Hispanic Voters Give Clinton Edge in California

The biggest prize in Super Tuesday's nominating contests was the delegate-rich state of California. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won the state with the help of Hispanic voters.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And now to the biggest prize in last night's primary - California. John McCain took the Republican primary here with 42 percent of the vote. On the Democratic side, Barack Obama trailed Hillary Clinton, who got 52 percent. She had Latino voters to thank for that. They went for her 2-1.

NPR's Ina Jaffe spent last night at Clinton's election night party in Burbank.

INA JAFFE: The vast majority of the elected officials who spoke from the stage last night were Hispanic or African-American. And the same went for the crowd of Clinton volunteers who listen to them. Among them was Nancy Tafoya Gutierrez(ph) from the East L.A. community of Highland Park. After all her phone banking and canvassing on behalf of Hillary Clinton, she said it makes her proud that Latinos were 29 percent of the total Democratic vote.

Ms. NANCY TAFOYA GUTIERREZ (Clinton Volunteer): It also makes me proud that we have such a strong voice. And it makes me proud that we, when we pull together, it shows that something can really happen.

JAFFE: But Gutierrez was also happy to look around this cavernous union hall and that her candidate were supported by people of so many different ethnicities and ages.

Ms. GUTIERREZ: I never knew I would see something like this happen. And I'm just so happy to see it's not just completely one-sided. So nobody can say it it's a woman's issue, it's a race issue. This is a people issue.

JAFFE: A young African-American man named Louis Alvin agreed that the presidential election was too important to be defined by race.

Mr. LOUIS ALVIN (Voter): This is about what a person believes that an individual is gonna do in office. Hillary, I believe, is standing up for the people and what we want.

JAFFE: I have no quarrels with Obama, said Alvin, he's a brother. But, he added, she's also my sister.

Ina Jaffe, NPR News.

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