Thursday, October 10, 2013

Janet Nguyen and San Francisco Chronicle

It is quite rare to have SF Chronicle to interview a political candidate in Orange County.   So LSI was surprised to see the article about OC Supervisor Janet Nguyen (R) along with the video -

 So what is going with the OC state senate race between Janet Nguyen (R) and Jose Solorio.   See below for a nice breakdown by an article in the OC Register.    By all indication thus far, it will be a close race but if Nguyen can rally her base, she might be ahead by more than 7 votes on election night (which is still a year from now).

Vietnamese Americans more engaged politically
There are far more Mexican-born residents of Orange County than Vietnamese-born, but those from Vietnam are more likely to register to vote.

Vietnamese Americans repeatedly prove themselves more engaged with Orange County elections than their Latino counterparts, and Register stats wiz Ronald Campbell has turned up a new indicator of that.

County residents are more than three times as likely to be Mexican-born (12 percent of the population) as Vietnamese born (4 percent), according to census data. But the Vietnamese-born are more likely to be registered to vote than the Mexican-born (4.8 percent to 4.2 percent), according to Campbell’s rundown.

There are far more Mexican-born residents of Orange County than Vietnamese-born, but those from Vietnam are more likely to register to vote.

But even among registered voters, Vietnamese Americans are more likely to vote than Mexican Americans or Latinos in general.

Perhaps the most dramatic display of county Vietnamese Americans’ electoral muscle came in the 2007 special election for county supervisor, which was won by Janet Nguyen. The district had 20 percent more Latino voters than Vietnamese American voters. But Vietnamese Americans’ ballots outnumbered those from Latinos by more than 2-1. Although there were three Latinos on the ballot, the top two finishers were Vietnamese Americans.That’s worth keeping in mind in the 2014 race for state Senate District 34, which is being vacated by termed-out Sen. Lou Correa, D-Santa Ana. Nguyen, a Republican, is running against Democratic former Assemblyman Jose Solorio.
Democrats have a narrow 3-percentage point advantage in the district’s voter registration. Latinos are 47 percent of the district’s population but just 27 percent of the district’s citizens of voting age, according to Paul Mitchell at Political Data Inc. Asians – predominantly of Vietnamese descent – are 21 percent of the population and 23 percent of the district’s citizens of voting age.
Vietnamese Americans (and Asians overall) are traditionally more likely to register to vote than Latinos, and once registered are more likely to cast ballots. That likely tips the scale of ethnic votes in favor of Nguyen.
A similar dynamic could come into play in Assembly District 65 if Vietnamese Americans join Korean Americans in identifying with Korean American candidate Young Kim, a Republican. The GOP hopes she can beat incumbent Assemblywoman Sharon Quirk-Silva, D-Fullerton. Democrats have an insignificant half-percentage point advantage in voter registration. Latinos and Asians each have about a 24-percent share of the district’s citizens of voting age.

By most assessments, the Mexican American population is younger than its Vietnamese American counterpart (ditto for the broader Latino vs. Asian numbers), so voter registration numbers are apt to improve for Latinos as more reach voting age.
But even once they reach voting age, Latino citizens are less likely to register than others. About 25 percent of the state’s voting-age citizens are not registered, while that shoots up to 37 percent among Latino citizens of voting age, according to Mitchell.


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