The GOP Hispanic Victory that Wasn't
It was big news that Republican Andy Vidak won a California state senate seat over a Hispanic candidate in a majority Hispanic district. Yes, he beat Leticia Perez, and she was a Democrat in a district that's 60 percent Hispanic and which offers a 22-point Democrat advantage, they said. So, you see, the right kind of Republican can win in the new America if he preaches "conservatism" (and, shh, panders on amnesty and speaks the necessary foreign language). Hey, we're California dreamin' in a socialist day, right?!
Vidak did win, did do the Juan McCain amnesty dance, did talk the foreign tongue, and the media certainly got the opposing statist's name right. But a majority Hispanic and Democrat district? Not so much.
It turns out that Vidak's 16th district was majority Hispanic and Democrat - before a 2011 redistricting. In fact, Wikipedia tells us that the old 16th was 63.2 percent Hispanic, 22.3 percent white (no data is available on "white Hispanics," packin' or not), 50.58 percent Democratic and 31.49 percent Republican. But the new 16th is 52.04 percent white, 35.72 percent Hispanic, 45.91 percent Republican and 29.75 percent Democrat. Thus, it's not surprising that while the Democrats had won the 16th-district senate seat each of the previous three elections, the GOP prevailed this time around.
It is nonetheless true, however, that Vidak's win holds hope for Republicans and teaches a lesson - all we have to do is redistrict the whole country.