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Will Meg Whitman's illegal maid hurt her with California Latinos?

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A USC College/Los Angeles Times Poll last weekend showed Brown ahead of Whitman 55-35 percent among Latinos likely to vote.

Most Latinos traditionally vote for Democrats in California, so Whitman’s 35 percent is not bad – just short of what political analysts say she needs to beat Brown. (That’s far better than Carly Fiorina is doing against Barbara Boxer among Latinos in California’s US Senate race.) Whitman is particularly attractive to Latino business owners, and many Latino Californians vigorously oppose illegal immigration.

Whitman insists that she fired her housekeeper as soon as she learned of Diaz Santillan’s illegal status. But Whitman’s husband says "it was possible" he saw a letter from the Social Security Administration in 2003 letter questioning Diaz Santillan’s Social Security number.

How will the housekeeper controversy play here? Whitman is taking no chances.

The Los Angeles Times reports that her campaign has doubled its advertising on Spanish-language radio and increased the number of its Latino television spots by roughly 50 percent. On Friday, the campaign put out a list of two dozen Latino business leaders who are endorsing her campaign for governor. Her tough stance on illegal immigration has been softened with an emphasis on a temporary guest worker program “so that good people like Nicky can work in this country legally.”

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