Recently there's been some discussion about Andy Vidak, elected to the California State Senate's District 16. See here, here, here, here, and here, plus I've also been receiving valuable mail from readers.
There's been some confusion over the demographics of the 16th district, was it majority Hispanic or non-Hispanic? Well, the district was redistricted in 2011, but the redistricting doesn't take effect until 2014 (see here). That means that, as originally reported, the district indeed has a Hispanic majority, but when the redistricting takes effect in 2014, it should have a slim white majority.
Vidak estimated that he received one quarter of the Hispanic vote, which was better than the district's previous Republican candidates who would get one-eighth of the Hispanic vote.
However, there is another factor, pointed out by James Ryan:
The most likely reason for Vidak's win is low turnout from Hispanics in a special election in the middle of summer. Hispanic voters typically lag behind in turnout, and an election at an odd time with no other candidate on the ballot would probably result in a very low turnout. Vidak actually got fewer votes than the 2010 GOP nominee, but only a drop of about 10% whereas the Democrat vote dropped by 45% compared to 2010.
That analysis sounds right on, and should give one pause before going out to declare this a great Republican victory in winning the Hispanic vote.
Plus, as Washington Watcher has pointed out, Vidak has been and still is an amnesty supporter. Yet despite the fact that he supports amnesty, had Spanish-speaking campaign workers and cooked menudo, Vidak only received a quarter of the Hispanic vote.