Poll: Obama With Huge Lead Among Latinos
On a day where Sen. Barack Obama dominated the news with his much-anticipated speech in Berlin — and just about every news report on Sen. John McCain seemed to include the words "bad luck" — comes a bit more bad news. The Pew Hispanic Center released poll results today that found Sen. Barack Obama holds an enormous lead among Latino voters — whom both candidates have been aggressively pursuing in recent months. According to the survey, Latinos prefer Obama over Sen. John McCain by a margin of 66 percent to 23 percent. From the report:
But in this new survey, three times as many respondents said being black would help Obama (32 percent) with Latino voters than said it would hurt him (11 percent); the majority (53 percent) said his race would make no difference to Latino voters.
Obama is rated favorably by 76% of Latino registered voters, making him much more popular among that voting group than McCain (44 percent favorable) and President Bush (27 percent favorable). Hillary Clinton’s ratings among Latino registered voters are 73 percent favorable and 24 percent unfavorable; Obama’s are 76 percent favorable and 17 percent unfavorable.
Also, more than three-quarters of Latinos who reported that they voted for Clinton in the primaries now say they are inclined to vote for Obama in the fall election, while just 8% say they are inclined to vote for McCain. That means that Obama is doing better among Hispanics who supported Clinton than he is among non-Hispanic white Clinton supporters, 70 percent of whom now say they have transferred their allegiance to Obama while 18 percent say they plan to vote for McCain, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.
While this is a national poll, and the Latino vote may play differently in individual states, it’s hard to find any silver lining in the report for the McCain campaign. McCain has frequently reached out to Latinos — he spoke at the national conventions of the National Council of La Raza, the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Assn. of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials; he visited Colombia and Mexico, and his campaign has released several Spanish-language ads. This has come at no small risk — many on the right already distrust McCain for his past moderate positions on illegal immigration. Today’s poll indicates that — despite these efforts — McCain is making little, if any, headway with Latino voters. It makes one wonder if these overtures are worth the potential damage to his already-shaky relationship with the GOP’s conservative base.