From the LA Times:
Obama leads in battle for Latino voteThe "competitive GOP primary" was basically over on February 5, four months ago. Since then, McCain has been paddling back toward amnesty.
The latest polls show he has a surprising advantage over McCain and is favored by up to 62% of voters.
By Peter Wallsten, June 6, 2008
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.
Republicans say McCain's numbers among Latinos at the moment are disappointing — far below the goals set by a campaign that has long believed McCain could challenge the traditional Democratic dominance of the Latino electorate.
The numbers suggest that McCain's image has suffered after a competitive GOP primary in which he renounced some of the moderate views on immigration popular among many Latinos. For example, McCain, who was a chief sponsor of legislation creating a path to citizenship for most of the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, now says he believes the government must focus first on securing the U.S.-Mexico border before dealing with illegal workers.
The new position helped mollify some conservatives who viewed McCain as soft on illegal immigration. But it now leaves the senator forced to come from behind in an area that was supposed to be a strength. And McCain must weigh two competing needs: attracting Latinos in the Southwest and Florida turned off by the GOP's hard-line opposition to his legislation and mobilizing conservative whites who could prove crucial in Ohio and other battlegrounds.
Look, the simplest explanation for why Hispanics prefer the Democrat over the Republican is because he's the Democrat. They've voted for every Democratic Presidential candidate since JFK. They like the tax-and-spend Democratic Party more than the [whatever the hell Republicans are these days] GOP because, on average, Hispanics pay less in taxes and get more in government spending. That's because, on the whole, they are poorer. (For an explanation of why poorer people would vote to have the government take money away from richer people and give it to them, see the recent insights of that cutting edge political analyst, Aristotle.)
One reason that the media is constantly surprised by the facts about Latinos is because the facts tend to be dull. As I wrote in Is Brown the New Black? in the March 10, 2008 American Conservative:
"Although the media constantly tries to drum up interest in Hispanics by extolling them as 'swing voters' living in 'vibrant neighborhoods' and so forth, the tedious reality is that the word that best sums up Latino America is inertia. Things just sort of keep on keeping on in the general direction that they were already moving."The LA Times article rolls on with this insightful quote:
"If the McCain people don't realize they need to beef up that operation, then clearly he's not going to be president," said Robert de Posada, a Republican consultant on Latino politics.Because it always comes as a complete surprise when a man who makes his living as a "consultant on Latino politics" says we need more Latinos in America. Perhaps the McCain people could "beef up that operation" by hiring another "Republican consultant on Latino politics," such as, to pick a random example, Robert de Posada.
Meanwhile, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, who was raised in Mexico City, is helping Obama rally the Hispanic troops:
"With Latinos, you stress that Obama's a minority like us," Richardson said.Well, that's reassuring.