Orange County, long a Republican stronghold, has officially turned blue.
The county that nurtured Ronald Reagan’s conservatism and is the resting place of Richard Nixon is now home to 547,458 registered Democrats, compared with 547,369 Republicans, according to statistics released early Wednesday morning by the county Registrar of Voters. And the number of voters not aligned with a political party has surged in recent years, and now tops 440,770, or 27.4% of the county’s voters.
Democratic leaders attributed the shift to changing demographics, aggressive recruitment efforts and President Trump.
“Trump’s toxic rhetoric and exclusionary policies alienate women, millennials, suburban voters, immigrants and people of color — critical components of the electorate in Orange County,” said Katerina Ioannides, chairwoman of the Orange County Young Democrats, which conducted voter registration drives aimed at young voters, one of several groups that worked to increase party registration. “The Republican Party’s platform no longer resonates in a rapidly diversifying, increasingly college-educated Orange County.”
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