By Alex Gonzalez
I have seen some jurnos making that argument that Latino voters in California may help “turn red” the state in The Recall. Frankly, that is the most ridiculous argument in California politics these days.
Gov. Gavin Newsom won by 24 points in 2018 and Trump lost by 30 points in 2020, and while Gov. Newsom initial response for the Covid-19 pandemic did frustrate many Latinos in the state in 2020, in 2021, Gov. Newsom has been more responsive addressing the problems that arose in Latino communities during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
Two-three months before the 2020 elections, some polls showed that support for Trump among Mexican Americans/Latinos in California was around 35%. However, Election Day exit polls showed Trump got only 21% of the Latino vote in California – they moved it to 23% few months later – that is down from 25% in 2016. Thus, there is no real data showing that Latino will help “turn California red.”
U.S. Census showed that 4,539,000 Latinos voted in California in 2020, up from 3,300,000 in 2018 and 3,345,000 in 2016. No only the Latino Vote in California continues to grow exponentially moving away from Republicans, but the share of voters who self-identify as Republicans keep shrinking.
Election Day Exit polls are flawed for many reasons but mostly because it polled only 15% of the voters in the state in 2020; by Election Day 85% of the Electorate in California had already voted. Nonetheless, exit polls is what the media and party honchos adopt to make pro or anti campaign messages. But let’s keep in mind that only 25% of registered voters in CA are Republicans; and while there may some frustration with Gov. Newson initial response for the pandemic among Latinos, voting for any anti-mask anti-vaccine GOP candidate seems unfathomable for a group has been hit hard during the Covid-19 pandemic.
As of August 11, 55% of all new Covid-19 cases were among Latinos in California, and Latinos represented 46% of all Covid-19 deaths while “whites” were only 31%.
Moreover, the Public Policy Institute survey of May shows that “nearly six in ten likely voters say they would vote to keep Governor Newsom in a recall election.” The same survey shows that “Majorities of Californians say things in the state are generally going in the right direction (56% adults, 51% likely voters)” and “Asian Americans (70%), Latinos (68%), and African Americans (63%) think things in California are generally going in the right direction, compared to 42 percent of whites.”
Now, there is an Emerson Poll, the one used by GOPers in California to fundraise and argue that 54% Latinos do want to recall Gov. Newsom. However, the PPI survey show support for Newsom’s Budge among Latinos. For example, on the question of “Do you favor or oppose Providing another round of stimulus checks with $600 going to Californians with incomes under $75,000 and an additional $500 going to those with children,” whites (56%) were the least likely across racial/ethnic groups to be in favor with 85% African Americans, 83% Latinos, 78% Asian Americans in favor.
Not only 68% of Latinos in California think the state is going in the right direction, but 83% of Latinos supported Gov. Newsom’s ideas in the state Budget that helps those earning less than %75,000.
In 2020, Republicans in California barely won back four of the eight Congressional districts they lost in 2018. And that is the reasons why some may argue that Republicans can generates momentum statewide, But, again, Trump lost by 30 points, or 6 million votes, in 2020, and the support for GOPers in those districts is due to the fact that those a traditional GOP “white” areas they lost in 2018; two of those districts were won by Asian-American candidates in Orange County and one in the Central Valley where Republicans still have conservative base. But, those districts don’t really reflect the statewide sentiment for Trump Republicans.
It’s a fact that GOPers in ballot leading in the polls like Larry Elders are anti-vaxers and anti-mask Trumpians who are in The Recall only panders to Fox/Newsmax/OAN audience.
Joe Biden won in California with an overwhelming support from Latino voters. Latino Voters struggled through the pandemic more than any other ethnic/racial group because many factors that Newsom has tried to remedy. Why would Latinos vote for any GOPers who are anti-mask, anti vaxers like Larry Elder, or anti-Immigrant like Caitlyn Jenner who has promised to build Trump wall and has been to border for photo ops. It could be that Jenners is not anti-Immigrant, but shes know that sells in small Trump universe in California.
The two GOPers who were supposed to be the serious candidates, John Cox and Kevin Faulconer, have not gained any traction in polls while talk radio host Larry Elders is being promoted in Trump universe right-wing outlets as “the possible next California governor.” However, everyone knows this Recall is just money maker for grifters.
Alex Gonzalez is a political Analyst, Founder of Latino Public Policy Foundation (LPPF), and Political Director for Latinos Ready To Vote. Comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or @AlexGonzTXCA