Housekeeper accusations may impact Latino vote

September 29, 2010 6:34:41 PM PDT
Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman has been courting the Latino vote and polls show she's been making a lot of headway -- a huge accomplishment for a Republican.

Courting the Hispanic vote has been a cornerstone of Whitman's campaign and it seemed the strategy was working. According to last week's field poll, the former eBay CEO was gaining on Jerry Brown with the Latino community, which makes up 15 percent of California voters.

The poll done just six days ago shows Brown with 43 percent of the Latino vote and Whitman with 40 percent, a gap of just 3 percent.

But now with accusations Whitman hired an undocumented worker and may have mistreated her, Oakland City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente believes many Latinos will back away.

"Speaking out of both sides of her mouth, no question about it," he said. "I think when people talk about immigrant people, sometimes they use them and abuse them. So I think it will definitely make a difference to Latino voters."

"I wasn't planning to vote for her. I'm a Democrat, I will vote for Brown," Oakland resident Mona Monterrosa said.

"If I had to bet today, I would say it doesn't hurt her as much as one might think it might, because the Latino voters in this state were probably going to be voting Democratic anyway," UC Berkeley senior political lecturer Susan Rasky said.

Oakland Republican Camila Klipstein says the accusations won't sway her on Election Day and she'll vote for Whitman.

"I don't think it's fair for anyone to be talking about this stuff," she said.

One thing Whitman may have in her favor is that according to a field poll, illegal immigration is not among the top five issues voters will consider when selecting a governor.


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