Orange (County) is the new blue

The vote counting in California congressional races continued until Democrats carried every district in Orange County. The Democrats flipped four seats formerly held by Republicans in the county. The last of the four races to be called yielded the victory of Democrat Gil Cisneros over Republican Young Kim (who held the lead on election night). The AP reports the result and looks back here.

What happened? In the American Spectator column “Electoral Three-Card Monte: How The Democrats Stole Orange County,” Dov Fischer attributes the outcome to cheating by Democrats in a state where Democrats hold all the levers of power. Fischer points out that Republicans are lucky to participate in elections where they have the choice of a Republican candidate, but his column is otherwise lacking in what we might recognize evidence to support his thesis.

In one of the Wall Street Journal’s daily email newsletters, Andrew Duehren makes an empirical observation that comports with the facts: “The extinction of Congressional Republicans in Richard Nixon’s home county is a culmination of years of change, according to David Wasserman, the House editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report. An increasingly educated and nonwhite population in the county generally favors Democrats, a trend bolstered by broad backlash to President Trump. Mitt Romney beat former President Obama by almost 10 percentage points in the county in 2012, but Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in 2016, becoming the first Democrat to win there since Franklin Delano Roosevelt.”

Duehren quotes Wasserman: “Trump has accelerated Orange County’s trend towards Democrats. His weakest group of voters are nonwhites and whites with college degrees. Those two groups are overrepresented in Orange County compared to the nation as a whole.”

California has rapidly evolved into a state of essentially one party. One can only hope that it does not represent the wave of the dystopian future.