Bilingual Battle

LANGUAGE: An examination of Tuesday's vote shows that the proposition actually won outright in a handful of Hispanic neighborhoods.

The “English for the Children” initiative, which passed resoundingly Tuesday, showed surprising muscle in many Hispanic neighborhoods in Orange County, according to an analysis of voting patterns by The Orange County Register.

The measure passed easily in most of the county, drawing outsize margins in neighborhoods with Republican majorities or high average incomes. It lost only in the most heavily Hispanic neighborhoods.

But even there, it found significant support, garnering margins ranging from 36.7 percent to a near-break-even 49.75 percent. And in a handful of Hispanic neighborhoods it won outright.

For example, in one Anaheim neighborhood where 60 percent of the residents are Hispanic, Prop. 227 won a solid 61.8 percent of the vote.

The Register examined results from 227 precincts, about 13 percent of the total. The analysis gives an indirect idea of how people of various races, incomes and parties voted. It is impossible to know with certainty the race, income and parties of individual supporters and opponents. Because of traditionally low turnout rates among Hispanics, it is possible that non-Hispanics cast the bulk of the pro-227 votes in Hispanic neighborhoods.

The initiative, which could effectively end bilingual education in California,
won by a wide margin statewide – 61 percent to 39 percent. In Orange County,
more than 70 percent approved it. The measure faces a legal challenge but could be be implemented within 60 days.

The proposition did very well in more affluent areas. Within the computer sample, 227 carried all precincts with median family income exceeding $60,000 at a 73 percent clip. It won only two of the seven neigbhorhoods with median family income of less than $35,000.

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