Republican Red Showing Shades Of Purple In Riverside County

Is the county moving to the middle as its demographics change?

Remaining 2012 ballots are still being counted at the Riverside County Registrar of Voters office, but final numbers may put some 2014 Republican candidates on notice.

As of Friday, the registrar’s office is reporting that out of the 14 partisan races in which a Democrat was a contender, six of them went to those with a big D after their name.

And while local voters gave the presidential race to GOP nominee Mitt Romney, at press time his lead over Barack Obama amounts to less than 4,000 votes in Riverside County.

Only one partisan race – the 67th State Assembly District – was without a Democrat this year.

By contrast, during the 2010 General Election, there were 21 partisan races on the ballot in Riverside County and only three went to a Democrat: State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, Juan Vargas, State Senator, 40th District, and V. Manuel Perez, State Assembly 80th District, were the victorious Democrats.

During the 2008 presidential election, there were 13 partisan contests to decide in the county. Five of them, including the presidential, went to a Democrat; but of the 13 races, two had no Democrats on the ballot.

Post 2012 election, some are questioning whether Republicans had, on a national level, a disconnect with Latino and African-American voters, young voters, and highly educated voters.

In Riverside County, the Latino demographic in particular has become increasingly important as the number of non-white voters rises. According to the latest census data, 46 percent of Riverside County residents reported being of Hispanic or Latino origin, 39 percent reported being white of non-Hispanic origin, and 7 percent reported being black.

During Friday’s News Roundup on The Diane Rehm Show produced by member-supported WAMU 88.5 in Washington DC, guest commentator Susan Page of USA Today told Rehm she believed Obama’s camp succeeded Tuesday by tapping into the “rising forces” in the U.S. electorate during the campaign.

“It is a coalition that elected him last time, but even more so this time, a coalition of the rising forces in the U.S. electorate: Hispanics, African-Americans, young people and some women, especially -- some whites, especially highly educated women,” she told Rehm.

Guest commentator Naftali Bendavid of The Wall Street Journal agreed with Page.

“I do think that the demographic issue is a big question. There's just no question that when you're alienating a large percentage of the electorate, which seems to have happened with Latino voters, it's a problem,” he said.

Their remarks came on the heels of comments by two vocal conservatives -- radio host Sean Hannity and columnist Charles Krauthammer – who showed a post-election shift in ideals by saying they would advocate an immigration bill that would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who are already in the United States.

But during the Rehm Show, Page noted that some conservative activists held a press conference Thursday at The National Press Club, in which they argued that Romney threw away a landslide win by not being conservative enough.

“I have to say that, even in the GOP, that is not the prevalent view,” Page contended.

Still, she acknowledged that either way – with or without far-right rhetoric – it was a close race.

“The Republicans got, what, 48 or -- 47, 48 percent of the popular vote, so that's a pretty even divide.”

Lash LaRue November 13, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Operative Faith reveals that Kroger will soon join the ranks of Durden Restaurants and slash the hours of its non-exempt (hourly) workers to avoid millions in Obamacare penalties. To give you a sense of Kroger’s size and importance, its sales last year were $90 billion and it employs nearly 350,000 people. Most of its jobs are hourly and the vast majority of workers are neither millionaires or billionaires. Faith is a mid-level manager at Kroger and reports the dire news: Last week we found out that, beginning in January, any employee who is not full-time at that point,will be limited to 28 hours per week and all new hires will be subject to the same policy. Currently, part-time employees can work as many hours as needed. Many Kroger employees, I believe, will be shocked to find out about this new policy.
julian November 13, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Is anyone stupid enough to think it was just poor planning that Lake Elsinore built a sports stadium before it thought to build a college? The Republicans out here want to keep you undereducated and poor and distracted. The less you know, the better they fair at election time. This worked for years but the tide is changing. As as our population grows and becomes more cosmopolitan our politics will in turn reflect our sophistication becoming more and more progressive.
Lash LaRue November 13, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Balance November 15, 2012 at 05:45 PM
Lash, You sound upset.
popeye November 22, 2012 at 05:29 AM
Riverside County is no longer purple. It is now Blue...ha ha ha


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