Orange County Turns Blue

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By Charlie Warner, Special to the Independent

Early on election night, Democrats at the local headquarters in the former Boom Boom Room nightclub react to early returns where Hillary Clinton led. Photo by Mitch Ridder.
Early on election night, Democrats at the local headquarters in the former Boom Boom Room nightclub react to early returns where Hillary Clinton led.
Photo by Mitch Ridder.

In Orange County, where over 800,000 people voted in the general election, 48.9% cast ballots for the Hillary Clinton-Tim Kaine ticket, compared to 44.9% for the Donald Trump-Mike Pence slate, the first time in 80 years that a majority of county voters endorsed a Democrat.

The last Democratic presidential candidate to win Orange County was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1936 went on to win 46 of the 48 states, achieving the largest victory ever in terms of electoral college votes.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt cruises by an early version of the western White House, the restauran, in 1938.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt cruises by an early version of the western White House, the restaurant, in 1938.

Just 65% of registered voters in Laguna Beach turned out for the presidential election, with 52.8% casting votes for Clinton, while 31.9 percent voted for Trump.

California as a whole heavily favored Clinton, who received 61% of the vote while Trump earned 33% of the vote. Clinton’s win in California helped her win the popular vote, becoming only the fifth presidential candidate in U.S. history to win the popular vote but lose in the electoral college.

Countywide, incumbent Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from Huntington Beach, won 59% of the vote for the 48th Congressional District, with challenger Sue Savary, of Newport Beach, earning 40% of the vote.

In Laguna Beach, though, Savary came out the winner, with 50% of the vote, compared to 44% for the incumbent member of the House of Representatives. He’s been in office since 1989 and has led the 48th District since the 2012 general election.

Ari Grayson, a Laguna Beach resident, was defeated by incumbent Republican John Moorlach in the 37th District State Senate race. Grayson won 42% of the vote, as Moorlach received 58%.

More propositions were passed than not, with 10 new propositions going into effect in the near future.

On Prop. 64, to legalize marijuana for recreational use in California, the county voted 50.9% to 49.2% in favor, while Laguna Beach favored the measure more strongly, 54.1% to 36.1%, according to the county registrar’s results.

Laguna Beach has twice previously voted on failed initiatives to legalize recreational marijuana. California was the first state to allow medical use of marijuana with the passing of Prop. 215 in 1996. California became one of four states to legalize marijuana in some form on Nov. 8, along with Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine.

On Prop. 62, a measure to repeal the state’s death penalty, revealed in interesting disparity. While 54% of Californians rejected the measure and voted to keep the current death penalty in place, a majority of Laguna Beach voters cast ballots to approve the measure, 45.1% to 42.5% against.

Prop. 67 banning single use plastic bags in California also passed statewide. In Orange County, however, the vote was 58% against the proposition.

Laguna Beach, one of the first cities to ban plastic bags in the county, voted differently, with 53.5% favoring the proposition.

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