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  Orange Crush: Inside the GOP Struggle to Hold the Southern California Suburbs
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Last EditedIndyGeorgia  Mar 12, 2018 08:42pm
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AuthorGabriel Debenedetti
News DateSunday, March 11, 2018 06:00:00 PM UTC0:0
DescriptionMISSION VIEJO, Calif.—In a hilly, tucked-away neighborhood in this city, full of dogwalkers and SUVs and neatly trimmed front lawns, American flags flap outside the front doors, and nary a fence—white picket or otherwise—can be seen. Not long ago, a pair of canvassers for the Congressional Leadership Fund, the super PAC tied to Paul Ryan that is dedicated to keeping the House of Representatives in Republican hands, visited the homes of everyone here who isn’t a registered Democrat. They just wanted to ask the locals if Rep. Mimi Walters, a second-term Republican, has their support, they explained, and to leave behind a sunny-looking door-hanger that touts her record. It probably seemed innocuous. But the canvassers were a symbol of radical, unpredictable turmoil. They were messengers of a quiet apocalypse they’re hoping to stop.

All is not well for the Republicans of Orange County. If it were, the door knockers wouldn’t be knocking on these particular doors, or many others across California’s third most populous county. The long-term demographic shifts that have basically doomed the Republican Party throughout the rest of the state may finally have reached the GOP’s prized California hideaway. And in Washington, the Republican Party is led by a man whose crass style of politics clashes with the sensibilities of the chinos-and-mimosas conservatives and sandals-and-surfboards libertarians who still run this place.
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