The demographic changes that have swept the county reflect what is happening across the state and much of the nation. It has happened slowly but surely over the course of a generation, becoming increasingly apparent not only in a drive through the 34 cities that fill this sprawling 789-square-mile county south of Los Angeles, but also, most recently, in the results of a presidential election. In 2008,Barack Obama drew 48 percent of the vote here against Senator John McCain of Arizona. (By comparison, in 1980,Jimmy Carter received just 23 percent against Ronald Reagan, the conservative hero whose election as California governor in 1966 and 1970 was boosted in no small part by the affection for him here.)

The article focuses on changes in ethnic composition but my sense is that a lot has to do with generational differences as well.  During its rapid growth the people who lived there were the people who chose to move there, plus their kids.  Their kids didn’t make that choice and so they are more of a random sample.  Plus they naturally rebelled against the conservative culture that their parents created.

I thank Matt DeBeer for the pointer.

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