Will Orange County Finally Turn Blue This Year?

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Orange County, California. Conservative suburbia. Reagan country. Ground zero for decades of cold warrior political domination. And above all, a reliable generator of Republican votes and Republican fundraising. But just as the demographics of America have been changing, so have the demographics of this famous conservative bastion:

In 1990, whites made up nearly two-thirds of the county’s population. Now, they are a minority. The county’s Latino and Asian populations have grown enormously—some in low-income neighborhoods, particularly in Santa Ana, but many in newly diverse, affluent communities.

As the region has grown more diverse, GOP margins have narrowed…Trump’s disparaging rhetoric about Mexicans and Muslims, his breaks with past Republican stands on trade and the overall tone of his campaign seem likely to create the final tipping point this month.

There are only seven days to go before we find out if Trump manages this historic task. It would be fitting if he’s the one to put the final nail in the coffin of 80 years of GOP domination of my hometown. Only seven days!

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

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Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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