California Latinos split on Newsom recall election
Some prominent Latino politicians are calling for Latinos to back Gavin Newsom amid slipping support among the community.

With California Governor Gavin Newsom's recall election looming, some Latino leaders in the state are urging community members to vote "no" in the September 14 recall election.

Among the Latino organizations that have publicly backed Newsom is the Latino Caucus of California Counties, which said that a recall of Newsom would "roll back progress on key issues for the Latino community."

As examples, the Caucus gave the example of migrant protection, housing issues, a ‘digital divide' and the expansion of healthcare.

With recall looming, California GOP takes aim at Gavin Newsom

Over the weekend, Newsom also received support from Salud Carbajal, a member of the House of Representatives whose California district includes Santa Maria, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

Speaking at an event in Santa Barbara, Rep. Carbajal said that the recall was a "right-wing power grab".

"This recall was started by right-wing forces aligned with some of our own domestic right-wing individuals in the state of California, because this governor stood up to former President Trump," he was quoted as saying by the Santa Barbara Independent. "When he tried to divide us, this Governor brought us together."

If we don't show up at the polls, we could likely wake up the day after the election with a right-wing conservative taking us back on all the progress we've made in California.

Carbajal added that he believes it is crucial that Latinos and other California residents vote on September 14.

"If we don't show up at the polls, we could likely wake up the day after the election with a right-wing conservative taking us back on all the progress we've made in California," he said.

Polls, however, have shown that Governor Newsom's support among Latinos has been slipping.

A poll from California Politics and Emerson College conducted between July 30 and August 1, for example, showed that 46% of respondents were in favor of Newsom's recall and 48% against it. More than half of Latinos - 54% - said they were in favor. They were the only racial group with a majority in favor of the recall.

An earlier poll conducted by California-based Probolsky Research showed that 52.5% of likely voters would be against the recall. At the time, only 34.6% said they would be in favor.

In an interview with LPO, Probolsky Research President Adam Probolsky said that many recall supporters are hoping that Latinos believe that "change is a good thing".

"There's an advantage that the recall people have. This [the recall] is exciting. It's newsworthy. There's a ton of coverage," he said. "There's millions of dollars in free press happening for the recall. That's probably very frustrating for the governor."

Supporters of Gavin Newsom in East San Jose, California. Courtesy: Latino Caucus of CA Counties. 

Probolsky's assessment was echoed by some Latinos living in California.

TobĂ­as Ramos, a resident of California's Central Valley, said that he believes that that Latinos in that part of the state now identity more with the Republican Party.

"It doesn't surprise me. There's lots of naturalized Americans from Mexico and other places that have values that seem to resonate more with Republicans, like the church and being family oriented," he told LPO.

Another California voter, Gerardo Alcaraz, said that while he believes the recall election will be close, he has not seen much enthusiasm for it in his community in Los Angeles.

"I don't really think people care that much, to be honest," he said. "People aren't really talking about it even. I think a lot of folks will just sit this one out."

Alcaraz added that he believes that some voters might vote ‘yes' on the recall because of lingering feelings of frustration related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"Lots of people lost their jobs. It caused a lot of pain in a lot of communities," he said. "It might have nothing to do with Newsom, but some people will just want a change."

California Governor sees Latino support slip as recall election looms

Probolsky, for his part, said he believes that Covid-19's impact on the recall election has been overblown.

"At one point, there could have been a disparity in vaccine access. But in the last several months, if you want a vaccine, there's a place to get one. No one doesn't know where to get a vaccine if you want one," he said. "I don't think that's. a major issue for voters."

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