As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Monday, June 09, 2008

Latinos: Viva Obama!

I think I've said before that if Barack Obama can maintain a big lead among Latino voters, and more importantly, get them out to vote, he can nail down this election. It could give him Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and North Carolina. Well, he's started nailing it down.

Some Democrats have worried that Latinos view Obama warily and will be drawn to Republican nominee John McCain, who has been popular in that community and has campaigned in it aggressively -- already airing Spanish-language radio ads in the heavily Latino battlegrounds of New Mexico and Nevada.

But there are signs that Obama begins the general election battle for Latinos with significant advantages.

A new Gallup Poll summary of surveys taken in May shows Obama winning 62% of Latino registered voters nationwide, compared with just 29% for McCain. Others have found a wide gap as well. The pro-Democratic group Democracy Corps compiled surveys from March through May that showed Obama with a 19-point lead among Latinos. And a Times poll published last month showed Obama leading McCain among California Latinos by 14 points.

George Bush did quite a bit better than 29% of the Latino vote, and he still barely won. Latinos are now a bigger portion of the electorate, and we already know that African-American turnout is going to peak, with maybe a 96-3 split for Obama on Election Day (and that's a conservative estimate). In an increasingly multicultural America, you can't pull those kind of numbers in those communities and win.

Expect McCain to respond to this by picking some unknown middle-aged white guy as his running mate...

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