|Poll||Date||Sample||Sanchez (D)||Tran (R)||Spread|
|Final Results||--||--||53.0||39.3||Sanchez +13.7|
|AAF/Ayers (R)||8/23 - 8/29||400 LV||45||43||Sanchez +2|
|2008: Sanchez (D) 70%, Avila (R) 25%||2008: Obama (D) 60%, McCain (R) 38%
|2006: Sanchez (D) 62%, Nguyen (R) 38%||2004: Bush (R) 50%, Kerry (D) 49%|
|2004: Sanchez (D) 60%, Coronado (R) 40%||2000: Gore (D) 55%, Bush (R) 40%|
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the 1996 election cycle came in Orange County. Conservative stalwart Bob Dornan of Garden Grove was narrowly upset by Loretta Sanchez, an unknown businesswoman. The district had been unabashedly conservative in the 1980s, giving George H.W. Bush 62 percent of the vote in 1988, but had drifted leftward and gave Bill Clinton a plurality of the vote in 1996.
Today the district is 69 percent Hispanic, although the electorate is probably less so. George W. Bush carried the district by a point in 2004, but Barack Obama romped to a 60-38 win over John McCain. Sanchez has not fallen below 60 percent since her 1998 rematch with Dornan.
Republicans are hoping that this year will be different. They nominated Assemblyman Van Tran, who aims to become the second Vietnamese-American in Congress. Tran has raised about three-quarters of a million dollars, and is counting on huge turnout among the district’s substantial Vietnamese-American minority (about 15 percent of the district) to push him over the top.