Orange County has a history of deep Republican roots, but, over the years, the gap between the two major parties has narrowed, and the county now has slightly more Democrats.
Now, the local GOP is turning to Latino voters in an attempt to turn Orange County red again, as LA Times columnist Gustavo Arellano explained.
What You Need To Know
- Despite its history of deep Republican roots, Orange County now has slightly more Democrats now that the gap between the two major parties has narrowed
- The local GOP is turning to Latino voters in an attempt to turn Orange County red again
- 30-year-old Randall Avila is the executive director of the Republican Party in Orange County and sees Latinos as the future of the party in California
- Avila admits that he’s had a difficult time reaching Latino votes, but he remains hopeful for the future of Orange County
"Orange County is a place where President Reagan once said, 'All the good republicans go to die,'" Arellano said. "In 2016, Orange County voted for Hillary Clinton, and in 2018, Orange County’s Congressional Districts go all blue for the first time. So, Orange County is not blue yet, but it’s getting to be a light purple."
Arellano recently met a man named Randall Avila, who wants to turn Orange County red again.
“He is a 30-year-old young millennial, raised in Monterey Park, and went to Catholic school in Montebello," Arellano explained. "He then comes to Orange County, starts working under Republican campaigns, becomes known for his fundraising, and is known for his Spanish-speaking skills since he is Mexican-American. He is the executive director of the Republican Party in Orange County, and he sees Latinos as the future of the Republican Party in California if not nationwide."
The Latino community is not monolithic. There are many diverse Latino voters — and some support President Trump regardless of his policies and rhetoric.
"He is far more popular than people give him credit for. But he’s not very popular in the Latino community. In the 2016 election, Latinos voted for Trump around 25%. The current polls show that that number has not dropped. You would think that after everything Trump said, the number would drop. Not only that, his support has increased among young Latinos," Arellano said.
Avila admits that he’s had a difficult time reaching Latino votes but remains hopeful.
"He thinks Orange County will turn red again," Arellano said. "It’s all sure but slow steps. The fact that the Republican Party of Orange County has a Latino leading the charts is a step in the right direction. Having covered Orange County for 20 years, I know that 75% of elected officials in local races are Republican. So, it’s just a matter now of drafting younger Latinos like himself that can speak the language of the Latinos and bring them into the Republican party. If the Republican Party pays attention to Randall, I think they’re going to have far more success than Liberal Latinos want to give them credit for."