PowerPAC has conducted extensive demographic research and polling across California that has shed light on the views and opinions of voters of color in California. Below is a summary of each project:

  • Poll: Spanish-speaking voters in key southern California counties

    In September 2006, PowerPAC joined forces with the New Democrat Network Political Fund to poll Spanish-speaking voters in key Southern California counties on the 2006 Governor's race and other important state issues. The results showed that Schwarzenegger is in deep trouble with California Latinos, as only 21% of this key group supports him. The poll also showed that Spanish-speaking voters are motivated to vote against Schwarzenegger, due to his policies and rhetoric on immigration, health care, and the increasing inability for their families to afford a middle-class life in California.

  • Poll: Statewide Survey of Voters of Color

    Latinos, the fastest growing demographic in California and a key swing vote in the state, overwhelmingly favor progressive policies including single-payer health care for California, greater access to higher education and reforming the Three-Strikes and You’re Out law, according to an April 2006 poll commissioned by PowerPAC.org.

    The poll shows more than 60% of Latinos support either Democratic challenger over Gov. Schwarzenegger in the general election this fall. On immigration, the poll showed that Californians want their state leaders to address the issue, and showed broad support across demographics for solutions that include a path to citizenship for undocumented workers.

  • Research: A Strategic Approach to a Just Democracy
    California has the largest electorate in the country with 17 million registered voters. Now a majority minority state, we have an uphill battle in ensuring a representative electorate, with 3.7 million eligible, unregistered people of color and another 1.2 million registered people of color who do not turn out to the polls. A geographically dispersed and extremely diverse state, we face numerous challenges in tackling the vote gap and ensuring participation by people of color.

    Developing a Winning Strategy
    In an effort to strategically focus our efforts and investment, PowerPAC.org embarked on an unprecedented quantitative and qualitative research project. The goal of the research project was to narrow our targeting to particular regions - from the county level to cities to political districts and neighborhoods - through in-depth demographic and voting trend research coupled with an analysis of political and grassroots electoral and organizing operations.

    Based on our model for electoral organizing, we used the following factors to analyze and identify prospective targeted areas:

    • Total People of Color Population and Percent People of Color

    • Percent Progressive Registered Voters

    • Total Unregistered Voters

    • The number of people per non-profit organization

    • Percent Hispanic Eligible Voters

    • Percent Yes on 72 (health care initiative) Votes

    • Electoral Activity by local, statewide & national players

    • The number of hotly contested statewide campaigns and the number of local, municipal campaigns

    • Interest by political donors and national electoral organizations

    Snapshot
    Inland Empire Cities: A Majority People of Color

      Total Pop % People
    of Color
    Riverside 255,166 55.4%
    San Bernardino 185,401 71.1%
    Ontario 158,007 73.4%
    Moreno Valley 142,381 67.8%
    Fontana 128,929 76.1%
    Corona City 124,966 53%
    Rialto 91,873 78.5%
    Victorville 64,029 52.5%

    Key Findings: 15 Counties & 112 Cities
    Our research focused on 15 strategic counties yielding these insights on electoral trends:

    • We found 112 cities (populations greater than 25,000) that were a majority people of color.

    • Re-confirmed Southern California as the powerhouse for potential growth in electoral participation.

    • 112 cities were majority people of color, but almost all did not have an electorate that was reflective of that majority.

    • The participation problem for Southern California is equally a voter registration and voter participation problem whereas in Northern California, unregistered voter percentages are much higher. In the case of the Inland Empire, 53% of eligible voters did not participate in the 2004 elections.

    • There has been very little political investment in progressive electoral work in California’s Red counties.

    • Despite Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside being considered California’s Red counties, there is the potential to flip municipal and state seats from conservative to progressive given the number of registered progressive voters not turning out to the polls.