Not shockingly, the Republican candidates of California are in a state of confusion after the ransacking they received on Election Day 2010.
They can't understand why, when Latinos and Asian-Americans report being politically liberal at a lesser rate than whites — and on many policies, vote more conservative — the minority groups were so turned off by GOP candidates this year. [The entire USC poll can be found here.]
Huh. Aside from the obvious maltreated housekeeper —
May we suggest stingy immigration reform, a love of tax breaks for rich white people and the general tendency to assume minorities can be won over with a Jesus pendant and bleeding-heart campaign ads.
The preferences of 420 Latino voters and 402 Asian-American voters included in the poll showed that the two fastest-growing minority populations in California are also the state's biggest swing vote.
But the political experts who conducted the poll said this morning that conservative inroads are being lost due to tough Republican stances on issues important to Asians and Latinos, like green initiatives and immigration reform.
“Republicans think they have an image problem, but it looks like they have a policy problem,” says Manuel Pastor, professor of American studies in ethnicity.
Whitman did run some Chinese-language campaign ads, says Jane Junn, professor of political science. But it looks like her interpreter did too good a job, because Asian-Americans were like, fuck that, voting her down 61 to 37. Latino voters kicked her to the curb even harder: Only 15 percent went for Whitman.
The diss is extra harsh because, in years past, Latinos have been more likely to support business-minded candidates, says Darry Sragow, interim director of the poll. Ouch. Guess eBay didn't make the cut.
Another surprise: Minorities don't just vote for candidates because they're the same color as them! Token GOP Latino Abel Maldonado, running for lieutenant governor, lost sorely to his opposing Democrat, and didn't win the Latino vote either. (Then again, even conservative shit-slingers like AM radio's John & Ken wanted to send that “dope” back to his “farm.”)
“It's not enough to say, 'OK, we had two women, an African-American and a Latino candidate,” says Sragow. “You have to walk it, you can't just talk it.”
Because Latino-supported Republican issues like Prop. 8 and anti-abortion weren't at the forefront of this election, California Republicans couldn't find a lure for moderate minorities, experts say. The Cuban/Puerto Rican/Dominican populations in Miami and New York are generally more conservative, somewhat removed from the central thicket of the Mexican immigration fiasco. Texas has more liberal immigration policies (though that doesn't mean fewer Minutemen), because Republicans like George Bush realize immigrants are good for his darling big-business clientele.
Better luck next time, gringos.