Around 40% of L.A. voters haven’t yet decided who they’ll back for Mayor. Many of these undecideds are Latino voters, who represent nearly one-third of the electorate. Come June, they could be kingmakers.
Karen Bass has a slight lead in the race. She’s not Latino herself, but she has scored key endorsements from Latino leaders, including former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and labor activist Dolores Huerta.
City Councilman Kevin de León has an advantage with Latino voters as a fluent Spanish speaker. He has put out ads in Spanish. They tout his upbringing as the son of a single mother from Guatemala who worked as a housekeeper. But experts say he must do more door-to-door outreach.
Rick Caruso’s campaign is also running ads in Spanish, though the candidate does not speak the language. The campaign has also been conducting research to gauge the needs of the Latino community.
Latino voters are not a monolith, but their priorities largely mirror the rest of the voting population. A recent poll from the Pat Brown Institute reveals homelessness and the economy are the leading concerns among Latino voters.
Representation is important too. 46% of Latinos said it is “very important” and 36% said it is “somewhat important” to have a Latino representing them in office — a good sign for Kevin de León.
While the Latino electorate is heavily Democratic (54%), just 25% consider themselves “liberal.” On public safety, Latinos hold moderate views. Only 22% want to reduce police funding. 44% believe police funding should stay the same and 34% want it increased.
Read more about how the candidates are courting Latino voters here.