PLACER COUNTY (CBS13) — The year 2020 continues to serve up shock and surprise, including a historically-red county flipping mainly blue for Biden in the presidential election.
Long-time Placer County resident Ralph Maurer has often been in the minority when he votes blue. The Placer County Democrat keeps a number of old election signs in his garage. This year, he believes he was the first to put up his Biden support sign in his front yard. But not long after, others followed.
“I was surprised to see that it was happening,” Maurer said. “That people were going for Biden here.”
The trend stayed true as election results rolled in. In Placer County, 51% voted for Joe Biden as their choice for president and 47% voted for President Donald Trump.
It was a shock for Republicans like Bart Forman, who has lived in Placer County for 10 years. He’s often found comfort surrounded by those who think like him, in a state usually decided by its blue counterparts.
“I don’t know that many in the blue column,” Forman said. “We have this little enclave of shelter.”
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But why did it flip? There are a couple of theories. CBS13 political analyst Gary Dietrich says one could be from the Bay Area.
“Does it signal transplants?” Dietrich said. “Folks moving from outside the area, who may be left-leaning and moving here on a permanent basis.”
The Placer County Democratic Party confirmed several people joined their group after relocating from the Bay Area. Forman said he’s noticed the impact of new neighbors, too, on the value of his home.
“Within a year, it’s gone up $100,000,” Forman said.
But is it permanent? If people keep moving, the trend could continue. Democrats like Maurer welcome the support, and those added Biden signs around his neighborhood. Though, he believes the reason may be more than movers.
“I don’t think there’s been that much change here,” Maurer said. “I think it was Trump himself. He did it.”
Placer County’s Democratic Representative Candidate Brynne Kennedy also came close to flipping a normally red seat. A narrow margin of around 3,000 votes sealed it for Tom McClintock.
Editor’s note: Updated results released by Placer County on Friday show President Trump in the lead by a percentage point over former Vice President Biden. The county still has 42,000 votes to count.