If we’re going by the numbers, the so-called “blue wave” has officially crested in Orange County.
Once a place that seemingly could not be discussed in the context of politics without the words “conservative bastion” attached to it, the OC is now home to more registered Democrats than Republicans, according to new numbers released on Wednesday from the county Registrar of Voters.
It’s a slim margin, but Democrats outnumber Republicans in the OC now by 89 registered voters (547,458 registered Democrats compared to 547,369 Republicans). There’s also a surge in the number of voters who have no political party preference. That group now makes up more than a quarter of registered voters in Orange County.
The OC has been trending in this direction for at least a few years, which the Los Angeles Times reports is partially influenced by more college educated voters as well as ethnic minorities and immigrants moving to the county. Hillary Clinton was the first Democrat in 80 years to win OC when she took it in 2016. And in the 2018 midterm elections, Democrats flipped four seats in the county on their way to regaining control of the House of Representatives.
What are the factors driving this political change in Orange County? How can Democrats retain control of this traditionally conservative region? What do Republicans need to do at the ground level to turn the OC red again? If you’re an independent or no party preference voter in Orange County, do you find yourself leaning towards a particular party? Join the conversation at 866-893-5722
With guest host Libby Denkmann
Reed Galen, independent political strategist; he was deputy campaign manager for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and deputy campaign manager for Arnold Schwarzenegger’s 2006 gubernatorial re-election campaign; he tweets @reedgalen