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How Latino and Asian Voters Made the Difference in 2013 Gubernatorial Elections

In a Dickensian tale of two campaigns for governor, the Republican Party watched two very different strategies unfold on how to embrace or reject Latino voters on Tuesday. A majority of Latino voters voted for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as he soundly won reelection, while Ken Cuccinelli lost his campaign to be Virginia’s governor after alienating Latinos with his anti-immigrant positions. As Jordan Fabian at Fusion explains, Christie offered Republicans a path for how to make inroads with Latinos, but “Cuccinelli’s campaign, on the other hand, fell into the same traps that have doomed Republicans in the last two elections.”

Christie won 51 percent of Latino voters on Tuesday, according to exit polls. That was an enormous jump from his 2009 election when he narrowly beat Democrat Jon Corzine but only had support from 32 percent of Latino voters. The gains can be attributed to his extensive outreach to minority communities “Christie didn’t take an antagonistic approach – he wasn’t about ‘here’s the groups I don’t like, I don’t like immigrants, or gay marriage’ and he literally embraced diversity, when he talked about all the different people he had hugged in the campaign,” Latino Decisions political scientist Sylvia Manzano told NBC Latino. And Christie also embraced pro-immigrant policy positions, like supporting immigration reform that includes a path to citizenship and allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at New Jersey public colleges and universities.

Read full article from Immigration Impact.