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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

On Cue, Lt. Gov Candidate Hahn Plays Race, Gender, S.F. Cards vs. Newsom

Posted By on Wed, Apr 7, 2010 at 3:32 PM

click to enlarge Too white and San Franciscan to win?
  • Too white and San Franciscan to win?
Less than 24 hours after lieutenant governor candidate Gavin Newsom trumpeted an endorsement from Sen. Dianne Feinstein -- giving him statewide cred and appealing to female voters -- his opponent released polling data she commissioned claiming Newsom is a liability to the Democrats due to his incurable San Francisco white boyishness.

"Janice Hahn provides better balance for the Democratic ticket because Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are both white men from San Francisco," claims a poll undertaken by Fairbank, Maslin, Maulin, Metz & Associates -- and bankrolled by Hahn.

"Democratic Primary voters recognize that

nominating Gavin Newsom, another San Francisco-based white male, will not help

Jerry Brown win the gubernatorial election," the survey continues. "A solid majority understands that

Janice Hahn, a woman with a Southern California base and long family political

history in Los Angeles County, will be a valuable asset to Jerry Brown's

gubernatorial campaign in the November General election."

The survey of 500 likely statewide Democratic primary voters proclaimed Hahn's superiority based on the concept of governor and lieutenant governor being running mates, like a president and vice president. There are any number of problems with this supposition -- namely, that the governor and lieutenant governor explicitly do not run on the same ticket, so it's a major stretch to think voters consider them a "team." But, playing along with the poll's supposition, here's the statement participants were read: 

This year, Meg Whitman will likely to be the first female Republican nominee for Governor. In addition, Republicans are expected to nominate a Latino to run for Lieutenant Governor for the first time in 130 years, and their first-ever woman for the U.S. Senate. Some people think that with two women and a Latino candidate on the Republican ticket, Janice Hahn, a woman from Southern California, is a better running mate for Jerry Brown. Janice Hahn provides better balance for the Democratic ticket because Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown are both white men from San Francisco

Hahn is happy to report that Democratic voters of every stripe agreed with this sentiment (though, again, the term "Democratic ticket" is a misnomer).

We haven't conducted any polls. But the unnamed Latino above -- presumptive Republican nominee Abel Maldonado -- has. In fact, Maldonado's surveys showed a man with his credentials and an anglicized name easily winning over the state's Republican voters. But a man with Maldonado's resume named Abel Maldonado? Lo siento, Señor Latino.

This prompts several questions:

  • Since when has being a white man been such an obstacle?

  • Why do we give a damn how Democratic voters think Republican voters will respond to racially, sexually charged electoral issues?

  • And could Gavin Newsom's gleaming whiteness and masculinity actually be an advantage in a race against a Latino Republican?

Read the survey here:

Hahn survey.doc

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


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