disease known as the Black Death spread across Europe in the years 1346-53. This plague will be for a betterment for the greater American society, whereas the Democrats in Mexifornia will be killed off. That is called Karma.

    • Jackson says:

      We need to relocate ALL illegals to California..then impose a quarantine.NOBODY IN OR OUT. ESPECIALLY THE POLITICIANS.Let them sit in their stew.

  • Cynthia says:

    A combination of vote harvesting, ILLEGALS voting along with the dead voting is the reason that area of CA is changing to democrat. The democrats will do anything to win, even cheat.

  • Marilyn says:

    Probably because the republicans are moving out! And some have already. For republicans to change to dems they would have to have Alzheimer’s, or brain freeze!

  • Penhead says:

    Dims are up to their voter cheat Game again, using the dead and illegal voters to keep a lie going for the Dim/Liborat swamp creatures vote to illegally remain in the house.. Should be a federal offense, a tyranny with a life sentenced in prison to stop this disease dead in it’s track. They have been trying to over through our America to the control of the UN dictatorship Regime for years.

  • Yvette says:

    Well I guess I will never get to go home to Orange County, It was a beautiful place to live.

  • glenn says:

    dead people and illegls dont count. require identification for voting and you will see the fake voters scatter

  • M.Endress says:

    District 25 was stolen by Katie Hill. She never lived in Agua Dulce Ca. She may have never even owned property. She is a total fraud. What happened to Steve Knight was a crime. The RNC has done nothing to demand a recount or check voter registration. Our country is in trouble.
    And the voter abuse in 2018 in Calif.is writing on wall for 2020.

  • Boomer says:

    Not one mention in this article of the state the cities are in. What is wrong with these people?

  • JerryDV says:

    So the illegals are making a difference. Who would have guessed it. What would it take to make California turn “red” a major earthquake along the San Andreas fault?

    • george peters says:

      maybe a couple of small nukes would help push it out to sea. then they can be their own country, til they sink into the ocean.

  • george peters says:

    that’s because of the influx of all those illegals the gov. is letting in. pretty soon, hollyweird and the rest of the country will be either islimic or hispanic.

  • Gary Schuy says:

    Don’t ask the Rest of Ammerica for Money.Love to watch the Show.

  • Freedom fighter says:

    How can anyone look at how the democrats are ruining and bankrupting that once beautiful state and say they want more of that? Insanity!

  • Jerrold says:

    The reason is that Republicans are leaving in droves for other States that are not insane. California was once the Crown of America; now it’s the Anus. AND, Hollywood is the crap that comes out of it….

  • RWF
    >