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Meg Whitman Runs Away From Hard Line on Immigration (to Spanish-Language Media Anyway)

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California passed Proposition 187 -- a harsh law targeting unauthorized immigrants -- in 1994.

Four years earlier, in 1990, Republican Governor Pete Wilson got 47 percent of California's Latino vote. In 1998, Wilson won just 17 percent.

Meanwhile, the Latino vote, as a share of the total, rose from 10 percent in 1990 to 19 percent in 2005 (that's registered voters, not the whole population).

So, having won her primary ...

Meg Whitman, pivoting away from a primary that drove her much father to the right than she would have liked, will remind Hispanic Californians that she opposed Arizona's controversial immigration law in an ad slated to run on the Spanish-language broadcast of today's Mexico-France World Cup game.

"She respects our community," says the ad's narrator, according to a Spanish text provided to La Opinion's Pilar Marrero. "She's the Republican who opposed the Arizona law and opposed Proposition 187," say the ad, referring to the 1994 initiative -- later ruled unconstitutional -- to bar illegal immigrants from receiving public health care and education.

The ad marks a dramatic tack a way from a primary in which Whitman was at times visibly uncomfortable with her campaign's hard line, denying at one point -- mistakenly -- that her campaign was airing ads with images of a boarder fence.

Also:

Her campaign reportedly hopes to increase the percentage of the Hispanic vote falling on the Republican line to 35%.

That was the exact share of California's Latino vote that George HW Bush won in 1992, a performance no Republican presidential candidate has duplicated since. John McCain, considered a moderate on immigration, got 31 percent in 2008.

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