Volunteers for OC Democrats hope to flip Republican seats

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Volunteers for Harley Rouda, the Democratic candidate in California’s 48th district. Photo: Jenny Hamel

Orange County has long been a Republican stronghold, but this year it’s one of a handful of political battlegrounds around the country. There are four Congressional districts in the OC, all held by Republicans, that Democrats believe they have a shot at taking away.

According to Andrew Godinich with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, OC Democrats are energized by “kitchen table issues.” These include affordable health care, cheaper prescription drugs and higher wages, he says, as well as “ensuring that folks continue to have access to Social Security and Medicare, protecting those from Republican attacks.”

Democrats have been working hard to get out the vote in Orange County. KCRW spoke to volunteers who are particularly energized ahead of the midterms to find out which issues matter to them.

John Murdent is hoping for a referendum on Trump.

John Murdent, 70, is volunteering for Harley Rouda’s campaign. Rouda is the Democratic candidate looking to unseat Republican Dana Rohrabacher in the 48th district. Murdent sees the midterms as a referendum on President Trump. Photo: Jenny Hamel

“The man is not fit to be president of the United States. He’s all about power. He’s all about control. He’s all about making money. That’s all he cares about. I knew from Day One who he was and what he was going to do.”

Ellen Montanari says she wants to flip the House.

Ellen Montanari is volunteering for Mike Levin, the Democratic candidate vying for Republican Darrell Issa’s seat in the 49th district. Photo: Jenny Hamel

“I am 100 percent focused on flipping the House. We need to get some checks and balances on this administration and the Republican controlled Congress isn’t doing their job.”

Andrew Courtney, 18, is working as a field organizer for the Harley Rouda campaign before he heads off to Harvard.

Andrew Courtney makes a call for the Rouda campaign. Photo: Jenny Hamel

“For me some issues that I feel very strongly about… climate change is number one. Education would probably be my number two. You know just coming out of school and going back into school, I have many thoughts on the education system- what works, what doesn’t work.”

Terry Van Horn (Not pictured) lives in the 49th district. Republican Darrell Issa decided to retire earlier this year, leaving the seat vacant. For Van Horn, it’s all about health care.

“Health care is my number one issue. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t have a good, solid health care system that everyone has access to in this country.”

Christine Dittmer (Not pictured) of Huntington Beach is volunteering against the incumbent in her congressional district in part because she says he’s not acting in the best interest of the environment.

“Dana Rohrabacher he is in favor of offshore drilling. I don’t care what party you were in In Orange County nobody’s in favor of offshore drilling. We need new sources of energy. We need new ways to face the future.”