Republicans pushing back the 2018 ‘blue wave’ in Orange County

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Trump supporters shout to passing motorists in front of GOP headquarters on Nov. 3, 2020 in Newport Beach. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Trump supporters shout to passing motorists in front of GOP headquarters on Nov. 3, 2020 in Newport Beach. (Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

Two years ago marked a monumental shift for California politics: Four districts in the then-Republican bastion of Orange County flipped blue, ushering in four Democrats to the House of Representatives.

But 2020 is shaping up as a reversal of that blue wave, although how big a retrenchment it will be remains an open question. With few ballots left to count, Republicans have taken back at least one seat in Orange County and padded their vote lead in other swing districts across Southern California.

In a major win for the GOP, California 48th District Congressman Harley Rouda, a Democrat, conceded to his Republican opponent, Michelle Steel on Tuesday, in one of several hard-fought races in areas that until recently were considered conservative strongholds. Steel remained ahead of Rouda by 2%, or 7,000 votes, as of Tuesday.

O.C. Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley said all in-person votes and 99% of mail-in ballots have been counted, leaving about 28,000 ballots to be processed. Kelley said he anticipates the final tally to be complete in about two weeks.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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