California Latino Voters Aren’t Sold on Whitman, Fiorina
A new poll by the Los Angeles Times and USC poll shows Latino voters prefer Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown to Republican Meg Whitman by large measures, even after she softened her immigration messages and tried to reach out to Spanish speakers. That could be a big deal for how Whitman and other GOP candidates fare in the state in November: Latinos make up about 21 percent of the electorate in California.
The LA Times has more on the poll results:
Registered voters who identified themselves as Latino backed Democrat Jerry Brown by a 19-point margin over Republican Meg Whitman in the race for governor, despite Whitman’s multiple appeals to Latino voters during the general election campaign. Registered voters who identified themselves as white gave Brown a slim 2-point margin.
In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer held a 38-point lead over Republican Carly Fiorina among registered Latino voters, five times the lead she held among white voters.
Whitman has attempted since her Republican primary to court Latino voters through outreach and Spanish-language ads, including billboards stating her opposition to Arizona’s contested SB 1070 immigration law. Fiorina has the backing of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles, but has so far failed to find widespread support among the California Latino population.
Granted, the GOP already had an uphill battle among Latino voters: Nationwide, only 13 percent identify as Republicans versus the 54 percent who identify as Democrats. But it may be particularly difficult for the GOP to court Latino voters as they shoot down measures like the DREAM Act, which would help some undocumented students gain legal status, and push for heavy enforcement. Polls indicate most Latino voters want to see immigration reform, and Republicans may face backlash for refusing to deliver it.