May 14, 2008

THE UNIVERSALIST VS THE TRIBALIST:

Can McCain appeal to Hispanic voters maintain? (RUBEN NAVARRETTE JR., 5/14/08, THE UNION-TRIBUNE)

For many conservatives, John McCain is not their favorite Republican. They think he's built a career at their expense, painting them as fools and bigots. They resent his holier-than-thou attitude. And they're not inclined to trust anyone who has been so fawned over by the national media.

Curiously, a lot of liberal Democrats feel the same way about McCain. He isn't their favorite Republican, either – but it's because they know he'll be tough to beat in November. They would have preferred to run against someone more extreme and easier to demonize. That's not John McCain. [...]

In 1998, while Texas Gov. George W. Bush made headlines for earning an impressive 49 percent of the Hispanic vote in his re-election, McCain walked off with an unheard-of 65 percent in his Senate re-election bid. Six years later, he did even better, earning around 70 percent of the Hispanic vote.

Most political observers don't expect McCain to match those numbers in a national election, but half of that – 35 percent – is a definite possibility. With that kind of support among Hispanics, McCain could win the White House.


He'll beat W's number.

MORE:
Obama needs to be cautious with Latinos (GEBE MARTINEZ | 5/14/08, Politico)

Republican presidential candidate John McCain — going against the grain of his party’s conservatives — used Cinco de Mayo to reach out to Latinos and unveil a new Spanish-language website.

Clinton got more popular votes than Obama in Arizona, California and Texas, and she won the Nevada caucus because of her huge margin of support among Latinos.

So Obama’s delicate courtship of the Hispanic lawmakers — who favor Clinton by a 4-1 ratio — underscored how vital Latinos will be in picking the next president. When Obama comes calling again, Hispanics will demand that Latino faces and issues be at the forefront of the Democrats’ fall campaign.

Compared with Clinton, Obama will have to work at winning Latino support “probably twice as hard to have significant success,” said Sen. Robert Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat and key Clinton ally.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 14, 2008 10:05 AM
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