As goes Alpine, so goes California.
At least, that seemed to be the case this midterm election. Though California is often thought of as a solidly blue bulwark, it’s actually a patchwork of cobalt, blood crimson and purple.
On one end of the spectrum sits Lassen County in rural northeast California. There, the Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, secretary of state, attorney general, controller, superintendent of public instruction and U.S. senator are beating their Democratic opponents by an average of 56 percentage points. That’s compared to the statewide average, where voters across California are picking Democrats by a roughly 19-point margin. That means Lassen’s electorate leaned about 75 percentage points more Republican than the state as a whole.
Lassen’s bluest counterpart is, perhaps not surprisingly, San Francisco, where the electorate favored the Democrats by 47 percentage points more than the average California voter.
And the county that most closely reflected the California average, with only the slightest 0.34% periwinkle blue hue: The roughly 1,000 registered voters of Alpine County.
A note about these kinds of maps: Counties don’t vote, people do. So though this color-coded version of California may look overwhelmingly Republican, the blue bits are where the vast majority of the state’s voters live.