The Latino Gap?

Lisa Witter

In California, where she received 52% of the popular vote, Senator Hillary Clinton won big not only with women but also with the state's Latino voters.

Last night I was in the Castro District of San Francisco picking up dinner at a Mediterranean restaurant and if you were to judge tonight's primary winner by the enthusiasm of the sign waving on the street corner, Obama would have won hands down.

We know that enthusiasm didn't carry the day in the voting booth for Senator Obama in California. Hillary is the projected winner and exit polls showing her winning by a comfortable margin. Because of the proportional rules in the state it's still too early to know what the delegate count will be for each camp.

All eyes were on the Golden State tonight because of the number of delegates in play as well as a curiosity about how the powerful Latino would vote play out.

After a quick analysis of the exit polls, not only did Clinton score with women (women made of 55 percent of the Democratic voters and of those, 59 percent voted for Senator Clinton) she also won big with California's Latinos.

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Latinos accounted for 29 percent of the voters and Hillary won every age demographic by significant margins including the youth vote (18-29 year olds) where she scored 67 percent. Her vote margin with older Latinos (60 and older) was even higher, at 81 percent.

In California's neighbor, Arizona, Latinos made up 20 percent of the Democratic voters and Hillary received 53 percent of their vote.

There's a lot more analysis to do here to better understand the Latino vote – but there is one thing for sure – there may be a Latino gap in the primary election. This gap will be important for both Democratic campaigns to consider while strategizing how to win over the 224 delegates in the March 4th Texas Primary.

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