The area “in or near Orange County, the densely-populated suburbs between Los Angeles and San Diego … were once an unassailable Republican fortress.” (“Orange Is The New Purple,” The Economist, Oct 20th 2018.)
“The OC” incubated Barry Goldwater’s conservatism and was home to Richard Nixon. Until 2016, its voters had last backed a Democratic presidential candidate in 1936, when they voted for FDR.
But the fortress has fallen to shifts in the population. Orange County, which used to be the colour of pith, is now minority majority with 34% of its population Hispanic and 21% Asian. Its voter registration reflects the change. It is 35% Republican, 34% Democrat and 27% independent, the definition of a competitive district.
The change that has most salience, though, is the rise in the number of university-educated people, especially women. In four of the five closest-fought districts in the county, graduates make up 28-34% of voters. Fully three-quarters of California’s female college graduates disapprove of Mr Trump (compared with 58% of male graduates and 61% of women who did not graduate). More than two-thirds [said] they [would] vote Democratic.
“Orange Is The New Purple,” The Economist, Oct 20th 2018.