Orange County has evolved dramatically in the last few decades in ways that challenge its old stereotype as a white conservative bastion.
The county supported Democratic candidates in the last two presidential elections. People of color are the majority now, with big increases in the Latino and Asian populations. A “blue wave” in 2018 shifted key congressional seats from Republican to Democrat, though the GOP took back two of them in 2020.
Orange County is still more Republican and conservative than California as a whole — supporting local and national candidates who oppose COVID-19 health orders, for instance — but it is far from the right-wing monolith of the past.
Moreover, many have pushed back against the extreme views of fringe groups, often finding success through dialogue and both political and law enforcement pressure.
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