I have read comments on Facebook by supporters of Lou Correa that are openly blaming the voters in Santa Ana for Correa’s loss to Andrew Do in the First District Special Election. That is ridiculous.
There are a lot of reasons why people might not vote. You have to know, going into a Special Election, that the turnout will be low to begin with. But Latino voters in Santa Ana already were prone to not voting – they did the same thing in November when Jose Solorio lost to Janet Nguyen in the 34th State Senate election – which led to her abandoning the First District.
Nguyen’s henchman Do beat Correa in great part because Correa’s campaign never once sent out a mailer reminding the voters that Do quit the Garden Grove City Council in 2011. The Vietnamese people, in particular, are not fond of quitters and Correa really needed to remind them that Do left when they needed him the most. This was a huge mistake by Correa – and now his supporters are saying that attacks were beneath him. That is so lame.
It is true that politicians prevail when they give us hope but you can’t let your enemy decide the terms of the battle. If you have dirt that can destroy him you have to use it. This isn’t the Little League. There is no ribbon for the runner-up. Correa lost and now he is finished in politics and it is his own damn fault.
Correa’s handlers also forgot that “all politics are local.” What was the huge issue in Santa Ana over the past six months? The residents on the East Side were furious that Nguyen and her fellow Orange County Supervisors were trying to put a homeless shelter right in the middle of a poor Latino neighborhood, surrounded by schools and parks. It was an insane thing to do – but Correa blew it by not capitalizing on the issue by sending out a mailer saying he would NEVER allow Do to put a homeless shelter in one of our neighborhoods.
Correa’s campaign inexplicably focused on public safety – even though every single city in the First District has their own city police department – they don’t use the Orange County Sheriff’s services. Yes crime is an issue, particularly in Santa Ana, but NOTHING in C0rrea’s mailers even remotely hinted at any new ideas or approaches by Correa. It was a cookie-cutter campaign – a lot like Solorio’s. Do these people never learn?
I also believe that Correa failed to sufficiently target white voters – while Do went after them with gusto. They are a minority in the First District but they vote. And I don’t think they voted for Correa. Certainly the Republican ones went with Do, who had the support of both the CA and the OC GOP.
While some liberals in Santa Ana are defending the gangs most of us hate the gangs and Correa should have taken a tough stand on this issue – perhaps even defending the use of gang injunctions. That would have cost him some votes on the far left but garnered support from the families in our city who are tired of gang violence in our city.
Speaking of liberals, Correa was betrayed by one of them, local blogger Greg Diamond. When the Democratic Party of Orange County got together to endorse Correa, Diamond was the only Central Committee member who withheld his endorsement. And Diamond went on to openly support a Republican in the race – Garden Grove Councilman Chris Phan.
Liberals have complained for years that Correa is not liberal enough. Well congratulations morons – you are now represented by Do, a Republican who will continue Nguyen’s legacy of ignoring Santa Ana.
I heard that Do put a lot of focus into getting out the vote – including working with the local Buddhist temples to ensure their parishioners voted for him. There was a three-way Viet vote split but Do prevailed because he found a way to get the vote out.
Did Correa’s campaign do enough to get out the vote? He was the only Democrat in the race. The only other Latino on the ballot was the Mexican-hating Mexican Lupe Moreno. She only got a handful of votes. Correa should have won easily but you have to wonder if his people dropped the ball at the eleventh hour.