Latinos Give Juan McCain the Frío Shoulder

A new research report issued by the Pew Hispanic Center shows Barack Obama leading over John McCain by a 66% to 23% among registered Latino voters.

That almost a 3 to 1 margin.

The report is a reminder to hesitate in believing political pundits, though you most likely don’t need that reminder. Still, if you remember, last month as the Democratic primary finally came to its long awaited close, every time you turned on the TV to the news you would see some talking head predicting Obama would struggle with the Latino vote in November, as he did during the primaries. Well, doesn’t look like that’s going to be the case.

Come to think of it, I remember hearing a lot of commentators predict Hillary Clinton voters would jump ship over to McCain as well. Turns out, more than 75% of Latinos who once supported Clinton now support Obama. Only 8% have declared their support for McCain. That’s better than Obama’s numbers for whites who voted for Clinton (where 70% support him and 18% McCain)

The most important numbers in the poll are the ones showing where Latino registered voters “lean.”  The poll estimates 65% of us are leaning to the Democratic Party while only 26% are leaning to the Republicans.  This 39% point differential is the largest “than at any time in the past decade.”

Why this is important is because this shows that, in fact, the Latino electorate may be becoming an actual voting bloc.  The debacle of immigration is becoming the equivalent of the Civil Rights Movement for the African American voter.  By the time my kids are old enough to vote, the words “Latino Republicans” might sound like “Black Republicans.”  It’s not impossible, or so rare you never meet one, but you always wonder about them.

Download the report here.

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