A new Public Policy Institute of California poll reveals that the huge lead California Governor Jerry Brown holds over his challenger, Neel Kashkari, can be attributed to one salient factor: Brown’s massive lead among Latino voters. The poll’s data show Brown is winning 73% of votes from Latinos, as opposed to 19% for Kashkari.
As Joel Fox of Fox & Hounds Daily notes, Brown is trouncing Kashkari by 16 points overall, but his lead among Independents is only 44% to 40%. That 4% difference is within the poll’s margin of error. Even more remarkably, among white voters, Kashkari actually leads Brown by one percentage point.
The poll also reveals that California voters are disenchanted with voting; PPIC noted that in the 2010 gubernatorial election, the “enthusiasm meter” registered 53%, and the same meter registered at 61% for the presidential election. This year, enthusiasm for the gubernatorial election registered 40%. PPIC said there was a 37% plunge in voters in 2014 compared to 2010.
California has the most Latino residents of any state, over 14 million. Brown’s state budget projected that Latinos are now the largest single racial/ethnic group in the state, comprising 39% of the population. California and New Mexico are the only states where whites are not the majority and Latinos are the plurality.