Here’s What the New Orange County Looks Like

The New York Times has a lovely precinct-level map of the 2016 election, so naturally the first thing I did was check out my own neighborhood. This isn’t all of Orange County, but it’s a big chunk of it:

The beach areas of Orange County are still largely white and either middle class or richer. This is Republican country. The northern part of the country is working class and increasingly Latino, and has been turning Democratic for a long time. In the middle you have my hometown of Irvine, which is less rich than Newport Beach; less old school than Huntington Beach; less Latino than North County; and less white-flighty than South County. It is well educated, upper middle class, and welcoming to Asians, who have settled here in large numbers. As a result it has become steadily bluer over time. My precinct, which is smack in the middle of one of the older parts of Irvine, voted for Hillary Clinton by a margin of 55-38. UC Irvine, in the lower left, is a hotbed of liberalism, of course.

We’ll see how that translates this year. A door knocker came by yesterday asking if I planned to vote for Katie Porter, the progressive Democrat who beat out moderate Dave Min in the primary last month. “A lot of your neighbors are Democrats,” he said with a bit of surprise, and that’s true. Still, it’s one thing for them to vote against Donald Trump, it’s quite another to vote against the cautious, well-coiffed, virtually invisible Republican Mimi Walters in November. We’ll see. But I’m afraid CA45 is not generally considered a great pickup opportunity unless the blue wave turns into a blue tsunami.

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