Sunday, April 07, 2019

Can Young Latino Voters Power Bernie To A Win In California?


CA-34 in Los Angeles is the district next door and to the east and south of mine. I'm there a lot; it's basically down the street. It includes Angelino Heights, Mount Washington, Eagle Rock, Highland Park, City Terrace, Boyle Heights, the Arts District, the Financial District and Koreatown. Long a magnetic for immigrants, it's ranked as among the 20 poorest congressional districts in America, but much of it is rapidly gentrifying and it's one of L.A.'s most energetic and entrepreneurial areas. The district is 64.8% Latino, 19.4% Asian, 10% white and 4% Black. It's basically a Republican-free zone and one of the bluest congressional districts in the country-- Trump only took 10.7% of the vote there and the PVI is R+35.

The congressman is Jimmy Gomez, who was reelected in 2018 with 72.5% of the vote (against a Green; the GOP doesn't run candidates in CA-34). Discounting the freshmen, ProgressivePunch ranks Gomez's voting record as the 14th most progressive in the House-- perfectly in sync with his constituents. A member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, an original co-sponsor of Pramila Jayapal's new-and-improved Medicare-For-All bill, an original co-sponsor of AOC's Green New Deal resolution and an original co-sponsor of Bobby Scott's $15 minimum wage bill, Gomez is unquestionably progressive... but not a radical. He's a union organizer and an immigration activist, not really an outright socialist.

In 2016 Hillary won L.A. County and almost every congressional district. Mine gets counted as a 49.6-49.6% tie, but in reality, Hillary managed to beat Bernie by 67 votes-- 65,975 to 65,908. There was one district that Bernie won though-- CA-34. He took 49,121 (51.3%) votes to her 45,763 (47.7%). Ironically, the only other L.A.-area congressional district Bernie won, is fully in Orange County, CA-46, where Latinos are also a majority. The local congressman, though, Lou Correa, is a co-chair of the reactionary Blue Dog coalition and has a miserable voting record-- rated a solid "F" by ProgressivePunch, beryls much unlike Gomez's solid "A." Bernie beat Hillary there 34,347 (50.4%) to 33,214 (48.8%).

Gomez was first elected in a 2017 special right after Bernie took the district. Polling by Latino Decisions found that 72% of likely primary voters in the district said "a Sanders endorsement would make them more likely to consider voting for a candidate-- the highest mark of any potential endorser... It wasn’t just Sanders name, but many of the themes from his political movement that voters in CA-34 also supported... 51% want a candidate who thinks the Democratic party needs fundamental reform versus 33% who like the idea of candidate who represents the California Democratic establishment. And by a 53% to 34% margin the voters in the district thought Bernie would have defeated Trump last November."

Younger Latino voters (18-30 years old) are among the best-informed and most ideologically progressive voters in California. And they are a strong bulwark for Bernie's campaign. On Saturday Aida Chavez, in a post for The Intercept, Bernie Sanders Is The Most Popular 2020 Candidate Among Hispanic Voters, New Polling Finds, reported that Bernie "is leading every other presidential candidate in support from Hispanic voters, who make up a significant chunk of his base... Sustaining this support will be critical to Sanders’s shot at the Democratic nomination, as Latinx voters will be the largest racial or ethnic minority group in the electorate by 2020, and wield greater influence over the outcome of the nomination than in previous elections due to changes in the primary calendar." She bases her conclusions on a new poll from Morning Consult.

At this point, Bernie has 33% of the Latino vote and even more among Latinos 30 and younger. The only other candidate with strong Latino support is Biden (24%). Beto does well, with 13% of the Hispanic vote. But Julián Castro clocks in at just 4%.
Just six states hold about 71 percent of eligible Hispanic voters, including 7.7 million who live in California, 5.4 million who live in Texas, and 3 million in Florida, all of which are early primary states. Hispanic people overall are on track to account for more than 13 percent of eligible voters-- slightly more than the share of black voters, according to a report from the Pew Research Center. In the 2018 midterms, about 43.5 percent of all Hispanic eligible voters were 18 to 35 years old, compared with 30.6 percent of all eligible voters.

Super Tuesday, which will fall on March 3, 2020, will include California and Texas, two delegate-rich states that also happen to have the largest Latinx populations in the country. (As recently as 2016, California held its presidential primary in June.) Then on March 17, Democratic candidates will face sizable Hispanic populations in Arizona, Florida, and Illinois. In Nevada, where roughly 28 percent of its population is Hispanic, will hold its caucus in late February, will expand in-person early voting to four days next year.

The latest Economist/YouGov poll also found Sanders leading among Hispanic voters, with 56 percent saying that they are considering voting for him in the primary or caucus in their state. Forty-two percent said they are considering voting for Biden, 35 percent for O’Rourke, 29 percent for Harris, and 23 percent for Warren.

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home