California

Will Latino Voters Support Governor Newsom in the Special Election?

Governor Newsom got two-thirds of the Latino vote in California in the 2018 election, according to exit polls. So can he rely on their support once again?

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Latinos account for 40% of California's population and 30% of the electorate. Political analysts say it's hard to be successful in California without their support. While Governor Newsom enjoyed strong support from Latinos in California in 2018, some wonder if they will vote for him in the special election.

Latino voters in Texas and California helped former President Donald Trump win those states in 2020. Political analysts say while there were marginal shifts in the Latino electorate in some parts of the country, there is no data to suggest that we will see any major shift in the way Latinos in California vote any time soon.

"That’s definitely the case nationally, it's not the case in states like California and Arizona which have remained remarkably steady, but you did see a shift in places like Texas where U.S. born second-generation Hispanic males primarily did become a little bit more 'Trumpy' as we call it, reflecting some of the economic concerns that their non-college-educated white counterparts reflected as well," said Mike Madrid, a Republican strategist who specializes in the Latino vote.

Madrid said there is also a strong coalition of multi-generational Cuban Americans in the Miami-Dade County in Florida that helped moved the Latino vote to the right in that state. He says Latino voters in the Southwest part of the United States are predominantly Mexican, and there hasn't been as much of a shift in their voting patterns.

Organizers of the Recall Gavin Newsom movement mobilized California voters who were angry at the Governor's handling of the pandemic. Latinos were hit harder than other parts of California's population when it came to infections and hospitalizations, but Madrid says don't expect Latinos to blame Governor Newsom for that.

"The question is: Do you blame Donald Trump, who they are predisposed to blame, and the Republican Party because of the lack of vaccination mandates and mask mandates. Or do you blame the handling of the crisis on Gavin Newsom and the way he handled the pandemic?" Madrid said. "I think a few months ago, starting back in March when the recall began gathering steam, there were plenty of Latino voters like non-Latino voters who are more than willing to see there is plenty of blame to go around, that seems to be coalescing and diminishing."

Nationally, for the past few decades, two-thirds of Latinos have voted Democrat. Madrid says he expects to see those same numbers in this recall election where he expects 20% of the ballots cast to be from a Latino voter.

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