National Leadership Eludes Latinos, but Villaraigosa Gets Top Billing

National Leadership Eludes Latinos, but Villaraigosa Gets Top Billing
Latino L.A. mayors = national leaders? Former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, with current Mayor Eric Garcetti. Photo by Neon Tommy / Flickr.

Latinos say they really need a national leader of their own background. And to prove it, a vast majority can't name one national leader of their own background.

This according to the latest poll from the Pew Hispanic Center. Interestingly, among those leaders with coast-to-coast name recognition named by Latinos polled was L.A.'s very own ...

... ex-mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Despite his lackluster job in L.A. and inability to grab a much-desired Obama administration gig, Villaraigosa's name recognition remains high among the nation's brownfolk. Relatively speaking.

Mayor V. made the top-five list in name recognition, coming in behind "don't know," "no one" (don't laugh), U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Pew says 3 percent of respondents named Villaraigosa.

National Leadership Eludes Latinos, but Villaraigosa Gets Top Billing
Pew Hispanic Center

About 62 percent of the whopping 5,103 Latinos surveyed in English and Spanish over the summer couldn't name any Latino they believe is "the most important Hispanic leader in the country today," according to Pew.

Yet almost half (45 percent) said it's very important to have a national leader who is Latino.

Interestingly, only one in five said they used "Latino" or "Hispanic" to identify themselves, with most (54 percent) preferring the nationality of their parents -- Mexican, for example. And nearly one in four (23 percent) just say "American."

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Dennis Romero on Twitter at @dennisjromero. Follow LA Weekly News on Twitter at @laweeklynews.


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