Nothing can arouse bipartisanship more than war, particularly this war.
In a sharply divided America, the degree of approval for President Biden after his State of the Union speech soared to a rate of 78 percent from a dismal range preceding the Russian invasion of the Ukraine.
Because of the bravery of the Ukrainian army, the fierce independence and presence of President Zelensky, and the vivid photos on television and in the newspapers of the citizens struggling to escape the violence, Americans’ public support for the Ukrainians is astoundingly strong.
Decisions in Congress to send money and supplies to the beleaguered nation receive little opposition as they pass through that legislative body.
How is this war perceived locally in a highly partisan county?
Newport Beach is very partisan, perceived for ages as a Republican stronghold along with the rest of Orange County. However, at the County level in the last election 53.5 percent of voters voted Democrat versus 44.4 percent Republican with 2.1 percent Independent.
In the last six local elections (2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020) Democrats prevailed in only one election, that of 2012. According to statistics, in Newport Beach only 22 percent of voters are registered Democrats. However with the increasing number of voters who are registering Independent, the edge that Republicans have continually held is diminishing.
Do these statistics seem to matter right now when it comes to the tragedy taking place in the Ukraine? Apparently not, so far.
President Biden and the majority of Congress are in agreement to the extent to which the United States can participate in the war. Also, there is widespread support for Ukrainians in Southern California resulting in rallies, protests and vigils in the Southland. Much of this support is the result of the general public being in shock over the invasion of a sovereign nation and the fact that thousands of expatriates live here.
Lynn Lorenz / Newport Beach