Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Can the growing California Latino voting population swing House races?

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NASA

Former NASA Astronaut Jose Hernandez is running for Congress as a Democrat in a Central Valley district with a growing Latino population.

Could the record number of eligible Latino voters tip the November election in some California Congressional races? Maybe.

Earlier this week, the Pew Hispanic Center reported that the number of Latinos who are eligible to vote has jumped 22 percent from 2008. That's got the attention of candidates at all levels.

Amid ads for the two Presidential candidates, you might stumble onto one for a Congressional race, funded by the Democratic House Majority PAC. In one instance, an ad depicts a star-filled sky above a farm field. The voiceover in Spanish says: "A boy from the valley saw the stars. He saw men go to the moon and dreamed. Jose Hernandez lived his dream."

Former astronaut Hernandez is trying to unseat freshman Republican Congressman Jeff Denham in the Central Valley. The district is split almost evenly between Democrats and Republicans, though pollsters say it leans Republican. The district has a growing number of Latino residents — 40 percent of the population vs 46 percent Anglo. 

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Heeeere’s Jerry! Proposition 30 launches statewide TV campaign (video)

The Yes on 30 campaign has launched five TV commercials, two of which feature the proposition's main proponent, Gov. Jerry Brown

Television ads for the Governor’s tax initiative hit the airwaves Wednesday. Five different ads feature — in turn —  teachers, the state controller and Governor Jerry Brown.

Voter support for Proposition 30 — the governor’s plan to raise sales and income tax to prevent cuts to schools — fell to 54 percent in a USC/Los Angeles Times poll last week. That had some political observers wondering why Brown's people were waiting to launch an advertising campaign.

(You can watch the ads below or on YouTube.)

The first presidential debate maybe?

Prop 30 spokesman Dan Newman confirms the debate had something to do with the decision to launch Wednesday. But, he says, so did the fact that Californians begin voting by mail next week. "So now's the time to start," Newman said. (The Secretary of State’s records for the last presidential election show that 41 percent of Californians who voted did so by mail.) 

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INFOGRAPHIC: Who do iPhone users vote for? Android users?

gillyberlin/Flickr Creative Commons

An Android and an iPhone side-by-side.

According to a recent study by Localytics, 70 percent of the most active iPhone states vote Democrat, while 70 percent of the most active Android phone states vote Republican.

California, one of the so-called blue states voting Democratic on a regular basis, is also an iPhone state. However, fellow west coasters in Oregon and Washington are predominantly Android dominated.

How about the swing states? In a good sign for those looking for Mitt Romney support, 7 out of 9 swing states are Android states, including crucial swing states like Florida and Ohio.

Check out more of the data that could make 2012 the mobile election in this infographic from the Engine Yard cloud computing company:


Courtesy of: Engine Yard

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'Dollar, Dollar, Bill' website makes California political spending easy to see

Dollar, Dollar, Bill

screen image from rhughes.com/dollardollarbill/

One of the most useful study aids I used in my college days (before personal computers) was my big set of multi-colored marking pens. I simply learn and understand things better when I copy them out, draw them, map or chart them.

A website that helps people like me better understand who is putting money into California's election campaigns does just that.

Dollar, Dollar, Bill is the nonpartisan off-the-clock hobby of Ryan Hughes, an attorney who works in the office of Assembly Speaker John Perez. The site has been live for just over a month.

The site checks the Secretary of State's campaign finance website three times each hour, grabs the most recent donor, spending and independent expenditure reports, and adds them to the charts for each of the California legislative and ballot measure campaigns. It also Tweets the numbers.

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Watch and discuss tonight's Obama vs. Romney debate here live and listen at 89.3 FM

In Profile: 100 Years In US Presidential Races

Marc Serota/Getty Images

This composite image shows Barack Obama (L) and Mitt Romney.

Barack Obama and Mitt Romney meet for the first presidential debate tonight, and you can watch it on live streaming video here starting at 6 p.m., listen at KPCC 89.3 and take part in the discussion in the comments below, on our Facebook page and on Twitter (just "@" mention @KPCC if you'd like us to share your tweet). This debate is scheduled to focus on domestic policy.

You can watch live video here tonight at 6 p.m. Pacific/9 p.m. Eastern. You can also listen to our live stream, listen on our iPhone or Android apps or listen on air on 89.3 FM. Also, our live viewing party at the Crawford Family Forum in Pasadena is sold out, but you can join the waitlist here.

Would you like the debate to be more interactive? Try the Take Two Debate Bingo game

What issues will you be following this election year? What experiences have influenced the way you feel about them? Share your story with us in our That's My Issue series. You can record your story for possible use on air and online on KPCC and WNYC.

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