Richard Nixon was born and raised in Orange County, Calif. Ronald Reagan got his political fuel from there. In a state increasingly dominated by coastal liberals, Orange County was a conservative bastion with an ocean view.
Even as Democrats came to dominate California politics, Orange County clung on as a Republican stronghold.
"Orange County was different," said Rob Stutzman, a Republican political consultant based in Sacramento. "It was, as we called it, 'the orange curtain' and it has now fallen."