Orange County Election Turnout Highest Since 1964

County election results certified, showing most cities backed Biden
By Michelle Thompson
Michelle Thompson
Michelle Thompson
Michelle Thompson is an editor and reporter based in Orange County, California. Her award-winning work has appeared in numerous major Canadian daily newspapers, as well as multiple U.S. publications.
November 27, 2020Updated: November 29, 2020

IRVINE, Calif.—Orange County recorded the highest voter turnout in 56 years during the recent presidential general election, with more than 53 percent of voters in the county favoring the Joe Biden-Kamala Harris ticket, and about 44 percent favoring the Donald Trump-Michael Pence ticket.

Results of the Nov. 3 election—which came down to razor-thin margins in some local districts—were certified on Nov. 25 by Orange County Registrar of Voters Neal Kelley.

Total turnout from the election was 87.3 percent, the highest figure seen in Orange County since 1964, when incumbent U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson defeated Republican contender and former Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater.

This year’s turnout was 25 percent higher than during the 2016 presidential election, and 36 percent higher than during the 2012 presidential election. About 83 percent voted by mail, while 17 percent cast ballots in person at one of Orange County’s 168 vote centers.

Ballots for Biden

Santa Ana claimed the largest victory for Biden. Of the 95,571 ballots cast in the city, 62.7 percent—or 27,887 voters—endorsed Biden. Another 27,887 votes went to Trump, or 29.2 percent.

There was a large margin of Democratic support in Irvine as well. Of the 129,954 ballots, 82,067—or 61.2 percent—were cast for Biden. Trump received 42,832—or 28.2 percent—of votes.

In Tustin, Biden received 21,096 of the 35,282 ballots, comprising 59.8 percent of the vote. Trump received 12,804, or 36.3 percent.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton was the first Democratic presidential candidate since 1936 to carry the traditionally red county.

Team Trump

The Orange County cities that voted in favor of Trump included: Yorba Linda, Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Westminster, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Newport Beach, and Villa Park.

The strongest margin for Trump was in Villa Park, where 58.7 percent of residents supported him. Biden received 37 percent of votes, for a 21.7 percent difference between the candidates.

The Republican stronghold was also clear in Yorba Linda, where 24,646 voters—or 56.8 percent—supported Trump. Of the 43,402 ballots cast in the city, 39.6 percent—or 17,191—backed Biden.

It was a closer call in Dana Point, where, with a 90.5 percent voter turnout, 10,816 people voted for Trump and 10,102 supported Biden.

Trump’s 13,857 supporters in Rancho Santa Margarita narrowly outnumbered Biden’s 13,310 votes.

High Turnout

Orange County’s highest turnout came from Seal Beach, where 92.9 percent of registered voters dropped a ballot. Biden received 8,793 votes, compared to Trump’s 8,400 votes.
Laguna Woods recorded the second-highest turnout; 7,496 residents voted for Trump compared to 6,069 ballots cast for Biden.

The Orange County Registrar results were certified after two audits were conducted to verify their accuracy.