November 7, 2004


Morals pulled Hispanics' votes: President won over more in 2004 (Tim Eaton, November 7, 2004, Corpus Christi Caller-Times)

Nationally and locally, more Hispanics abandoned their tradition of voting Democratic on Election Day and cast ballots for President Bush. Political observers said religion and stances on a couple of key issues led to the swing to the political right.

Bush won 35 percent of the national Hispanic vote in 2000 compared to 62 percent for former Vice President Al Gore. In 2004, Bush boosted his Hispanic support and captured 44 percent, according to exit polls, while Sen. John Kerry received 55 percent.

Some local Hispanics have said Republicans, particularly Bush, managed to appear this year as champions for opposing gay marriage and abortion. Meanwhile, Kerry's position on those issues was too soft, they said.

"The Republicans were very shrewd, and you don't think about it until after the election," said Tony Bonilla, a local lawyer and former national president of the League of United Latin American Citizens. "They threw out those two issues and left it to the church and evangelicals to advocate for supporting Bush."

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 7, 2004 6:51 PM

The Hispanic vote tracks the Italian vote history almost perfectly.

The next step for the GOP is to recruit more and better Hispanic candidates on the state and local level and to train non-Hispanic potential candidates in places with a significant Hispanic population to be capable of expressing themselves in Spanish on radio and TV. Imagine if you will the effect of a Anglo conservative Republican appearing on a Spanish-language talk show, in a district where his Anglo Democrat opponent doesn't even speak Spanish. The bonding and comfort level that gets created can be remarkable.

Posted by: Bart at November 8, 2004 6:46 AM