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Tilting at Windmills

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July 14, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

HEART OF DARKNESS....Q: Which county gave George Bush his biggest absolute plurality over John Kerry in 2004? A: Orange County, California, my hometown. There are smaller counties that gave Bush a bigger percentage of the vote, but in total numbers The OC is the most Republican place in the country.

Q2: Which candidate has raised the most money in Orange County this year, Barack Obama or John McCain? A2: Barack Obama:

On the Balboa Bay Club's wall of its most famous guests, there are photos of Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Gerald Ford and, of course, the Duke. There are no Democratic politicians. Securely tucked behind the Orange Curtain, Newport Beach is Republican-held territory.

....On Sunday, the Democratic Illinois senator brought his campaign to the center of Republican power and did what he has done better than any other presidential candidate — raise money. Obama would leave with $1.2 million, an organizer estimated. With this infusion, he may exceed the amount GOP candidate John McCain has raised in Orange County.

...."We thought it was symbolic," said [Frank] Barbaro, explaining why the event was held at the Balboa, long a favorite haunt of John Wayne and other Republican icons. "If you're going to take it to them, take it to them where they live."

I haven't heard much about Obama's fundraising lately, so I thought I'd pass this along. Seems like a good omen.

Kevin Drum 11:57 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (40)

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Comments

Apparently the Republicans are getting in on the ground floor.

Posted by: on July 14, 2008 at 12:02 PM | PERMALINK

And how much did Barack take in for changing his stand on FISA?

Posted by: Stewart Dean on July 14, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

Cool, in-you-face gesture to the GOP. Smart move by the Obama campaign.

Posted by: K on July 14, 2008 at 12:17 PM | PERMALINK

Soldiers from Newport Beach, CA killed in Iraq: Zero

http://icasualties.org/oif/StateCity.aspx

Posted by: RobertSeattle on July 14, 2008 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK

Just more proof that Obama is rolling around way down deep in the bed with Republicans, whose will he will gleefully execute at every turn if we don't stop the madness and throw him out at the convention. WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!

/puma

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

So why is Orange County so Republican? Anybody know?

Posted by: Lew on July 14, 2008 at 12:40 PM | PERMALINK

One of the more impressive aspects of Obama's campaign has been the sense of timing. While everyone is panicking about a recent tightening in the polls, Obama is keeping his powder dry, building a massive organization, bleeding McCain's money during the summer (some report that McCain is spending 3X as much on ads right now) and raising impressive amounts of money.

Like in the primaries, Obama has developed a winning 50 state strategy that will lead to a Democratic president and a working majority in Congress for the first time in recent memory. The media love a horserace, but the better candidate will win as long as Dems avoid the circular firing squad.

Posted by: danimal on July 14, 2008 at 12:44 PM | PERMALINK

"I'm the progressive. I support public campaign financing. I...

$1.2 MILLION? Never mind."

Posted by: Barack Obama on July 14, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Irvine, CA was specifically designed to be the captial of the heart of darnknes.

Posted by: Brojo on July 14, 2008 at 12:48 PM | PERMALINK

"If you're going to take it to them, take it to them where they live."

This is why I like Obama. No more cringing!

Posted by: craigie on July 14, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Cindy at 12:45, stop typing John's posts for him. We agreed he has to learn to do this for himself.

No, I don't care if he cries about how long it takes to find each of the keys and orders you to call Orkin when you tell him to use the mouse. You married the fool, so deal with it.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

Well, the OC and North County San Diego for that matter, are your basic country club conservatives, not your social conservatives, correct Kevin?

Mostly mid to upper middle class folks who want a strong economy in which they can prosper in. They liked Clinton because he was good for business, and think Obama may be the same. Obama is helping with this view.

Posted by: the fake fake al on July 14, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

This all sounds much like a West Wing episode.

Posted by: K on July 14, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

Orange County is also where Philip K. Dick spent his last and, in some ways, perhaps his best years. Go figure.

Posted by: thersites on July 14, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

Orange County also had one of the highest per-capita membership rates in the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, just out-paced by the counties around Indianapolis, Indiana.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on July 14, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

Oh I'm sorry, I thought this thread was about Cheney's medical check-up.

Posted by: ckelly on July 14, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Orange County also had one of the highest per-capita membership rates in the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, just out-paced by the counties around Indianapolis, Indiana.

Maybe so, but the OC members' sheets had seriously higher thread counts.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

Orange County also had one of the highest per-capita membership rates in the Ku Klux Klan during the 1920s, just out-paced by the counties around Indianapolis, Indiana.

Maybe so, but the OC members' sheets had seriously higher thread counts.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

"Well, the OC and North County San Diego for that matter, are your basic country club conservatives, not your social conservatives, correct Kevin?

Mostly mid to upper middle class folks who want a strong economy in which they can prosper in. They liked Clinton because he was good for business, and think Obama may be the same. Obama is helping with this view. "

As an eyewitness, I find the conservatism here to run much deeper than this. The conservatism seems to generally span the socio-economic spectrum.

Posted by: dave fouser on July 14, 2008 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Mr. "Shortstop" -- I have never typed anything here before.

Besides, thanks to InBev, I'm RICH, RICH, RICH!

Eat my plastic surgery dust, suckers!

Posted by: Cindy McCain on July 14, 2008 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

Well, I'm a little disturbed to hear that the latest national poll puts Obama only a point above McCain (via the Carpetbagger Report today in, "Monday's Campaign Round-up"). As unlikely as it may have seemed, they've gotten into range to beat us.

Posted by: Swan on July 14, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

swan ur a fuckinng i diot b ut thanx .

Posted by: Jo hn McCAin on July 14, 2008 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

There's also a lot of aerospace work in Orange County. Pays to support the source of your paycheck.

Posted by: Delia on July 14, 2008 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Has the Obama camp released their June fund raising figures yet? How come the silence.

Posted by: optical weenie on July 14, 2008 at 4:10 PM | PERMALINK

Has the Obama camp released their June fund raising figures yet? How come the silence.

Judging from their MO during the primaries, they are either waiting for some good Obama news to obscure underwhelming fund raising numbers, or they are waiting for some bad news to pop up in order to blunt it with really good numbers. My guess is that it is the former.

And Orange County can kiss my ass. That place is a shithole.

Posted by: enozinho on July 14, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

"...in total numbers The OC is the most Republican..."

Don't call it that.

Posted by: fumphis on July 14, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama camp has not released their numbers yet, after promising to do so last Thursday. There are rumors abound that his fundraising is drying up badly, and that his numbers may be even worse than the WSJ was claiming.

For those that care, McCain has an $84 million head start, and combined the RNC and McCain have $100 million in the bank after raising $48 million in June ($26M and $22M, respectively). The DNC and Obama have around $30 million in the bank as far as we know.

He need to be raising $40-50M a month to even keep pace with what the Republicans will throw at him, much less have a big lead in spending.

Also, that person who claimed McCain is spending 3X on ads what Obama is spending is completely wrong...it is the other way around. Obama has built an extremely expensive campaign operation, and it is no longer clear that he can afford it.

Every day that goes by without a release means the news is very likely bad news. They may be getting some backdated checks in the OC to help make for a better press release if you want my opinion...

Posted by: Matt on July 14, 2008 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

Historically, Orange County's population boom came between 1965 and 1975 when aerospace workers fled cities like Carson, Compton, and Gardena after the Watts riots. This was the heart of Reagan's support, and a peculiar environment that was uniquely Republican with a pro-military, libertarian bent.

I saw some interesting numbers from the 46th Congressional District (Rohrabacher, Panties on the head) over the weekend. Since the Presidential primary, there has been a net increase of 5,010 voters, and 74.5% of them were Democrats, 8.6% Republicans, the balance DTS and minor parties.

Ain't nothin safe anymore for the party that Bush wrecked.

Posted by: OC Native on July 14, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I forgot to mention...

Obama will have to be attending these fundraisers 1 out of every 3 events in October instead of doing rallies and media interviews.

Meanwhile, McCain will have free reign to spend his time doing what he should be doing...campaigning.

If this number, whenever it is released, is less than $40M, Obama should be re-considering his commitment to the public financing system.

I would not be surpised to see a flop-flip on this issue, if any of the rumors are true.

Posted by: Matt on July 14, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

OC Native -

5,000 votes in Orange County is nothing...there will be 1.2 million votes cast in the next election, easily. This translates into about 0.2% shift in voting patterns, if what you say is correct. So McCain gets 59.8% instead of 60% of the vote. Wow...

Also, I would expect migrants to be more likely Democrats in a down economy.

They probably moved because they lost a job, or got foreclosed on. Democrats for sure...

Posted by: Matt on July 14, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

We always claim in LA that going below the orange curtain results in losing IQ points. I hope Obama didn't have to spend too much time there...

Posted by: gab on July 14, 2008 at 5:18 PM | PERMALINK

I ended up spending 15 years in OC after my ex dragged my down there from LA and then I was stranded after our divorce. Here are the problems if you're middle class. Everyone is all about money and if you don't have it, you're nobody. It's very hard to find people to make friends with, especially if you're liberal, and when you do, they probably live far enough away from you that it's hellacious to get together with them (Standard SoCal freeway nightmares.) Sure, if you live there long enough, you find little out of the way good little restaurants and shops tucked into the strip malls. But it ain't worth it. I've been in Oregon long enough to get the smog out of my system, and I'm not going back.

Posted by: Delia on July 14, 2008 at 5:48 PM | PERMALINK

Matt--here's the link about McCain spending 3x the money on current advertising spending. He's burning his cash just to stay in the game.

http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/07/mccain_adviser_were_outspendin.php

As an OC refugee (born & raised), the area is filled with libertarians, military contractors and chamber of commerce Republicans. Demographics are changing and there are some indications of Democrats doing well. Even Dana Rohrbacher is getting a real challenge this year.

Posted by: danimal on July 14, 2008 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Fumphis, you have to capitalize "The" in "The OC." Like "The University of Texas" or "The Ohio State University," it's a clear sign of pretentiousness.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on July 14, 2008 at 6:50 PM | PERMALINK

Man, it sounds like a fucking nightmare there. And Kevin, having no bike, drives a mile to his mom's house because there are no sidewalks to walk on! This is my idea of hell.

Posted by: shortstop on July 14, 2008 at 8:47 PM | PERMALINK

Man, it sounds like a fucking nightmare there. And Kevin, having no bike, drives a mile to his mom's house because there are no sidewalks to walk on! This is my idea of hell.

I gotta agree - every time I visit my sister in Orange, I understand a little bit more about her proclivity for swallowing every fucking pill she can con a doctor into prescribing for her enjoyment - or maybe it just makes her existence tolerable?

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State on July 14, 2008 at 9:12 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl: here is the thing about SoCal in general, not just OC: your neighbors don't want to know you. There are some exceptions. I've been in some working class neighborhoods where people had lived there a long time that still had a sense of community, but they're the great exception, and I think the housing bubble of the last decade started to destroy even those. But in general, your neighbors won't talk to you. I grew up in a small college town in the intermountain west, and I knew everyone on my block as a kid. Now I've moved to a similar sort of place in Oregon, and again, people are friendly and neighbors will get to know you. So I can see why your sister feels the need to medicate. Lots of people do. Then they complain about the weather anywhere outside of SoCal.

Posted by: Delia on July 14, 2008 at 9:48 PM | PERMALINK

Obama cannot be intimidated by the Repukeliscum. He is a great leader in that respect.

And as far as FISA goes, that is SO YESTERDAY. Folks, we need to keep our eyes on the prize. It's Obama or McCain, and there are no other choices.

I take Obama. How about you? We need to take our guy, and hope to influence him after the election.

BUT BUT BUT, we need to get Obama elected. Of that, there is no question.

So, enough with the "FISA FISA FISA" whining.

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