California’s midterm elections are a race for the Latino vote

GOP makes major gains among Latino voters in November

As the midterm elections draw ever-closer, both parties are hoping to appeal to an increasingly diverse electorate. In California, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump received just over 38 percent of support from Hispanics last fall, compared to Mitt Romney, who won 40 percent of their vote, according to exit polls.

And according to exit polls, a majority of voters said it was “extremely important” to cast a ballot in their state’s midterm contests, with most saying they would not vote if they had to choose between a major party candidate and one who did not share the same views.

“The election results in California and elsewhere in the country will have a major impact on the next Congress, state legislatures and governor’s offices,” said Carlos de la Torre, director of Latino affairs at the University of Southern California and co-author of a report on Latin American voter behavior in the U.S. Senate.

The election results will not be determined before next Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Here in San Diego, GOP gubernatorial candidate Bob Filner said Republicans will do well if they can “recruit and win back” the Latino vote.

“The Hispanic community has a lot to lose when they elect a Democrat,” he said.

The top gubernatorial candidates are:


California governor: Gavin Newsom, lieutenant governor

Incumbent: Jerry Brown, U.S. senator

The election was not a referendum on President Barack Obama. The president carried the state with 55 percent of the vote.

In the lieutenant governor race, Newsom, a Democrat, is the incumbent, running against businessman John Perez, the attorney general. Brown is a Republican.

San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer, a Republican, is a candidate in the city’s mayoral race, but he said he is not running for governor.

Brown’s Republican primary opponent is Delia Sazdanoff, an attorney who served in the state legislature but is challenging him in the primary.

Voter turnout

Democrats have said Latino turnout is crucial.

In the last round of elections in 2010, only 1.2 percent of voters were Latino, according to the Los Angeles Times’ exit polls.

In 2012, the number of Latino voters doubled when compared with the previous election

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