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IN MY ORBIT: Hispanics and Latinos are Turned off by Newsom and the CA Democrats, Giving Fresh Wind to Recall Gavin Newsom

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

They did it to themselves, frankly. California Democrats assumed that they could beat anything because of they had a bulletproof Hispanic and Latino base on their side. California’s a progressive state! Our values are Hispanic/Latino values.

Ummm… not so fast.

The election is now underway, and Newsom is back on the campaign trail. With a nearly 10-point enthusiasm gap between Republican and Democratic voters, nothing should concern him more than voter motivation. Newsom will need Democratic turnout, and no one could be more important than Latinos.

The recall election comes at a painful yet promising time for California’s large Latino community. The pandemic and its economic effects have hit Latinos hard in the state, but 2020 also saw historic gains among California Latinos in voter registration, early voting and younger voter engagement, according to a recent Univision analysis. This should bode well for Newsom. In 2018, 64 percent of Latinos backed him.

But Newsom would be unwise to take the Hispanic vote for granted. Within the past six months, polls have been inconsistent, suggesting both that he enjoys considerable Latino support and that said backing could be fickle. Another red flag for Newsom? Many Latinos remain open to the idea of recalling Newsom.A voter survey made available to me by Univision’s Political, Advocacy and Government group, which collects data on Hispanic voters for groups and campaigns interested in reaching the Hispanic community, suggests 44 percent of Latino voters remain undecided.