New Faces, Same Politics in O.C.

Scott Martelle and Jean O. Pasco, Los Angeles Times, Oct. 3

Although whites are no longer a majority in Orange County because of a sweeping demographic tide led by Democratic-leaning Latinos, the famously conservative region remains as Republican as ever.

The reason: Many of the new minority residents are newborns or newcomers who have yet to become citizens—which means any profound political effect probably won’t become evident for years.

Even then, it’s unclear whether newcomers will change Orange County or Orange County will change the newcomers. Assimilation, complex forces behind political identification and the reasons people move to Orange County make clear predictions of a changing political personality unreliable.

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“Republicans don’t feel a sense of urgency, but as elections get closer [in margins], they will,” Pitney said.

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