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November 2010: Latino Voting Power

Your browser does not support this object. View the original here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SN337i6jHAM

Video published October 8, 2010 | Download MP4 | View transcript

Above: Every election in the last ten years has made the case that the Latino vote is crucial. Why do we keep on saying this? And why does it matter in San Diego?

Gloria Penner (Host): Latinos account for more than 21 percent of California's voting population. The power of the Latino vote is not a new concept, but this year may be different. Last weekend, Univision hosted the first spanish-language debate for California's gubernatorial candidates -- PLUS we're seeing some republican candidates court the traditionally Democratic Latino community for support. KPBS Fronteras reporter Ruxandra Guidi has been looking into this topic and she joins me now.

Guest

KPBS Fronteras Reporter Ruxandra Guidi

Transcript

This is a rush transcript created by a contractor for KPBS to improve accessibility for the deaf and hard-of-hearing. Please refer to the media file as the formal record of this interview. Opinions expressed by guests during interviews reflect the guest’s individual views and do not necessarily represent those of KPBS staff, members or its sponsors.

LATINOS ACCOUNT FOR MORE THAN 21% OF CALIFORNIA'S VOTING POPULATION THE POWER OF THE LATINO VOTE IS NOT A NEW CONCEPT BUT THIS YEAR MAY BE DIFFERENT LAST WEEKEND UNI VISION HOSTED THE FIRST SPANISH LANGUAGE DEBATE FOR CALIFORNIA'S GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATES PLUS SOME REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES ARE COURTING THE TRADITIONALLY DEMOCRATIC LATINO COMMUNITY. RICK WELCOME.

THANKS GLORIA.

EVERY ELECTION IN THE LAST 10 YEARS HAS MADE THE CASE. THAT THE LATINO VOTE IS CRUCIAL. WHAT DOES ITER IN SAN DIEGO -- MATTER IN SAN DIEGO? EVERY WHICH EVERY

WE CALL THEM THE SLEEPING GIANTS. I THINK WHAT IS REALLY DIFFERENT THIS YEAR WE ARE SEEING INCREASING NUMBERS OF LATINOS AND MAYBE VOTING REPUBLICAN A LOT OF THE CANDIDATES ARE APPEALING TO TRADITIONAL FAMILY VALUES VERY IMPORTANT TO LATINO. LAST WEEK I WENT TO A RALLY FOR CARLY THEORINA AND IT WAS SET UP LIKE AN EVANGELICAL SLASH RELIGIOUS RALLY THEY WERE REALLY SPEAKING TO LATINOS SUPPORTING THE PRO LIFE MOVEMENT, AND FAMILY VALUES, AND THAT ARE AGAINST GAY MARRIAGE WE MAY BE SURPRISED THIS YEAR MORE LATINOS VOTE REPUBLICAN.

I WOULD THINK IF YOU ARE APPEALING TO VALUES, YOU WILL GO WITH THE PARTY WHOSE VALUES ECHO YOURS.

THAT'S RIGHT. YOU KNOW, TO PLAY DEVIL'S ADVOCATE TO THAT, THAT PERSPECTIVE, A LOT OF LATINOS I SPOKE TO ESPECIALLY YOUNG LATINOS FEEL THAT EVERY ELECTION THEY ARE SEEN AS THE TOKEN VOTE, YOU KNOW THAT WILL CARE MORE ABOUT FAMILY VALUES BUT THE REALITY IS, THAT POLLS INDICATE LATINOS GENERALLY CARE ABOUT SAME THINGS AMERICAN BORN VOTERS DO THEY CARE ABOUT HEALTH CARE ECONOMY JOBS. SO YOU CAN LOOK AT DIFFERENT POLLS AND LOOK AT DIFFERENT NEWS REPORTS AND THEY ARE GOING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING NEW.

YOU MENTIONED POLLS RECENT POLLS SUGGESTED THAT LATINOS MAY NOT GO OUT TO VOTE DURING THESE MID-TERM ELECTIONS, IN THE SAME NUMBERS AS THEY DID IN 2008.

THAT'S RIGHT. WELL, TYPICALLY, THIS IS TRUE FOR EVERY PART OF THE ELECTORATE, MID-TERM ELECTIONS DON'T MOTIVATE PEOPLE AS MUCH TO VOTE AS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION BUT ANOTHER THING THAT POLLSTERS AND PUN DENTS ARE FINDING INTERESTING IS CONTROVERSIAL LAW PASSED IN ARIZONA, SB 1070 WHICH WOULD MAKE IT OKAY FOR POLICE TO STOP PEOPLE AND ASK FOR DOCUMENTS. IT IS REALLY DIVIDING THE LATINO PUBLIC BETWEEN THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DONE TO STOP UNDOCUMENTED ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION AND THE OTHER SIDE IS ARGUING MORE IMMIGRATION REFORM NEEDS TO HAPPEN NOW AND WE ARE AT A STAND STILL AND POLITICIANS ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH ABOUT THIS. THIS MAY BE DIVIDING THE LATINO VOTING PUBLIC.

YOU HAVE BEEN REPORTING ON THIS AREA NOW FOR AWHILE AND I AM WONDERING WHAT DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ARE DOING TO REACH OUT TO LATINOS LOCALLY.

ACCORDING TO THE FOLKS I SPOKE TO THEY ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH. ONE PERSON THAT I SPOKE TO AT UCSD PUT IT AS THEY THINK THAT JUST BY GOING OUT ON A BUS AND TOURING A LATINO NEIGHBOURHOOD AND EATING A TACO AND SAYING A FEW WORDS IN SPANISH WILL DO ENOUGH AND I THINK THERE IS THIS FEAR THAT AMONG THE LATINO ELECTORATE THAT THE VOTE IS REALLY JUST COURTED WHEN IT IS TIME FOR AN ELECTION. NOT ENOUGH IS BEING DONE FOR LATINO LOCAL COMMUNITIES, WHEN ELECTIONS ARE IN PLACE.

THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

THANK YOU GLORIA.

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