Multi-American

How immigrants are redefining 'American' in Southern California

The ten (or eleven) political races in which the Latino vote may count the most

At a polling place in San Francisco, November 2008
At a polling place in San Francisco, November 2008 Photo by Terry Chay/Flickr (Creative Commons)

Because everyone loves a good list, here's an interesting one that the San Francisco Chronicle posted today on its politics blog: The 10 political races in which the Latino vote will be decisive this Nov. 2.

At the top of the list is the Nevada senate race, in which Democratic incumbent and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is running against Republican challenger Sharron Angle. Two California races also made the list, including the race for the 47th Congressional District in Orange County in which Rep. Loretta Sanchez, a Democrat, is up against Republican rival Van Tran, a Vietnamese-American member of the state assembly.

Also on the list is the California senate race. From the post:

Republican Carly Fiorina narrowly trails incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer in the latest polls. Boxer is counting on strong support from the state's sizable Mexican-American population to put her over the top on Election Day. Boxer may benefit from a Latino backlash against Republicans following gubernatorial nominee Meg Whitman's controversy over hiring — and firing — a housekeeper who was in the country illegally.

Oddly missing from the list, though, is the California governor's race, in which a lack of Latino support could sink Republican candidate Meg Whitman in her race against former governor and present state Attorney General Jerry Brown.

Earlier this week, the Chronicle reported on the results of a new poll that showed Whitman trailing Brown among all voters in the wake of a scandal last month involving her employment and subsequent firing of Nicandra Diaz Santillan, an undocumented housekeeper that she employed for nine years. Specifically regarding the housekeeper situation, two-thirds of Latino respondents said Whitman "didn't handle it well," according to the story.

This week the Whitman campaign unveiled a new Spanish-language ad in which the candidate tells voters that "she stood up against" Arizona's SB 1070 anti-illegal immigration law.

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