September 2, 2004


Martinez's Win in Florida Could Help Bush Gain Latino Votes
(John M. Glionna, September 2, 2004, LA Times)

If elected, Martinez — who served Bush as secretary of Housing and Urban Development — would become the first Cuban American in the Senate. He and Democrat Ken Salazar in Colorado are attempting to become the first Latinos to serve in the Senate since 1976.

The desire among many conservative Cuban Americans to sweep Martinez into office is likely to bring more middle-aged and elderly voters to the polls. That, in turn, is expected to shore up support for Bush, who in 2000 was supported by more than 80% of Cuban American voters in Florida. Bush won the state by 537 votes.

"Having Mel Martinez out on the streets of Florida, trying to drum up votes, will definitely help President Bush in the eyes of older Cuban American voters," said Miami pollster Sergio Bendixen.

"Cubans have had a history over the past 20 years of showing up at the polls to elect one of their own, whether it's for the school board or mayor or for Congress." [...]

Demonstrating the importance the Bush camp places in his candidacy, Martinez is scheduled to speak tonight at the Republican National Convention in New York.

Supporters for Sen. John F. Kerry, Bush's Democratic opponent, said they doubted that Martinez would have much effect on the presidential race.

Supporters of Senator Kerry further said they doubt the sun will rise tomorrow.

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 2, 2004 9:05 AM

Martinez should win in a walkover. Castor, his opponent, is the former President of the Univ of South Florida who covered up for the terrorist and faculty member Sami al-Arian, something which I am sure goes over very well with Jewish Democratic voters in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade.

Salazar is a competent candidate, a decent centrist Democrat in a state which is mountain conservative, not religious right. Campbell would have beaten him like a red-headed stepson, but Coors is an almost iconic figure in the state, a respected member of the business community and noteworthy Colorado booster. It is a young state, with a lot of California refugees so I'd have to say, advantage Coors.

Posted by: Bart at September 2, 2004 9:37 AM

Hard to see how Martinez doesn't help Bush in FL unless he runs a really poor campaign (the last week of the GOP primary race raised some doubts about Martinez). Hispanics, despite reports, are not monolithic and Martinez may not bring all Hispanics along in FL but should definitely help. And I have seen the same as Bart notes (that Castor is a weak candidate).
If Martinez can help get the Senate seat as probable GOP pickup and put Florida into the mostly safe for Bush camp the GOP can focus on other Senate races and blue states.

Posted by: AWW at September 2, 2004 10:25 AM

You are too hard on Rep. Tancredo. His opposition is to illegal immigration, not immigration. Your position is the equivalent of claiming that one who is opposed to gatecrashers at a concert are opposed to music or one who would like to prevent counterfeiting is opposed to currency.

Posted by: George at September 2, 2004 10:45 AM


do you mean that the sun will rise before it will set ? In that case, the Senator will send the attack dogs to establish the link between the sun and the Bush campaign.

Posted by: Peter at September 2, 2004 11:21 AM


Posted by: oj at September 2, 2004 11:44 AM