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NEWS ANALYSIS : GOP's Shock in O.C. May Reflect Loss of Incentive : The only success story for the county's Republican juggernaut was Pete Wilson's squeaker over Dianne Feinstein. Returns from the party's stronghold could not halt GOP disasters statewide.

November 11, 1990|DAVE LESHER | TIMES POLITICAL WRITER

Assemblyman Gil Ferguson (R-Newport Beach) saw the same dynamics in the loss of Pringle's 72nd Assembly District seat to Democrat Tom Umberg, becoming the first Republican to lose a county legislative seat in six years.

"It wasn't all Pringle's fault," Ferguson said. "When George Bush said there is no difference between (the parties) now that communism is quiet, and I'm going to support taxes, there was nothing left for Pringle to stand on."

For the Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday November 13, 1990 Orange County Edition Metro Part B Page 2 Column 5 Metro Desk 2 inches; 42 words Type of Material: Correction
Wilson margin--A story Sunday analyzing the results of last Tuesday's election inaccurately reported governor-elect Pete Wilson's margin of victory in Orange County. Wilson beat Democrat Dianne Feinstein in the county by 192,949 votes, with about 50,000 absentee ballots still to be counted.

In addition, there were signs that voter frustration--spawned by scandals and budget fiascoes in Washington and Sacramento--was alive and well in Orange County.

Pollster Gary Lawrence said Thursday at a Republican election analysis in Yorba Linda that the electorate was "cranky and even mean. America was not in a forgiving mood."

One of the places it showed up was in the congressional races. Although all five of the congressmen who represent Orange County won reelection, all but one had a lower winning margin than in 1988.

"There was an alarming level of voter hostility," state GOP spokesman Schnur said. "One, nobody voted. Two, those who voted did so in historic numbers for third-party candidates. Three, they massacred the proposition ballot. And four, the one (proposition) they did pass set limited terms for elected officials.

"Between those four factors, I think you'll definitely agree, the voters of this state have crossed the line from apathy to out-and-out hostility."

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