CBS Highlights GOP Problems With Latino Voters

On Wednesday's CBS Evening News, correspondent John Blackstone reported on the growing influence of Latino voters, making sure to focus on Republican setbacks: "They favor Democrats over Republicans, 62 to 25 percent....in Nevada, Latinos were urged not to vote in a controversial ad....created by a conservative Latino group, seemed designed to help Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle."

Blackstone went on to deride Angle's campaign: "In ads promising to get tough on illegal immigration, Angle has been accused of stereotyping Latinos and in a much-viewed video she told Hispanic students some of them looked Asian." He then turned to problems in Meg Whitman's California gubernatorial campaign: "...immigration became an issue when Meg Whitman's undocumented housekeeper went public about being fired after working nine years for Whitman."

Blackstone touted the fact that "Among none-Latino voters she's in a dead heat with Jerry Brown at 48 percent each. But add in Latinos, and Brown has a five-point edge, 49 percent to 44 percent."

Here is a full transcript of the October 20 report:

6:41PM ET

KATIE COURIC: Control of Congress will be decided by dozens of House and Senate races we've identified as critical contests. In the House, Republicans need to pick up 39 seats now held by Democrats to reach the 218 it takes to become the majority. And they have a good shot at that, They're favored or have an even shot at winning at least that many Democratic seats. Meanwhile, in the Senate, the Republicans would need a net gain of ten seats to reach the magic number of 51, and they're targeting 12 Democratic seats that are currently in jeopardy. Three are in states where Hispanics will be a key factor, California, Colorado and Nevada. Two years ago, Hispanics helped President Obama win all three of those states. John Blackstone reports now on the growing political clout of Latinos.

JOHN BLACKSTONE: With a mariachi band and a tequila toast, an Hispanic business group welcomed California's two top Republican candidates, Meg Whitman for governor and Carly Fiorina for the U.S. Senate.

CARLY FIORINA: I think every speech should begin with a shot of tequila.

BLACKSTONE: For Fiorina, trying to unseat Senator Barbara Boxer, attracting the Latino vote is crucial. It's equally important for Meg Whitman and her race against Democrat Jerry Brown for governor.

MEG WHITMAN: I cannot win this election without the Latino vote.

BLACKSTONE: Latinos make up this country's biggest and fastest growing minority, numbering more than 48 million, some 19 million are eligible to vote.
                                            
DAVID CAMPOS [SAN FRANCISCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS]: Whether it's in California, whether it's in Nevada, in other states, Latinos are looking for a reason to come out and vote.

BLACKSTONE: In nine states, Latino voters make up more than 10 percent of the electorate. They favor Democrats over Republicans, 62 to 25 percent. President Obama is urging them to get out and vote.

BARACK OBAMA: Don't forget who your friends are!

BLACKSTONE: But in Nevada, Latinos were urged not to vote in a controversial ad now pulled from TV stations.

CAMPAIGN AD: Don't vote.

BLACKSTONE: The ad, created by a conservative Latino group, seemed designed to help Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle in her close race with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

CAMPAIGN AD: Illegals sneaking across our border.

BLACKSTONE: In ads promising to get tough on illegal immigration, Angle has been accused of stereotyping Latinos and in a much-viewed video she told Hispanic students some of them looked Asian.

SHARRON ANGLE, U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE: Some of you look a little more Asian to me.

BLACKSTONE: In California's governor's race, immigration became an issue when Meg Whitman's undocumented housekeeper went public about being fired after working nine years for Whitman.

NICKY DIAZ SANTILLAN: She said, 'I cannot help you.'

BLACKSTONE: Whitman has spent about $140 million, a record for a non- presidential campaign. Among none-Latino voters she's in a dead heat with Jerry Brown at 48 percent each. But add in Latinos, and Brown has a five-point edge, 49 percent to 44 percent. While Latino voters potentially have significant influence, it will count only if they actually cast ballots. A poll by the Pew Hispanic Center shows that only 51 percent of registered Latinos say they are certain they will vote in this election. John Blackstone, CBS News, San Francisco.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC