First the reliably Republican Arizona wobbled with the Arizona Republic’s historic endorsement of Hillary Clinton as an indicator.
Then the invariably Republican Utah threatened to tumble away from the GOP, as Donald Trump’s threat to religious liberty started scaring Mormons toward Evan McMullin.
Now another long time Republican region is threatening to defect to Hillary Clinton, in yet another strong rejection of Trumpism.
When Ronald Reagan said that “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism,” he didn’t mean today’s dope-and-sodomy libertarianism. He was talking about the western character of conservatism he shared with other western Republicans. In the open spaces of the west, one comes to believe in a live-and-let-live way of operating. And that’s a big thing that Utah, Arizona, and California Republicans have in common.
So the next conservative fortress to fall is Orange County, California. California vote modeling has it going for Clinton, for the first time ever going away from the Republican.
This isn’t a demographic thing, folks. The Democrats haven’t won Orange County since 1936, which means even Franklin Roosevelt lost Orange County twice, but Donald Trump is handing the county to Hillary Clinton. In 2012 Orange County went for Mitt Romney by 6.2 points. Compare that with Georgia’s 7.8 points that year. In statewide races the county is lopsided, having rejected Jerry Brown in 2014 by 11.2 points.
And this county is appearing likely to vote for Hillary Clinton, because western conservatism is completely incompatible with Donald Trump’s big-government ideas and east-coast bluster.
It’s getting hard to imagine how much worse Donald Trump could make this election for Republicans.