Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Van Tran Counts on Big Vietnamese Turnout in CA-47


GARDEN GROVE, Calif. - California's 47th may be the only congressional district in Orange County where Democrats have a registered voter advantage over Republicans. Still, GOP challenger Van Tran argues that D.C. pundits who assume Democratic incumbent Loretta Sanchez has an inherent edge over him are missing a key point.

The blue-collar district may be two-thirds Hispanic, which offers Sanchez a clear leg up, but it also has one of the lowest voter turnout records in the nation. Tran, a Vietnamese-American, is banking on the likelihood that his own ethnic community, which makes up about 15 percent of the district, will vote in massive numbers to help him unseat Sanchez - a 14-year incumbent who is facing her first serious challenge since first winning office.

"The Viets come out," Tran said in an interview with RealClearPolitics on Monday. "Although they're small, they're powerful and potent because they come out in force as a bloc."

Tran's campaign operates a satellite office in the district's Little Saigon, and the candidate said that he expected to benefit additionally from the presence of other Vietnamese-Americans on the ballot, including a Vietnamese Democrat who is running to replace him in the California State Assembly.

Sanchez drew national condemnation last month when she said in an appearance on the Spanish language network Univision, "The Vietnamese and the Republicans are, with an intensity, trying to take this seat from which we have done so much for our community - to take this seat and give it to this Van Tran, who is very anti-immigrant and very anti-Hispanic."

The Sanchez campaign downplayed the remark's impact, but it was clearly a major distraction, as the Democrat was forced to devote precious time and resources to explain what she meant.

Sanchez is counting on her appeal to the district's blue-collar Democrats, who overwhelmingly backed Barack Obama in 2008 but also twice voted for George W. Bush.

"Loretta is a very moderate and in many ways conservative Democrat," Sanchez chief of staff Adrienne Elrod said. "Every vote she casts, she looks at the issue and how it will affect the district. She has no problem bucking her party whatsoever."
More at the link.

Also, "
California 47th District - Tran vs. Sanchez."