Adam Nagourney had a front-page article in the New York Times earlier this week that got some buzz in the blogosphere, but since I didn’t get to reading it until today (the dead-tree copy was sitting on the kitchen table at my Dad’s place in Colorado). His article on the changing demographics of California’s reliably Republican Orange County offered not just a window into the anti-Republican slant of Times‘ reporters, but also into their willingness to spin demographic trends to fulfill their wishes of a declining GOP.
Now, let’s look at the chart he uses:
Notice something? I thought you did. While the Times‘ editors dub the county a “little less red,” it’s also a little less blue. Until their recent uptick, Democrats were also on the decline in the Southern California county. Independents have surged (which, to be sure, Nagourney observed, noting that this follows a pattern “in much of the state.”
Seems people have lost faith in both parties.
To be sure, Nagourney does at least do his homework and refrains from engaging in the typical assumptions of many in the news media that ethnic voters always favor Democrats:
Orange remains a Republican county, at least relatively: an influx of immigrants certainly does not equate to automatic Democratic gains, here or anywhere else across the country. Many Vietnamese immigrants are socially conservative and run for office as Republicans. Until the increased identification of the Republican Party with tough measures on immigration in recent years, Latino voters were also clearly in play for Republicans. Most elected officials in Orange County are Republicans.
But the political texture of this county, which is larger in population than Nevada or Iowa, is changing, and many officials say it is only a matter of time before many Republican officeholders get swept out with the tide.
Emphasis added. Many officials? And just who are the those officials? He doesn’t tell us. Officials in Democratic party organizations or affiliates? Heads of left-leaning special interest groups.
Should independents in Orange County break this fall as they are breaking in polls across the country, Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina will take the lion’s share of them, garnering about 60% of the vote in the County.
And while Mr. Nagourney mentions Congressman Loretta Sanchez’ 1996 victory over “Representative Robert K. Dornan — B-1 Bob” as “a sign of what was to come”, he neglects to mention that brash representative’s flaws which led to his loss nor that many political prognosticators rate Sanchez’s race as one of the (few) marquee House races in California this fall, with the incumbent Democrat polling under 50%, despite high name ID. Should Ms. Sanchez lose — or even run well below her tallies in recent races — that would go a long way to undermining the Times’ narrative.
In his article, Nagourney did not mention the competitive nature of that race.