Candidates push for Latino votes

FRESNO, California

The Latino vote came out in record numbers in 2008, helping the Democratic Party elect Barack Obama to the oval office. But with the recent displeasure over democrats, some Latinos in the valley are hoping republican candidates can cash in on the bad publicity at the polls.

Sanger city councilman Michael Montelongo supports Meg Whitman in the governor's race. "The economic stability here in the valley is very hard. And she's talking about working with small businesses. Small businesses to me is working with the Latino community. A lot of people in the Latino community have small businesses and need help in the times of these days." said Montelongo.

But traditional support within the Latino community lies with the democrats. Joel Murillo volunteers his time to help the Brown campaign in the Valley, and is organizing Tuesday's event. He says the attorney general's stance on comprehensive immigration reform resonates well with the Latino voter. "We really need to have Jerry Brown elected to be the governor, especially when the opponent has said that she under no circumstances will look for an avenue for people to become U.S. Citizens." said Murillo.

A study by the Pew Hispanic Center shows 65% of registered Latino voters plan to support a democratic candidate. Just 22% plan to support a republican. But Hispanic voters appear to be less motivated than other voters to go to the polls. Only 51% of Latino registered voters say they are absolutely certain they will vote in this years mid-term elections.

ABC30 political analyst Tony Capozzi expects a close vote in the race for governor but believes Brown will come out on top among Latino voters. "Naturally I think the Hispanic vote would go with the democrats. But you know the republicans have really made inroads with Hispanic community. So it could go either way but I think in this election it's going to go with the democrat." said Capozzi.

The Latino mayors and elected officials coalition is also expected to announce its support for Senator Barbara Boxer and Congressman Jim Costa at Tuesday's news conference.

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