A new survey of 900 registered Latino voters released Wednesday suggests that a record number of Hispanics intend to turnout to vote in California’s upcoming June primary.
That could help former Los Angeles Mayor and gubernatorial candidate Antonio Villaraigosa, as well State Senate President Pro-tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), who is running for the U.S. Senate.
Latinos appear to be responding to fears over President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration and his promise to overhaul immigration policies.
According to the poll, conducted by the Latino Community Foundation, Villaraigosa is slated to receive 31 percent of votes from registered Latino voters, compared with 14 percent for Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, who is the frontrunner in the crowded race.
However, 36% — the largest number — said they were still undecided. Of those polled, 68 percent said they were 100 percent going to vote.
The poll was conducted between January 6-14.
Speaking at a Mexican restaurant in Bell on Wednesday, Villaraigosa reportedly took a shot at gubernatorial frontrunner Newsom, according to the Los Angeles Times: “In the debate the other day, one of the candidates talked about how great his county had done on education, on test scores and the like. And he goes on and on about his county, San Francisco County.” Newsom was mayor of San Francisco before becoming lieutenant governor of California.
Villaraigosa continued, “When he was finished, I had to jump in and [say], ‘You know what he didn’t say? It’s the worst county for African-American students in the entire state.'”
Despite Newsom’s lead in the polls, many are calling the race — which is less than six months away — “undecided” as there is still a significant percentage of registered voters who have not locked in their choice.
Strong Latino turnout could also benefit De León, who is running against incumbent Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) in the “jungle” primary.
Last month, De León warned Feinstein “don’t come back to California” unless she and fellow Democrats forced Congress to approve the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program.