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Latino voters in California could help decide party control in Washington in the midterms, with several of the country’s most competitive congressional races being fought here. But just how many Hispanics will show up at the ballot box remains a big question, and it appears that most in the state have not been contacted directly by campaigns.
Latino turnout in California has steadily declined in recent years, to 47 percent in 2016 from 57 percent in 2008, according to data analyzed by William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. Midterm elections saw even lower rates: Just 25 percent of eligible California Latinos cast ballots in 2014.
Perhaps nowhere is the Hispanic vote so critical this year as in the 10th District, surrounding Modesto in the Central Valley, where Josh Harder, a Democrat, is running a competitive bid to unseat the incumbent Republican, Representative Jeff Denham. Mr. Denham clung to his seat in 2016 by just a few percentage points even as Hillary Clinton won the district.
Mr. Denham has been a pro-immigrant voice on the right and has often butted heads with fellow Republicans over reform efforts. But Mr. Harder is hoping Latinos in the district will make it to the polls to cast protest ballots against President Trump this year. He is looking for young voters like Estela Arreola, 18, a pro-Democrat student at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, who said she was extremely excited to vote in her first general election.
But Ms. Arreola worries that others are not tuning in, and that local campaigns are not doing everything they can to reach out. There is data to support her concern: A tracking poll released this month by Latino Decisions, a polling firm, showed that more than 60 percent of registered Hispanic voters in California had not been contacted by any political campaigns.
“I think people just don’t know,” Ms. Arreola said. “They have no clue what’s going on. They don’t get advertisements as much, and also I think they don’t realize how much of an impact they have.”
And campaigns may be overestimating the extent to which Mr. Trump alone will spur voters to the polls. Many Hispanics, especially in the more conservative Central Valley, like some of the president’s policies.
Jose Alvarez, 20, said he supports Mr. Trump because he feels the economy is doing well under his direction. He said he would vote to bolster the president’s agenda, but he seemed unaware there was a midterm election coming up.
“Voting is a very important thing; I’m not saying it’s not,” Mr. Alvarez said. “But just in general, politics in general, I just don’t want to hear it.”
A California Sports Crossword
This is the fifth in a series of 10 California-themed crossword puzzles, written by the veteran Times crossword constructor and San Diego resident Bruce Haight.
In today’s puzzle, we’ll be delving into California sports. A team playing in the World Series makes an appearance, as does one that recently added LeBron James to its roster. The rest are for you to uncover!
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• More suspicious packages were discovered, including two addressed to former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. Federal investigators have turned their attention to Florida, believing a number of devices were mailed from there. [The New York Times]
• President Trump is considering executive action to close the southern border to migrants, part of a pre-election push to play to his anti-immigrant base. [The New York Times]
• Google stayed silent, protecting three top executives after they were accused of sexual misconduct. Two of the executives were pushed out — and given multimillion-dollar exit packages — while the other stayed at the company in a high-paying position, our reporters found. [The New York Times]
• The Justice Department is planning to sue a contractor accused of fraud in the cleanup of Hunters Point, the toxic former naval shipyard in San Francisco. [SFGate]
• Mr. Trump will be closely watching how California’s next governor handles the state’s economy and budget. The front-runner, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, is poised to be a thorn in the president’s side. [The Economist]
• Dozens of activists supporting Proposition C marched outside of Twitter and Square’s headquarters in San Francisco, rallying against what they called the “greed” of tech companies. [San Francisco Chronicle]
• Two hikers died in Yosemite after an apparent fall from Taft Point, one of the national park’s most iconic tourist spots. [The Mercury News]
• A Trinity County sheriff apparently abandoned his job, moved to another state and is still collecting his $160,000 annual salary, an investigation found. [The Sacramento Bee]
• Three volcanoes in California are at the top of the U.S. Geological Survey’s list of “very high threat volcanoes.” [The Los Angeles Times]
• Twitter, Amazon, Snap and Alphabet, Google’s parent company, shared their quarterly earnings reports. Strong numbers from tech companies have provided a respite from the selling that had gripped the markets this month. [The New York Times]
• As Gilroy undergoes a major transition from a farming town to a Silicon Valley commuter city, it risks losing what made it the garlic capital of the world. [Curbed]
• In a quiet corner at 1 Infinite Loop in Cupertino, a project antithetical to Silicon Valley’s ethos is now underway: Apple is building a newsroom of sorts. [The New York Times]
• The N.B.A. season just started, but Knicks fans are fixated on acquiring Kevin Durant, who can opt for free agency next summer. [The New York Times]
And Finally …
It started as a small renovation.
Carrie Byles, a partner at Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, one of the largest architecture firms in the U.S., was looking to update her 1956 home in Sausalito. But when it came time to draw up the plans, she wanted help.
So she called on a former intern, Jennifer Weiss, who had worked for her 25 years ago.
Ms. Weiss’s advice: Dream bigger.
“Jennifer did that thing that architects do,” Ms. Byles said. The result was larger and airier, with dramatic views and an open layout that promotes indoor-outdoor living.
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.