New analysis: Close ties to Trump threaten Orange County Republicans in midterm

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher

Orange County Republicans have tied their fate to an increasingly unpopular president, which could spell trouble in November.

Donald Trump won’t find any more loyal followers than elected Orange County Republicans.

Reps. Mimi Walters of Irvine, Dana Rohrabacher of Costa Mesa, Darrell Issa of Vista, and Ed Royce of Fullerton all eagerly back almost every priority of Trump, no matter what harm may come to their constituents.

But instead of hitching their wagon to a rising star, Trump’s popularity is steadily declining across California.

A new analysis of polling data saw disapproval of Trump grow throughout the Golden State over the course of 2017.

Even in the Republican stronghold of Orange County and San Diego, three in five voters registered their dissatisfaction with Trump at the end of 2017, up from half at the beginning of Trump’s term.

Barely one in three now support Trump.

The data for this region even surprised Mark Baldassare, president and CEO of the Public Policy Institute of California, who conducted the polls.

With Democratic enthusiasm focused on southern California in their quest take back control of the House of Representatives, the recent retirement announcements of Issa and Royce, and now more evidence of Trump’s unpopularity, Orange County Republicans just can’t catch a break.

Both Walters and Rohrabacher maintain plans to be on the ballot in 2018, running on records that show close ties to the unpopular Trump.

On health care, Walters sided with Trump by voting for every Republican version of repealing the Affordable Care Act despite the fact that a three out of five Californians would prefer Republicans working with Democrats to fix the ACA.

When Trump was desperate for a win on a tax bill, Walters came through for him, ignoring the will of Californians to champion a bill that would raise taxes on working-class Californians while lavishing billions of dollars in tax cuts on wealthy heiresses like Paris Hilton.

Rohrabacher opted for a more direct way to show fealty to Trump.

In 2017, Rohrabacher paid more than $10,000 to hold a fundraising event at Trump’s Washington, D.C., hotel, prompting him to be included in a report by Public Citizen on “array of interest groups trying to cozy up to Trump by spending money at his properties.”

Beyond ethically questionable fundraisers, Rohrabacher has plenty to worry about.

Like Trump, he faces allegations of being especially close to Vladimir Putin and Russian interests, so much so that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) once said, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”

While Orange County voters show an increasing disdain for Trump, their representatives just grow closer to him.

If Trump continues to alienate Orange County voters, the close ties forged by Walters and Rohrabacher very well could backfire when voters head to the polls.