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 user 2008-09-23 at 10:44:26 am Views: 47
  • #20733

    McCain losing big with Latinos

    John McCain is winning a paltry 23 percent of the Hispanic vote compared with 66 percent for Barack Obama, according to a large poll released Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center.

    While Obama’s lead among Hispanics is not drastically ahead of where
    Democratic nominee John Kerry stood in the summer of 2004, McCain
    trails President Bush’s standing at this point four years ago.

    At that time, Pew found that Hispanics broke 62 percent for Kerry and
    32 percent for Bush. Exit polls later found that Bush earned the
    support of about four in 10 Latino voters.

    That difference — from Hispanics breaking 2-to-1 for Democrats to
    nearly 3-to-1 today — is enough to send shockwaves through GOP circles.
    Republicans had hoped that McCain’s politically risky support for
    immigration reform, which infuriated many conservatives, would offer a
    unique opportunity to bring Hispanic voters back to the party fold.

    “That number should be very, very sobering for the McCain campaign,”
    said Tony Fabrizio, the pollster for 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole.
    “The bottom line: Despite all of this positioning he’s taken on
    immigration, it’s shielded him nothing with Hispanics and it’s another
    point of distrust with Republicans.”

    For months, other surveys have also revealed McCain’s weakness among
    Hispanics, with his support generally bracketed in the 20 percent to 30
    percent range. The Gallup poll’s most recent report pegged McCain with
    29 percent support.

    But the precision of the Pew poll makes its findings especially
    troubling for the McCain campaign. Utilizing Spanish-speaking
    interviewers, who offered respondents the chance to speak in Spanish or
    English, Pew sampled 2,015 Latinos from June 9 to July 13. Its
    electoral breakdown was based on 892 registered Hispanic voters, with a
    margin of error of 4.4 percent.

    The Pew data comes on the heels of months of McCain advertising on
    Hispanic television and radio in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and
    Nevada. On Wednesday, the Obama campaign announced its first media buy
    of the general election on Hispanic radio in the same states. Obama has
    not yet purchased advertising on Hispanic television.

    “You have to understand in a way that the Republican Party is damaged
    among Hispanics,” said Hessy Fernandez, McCain’s spokeswoman for
    Hispanic media. “But at the end of day it’s the contrast between Sen.
    McCain and Sen. Obama.”