Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

John J. Pitney, Jr., Ph.D.

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2019 Caroline M. Sunshine


In November 2018, Orange County shifted from red to blue. The county voted for the Democratic nominee for President for the first time since 1936 and Democrats swept every House seat. This change shows that economic and demographic trends have political consequences. Orange County became red due to a racially and economically homogenous coalition of white and blue-collar defense industry workers, capitalist entrepreneurs, and suburban middle class families. Orange County became more blue as it became less white. In-migration of Hispanics, Asians, and young diverse educated professionals created a new coalition that leaned Democratic. The original conservative coalition shrank and Republicans failed to attract new voters. Orange County is part of a larger trend of the national suburbanization of the Democratic Party. The political future of Orange County is unclear. If current economic and demographic trends continue uninterrupted, Orange County will likely remain blue for the near future.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.