Thursday, July 24, 2008

Germans in Berlin and Hispanics in America Seem To Like Obama... A Lot


With McCain wondering when his rotten luck will change-- I mean an oil spill stinking up the air of New Orleans on the day you're scheduled to visit that city to tout the technology that makes oil spills "impossible" could only happen to someone who God just absolutely hates-- Obama is over in Germany experiencing the kind of adulation not a single solitary American president has felt... since Bill Clinton. Hundreds of thousands of Germans turned out to celebrate what many hope will be an end of America's drift towards the kind of fascism that gripped, and ruined, their own country in the 1930s and '40s. GOP propagandists and McCain shills are doing their best to cast aspersions-- but Obama's speech exposes them for the sad, pathetic creatures they are. No one is listening... except themselves as they sit and stew in their own hatred, greed and bigotry.

McCain is having his own semi-German experience today, eating bratwurst, but we don't have to go all the way to Germany to see people embracing Obama's forward-looking message of hope-- and rejecting McCain's old school dark, negative politics, orchestrated, as it is, by Karl Rove. Before he was horsewhipped by the far right xenophobes and racists in his own party, McCain had hoped to woo Hispanic voters to the GOP with the sensible bipartisan plan written by Ted Kennedy that he signed on to. After he was taken to tasks by the anti-Hispanic end of the Republican Party McCain changed his tune and refused to back the Kennedy-McCain immigration bill. And, according to a new Pew Research survey, Hispanic voters have noticed. Although it is clear that Florida right-wing extremists, Congressmembers Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart will continue towing the McCain line even if it tows them down to electoral defeat in November, they are just part of a small and shrinking minority of Hispanic-Americans who support McCain.
Hispanic registered voters support Democrat Barack Obama for president over Republican John McCain by 66% to 23%, according to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, from June 9 through July 13, 2008.

The presumptive Democratic nominee's strong showing in this survey represents a sharp reversal in his fortunes from the primaries, when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Rodham Clinton by a nearly two-to-one ratio, giving rise to speculation in some quarters that Hispanics were disinclined to vote for a black candidate.

But in this new survey, three times as many respondents said being black would help Obama (32%) with Latino voters than said it would hurt him (11%); the majority (53%) 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% favorable) and President Bush (27% favorable). Hillary Clinton's ratings among Latino registered voters are 73% favorable and 24% unfavorable; Obama's are 76% favorable and 17% unfavorable.

... In addition to their strong support for Obama, Latino voters have moved sharply into the Democratic camp in the past two years, reversing a pro-GOP tide that had been evident among Latinos earlier in the decade. Some 65% of Latino registered voters now say they identify with or lean toward the Democratic Party, compared with just 26% who identify with or lean toward the GOP. This 39 percentage point Democratic Party identification edge is larger than it has been at any time this decade; as recently as 2006, the partisan gap was just 21 percentage points.

Keep in mind that even after 4 years of his miserable policies Bush still got nearly 40% of the Hispanic vote (2004) and two year later, despite having already started down an anti-Latino path, GOP congressional candidates got about 30% of the Hispanic vote. McCain, who once hoped to ride a wave of Hispanic crossover votes to the White House, looks like he could get just half of what Bush got!

This morning's Politico says the new survey has sent shockwaves through the McCain camp. As David Paul Kuhn points out, "Republicans had hoped that McCain’s politically risky support for immigration reform, which infuriated many conservatives, would offer a unique opportunity to bring Hispanic voters back to the party fold." Well... you can fool some of the people, some of the time but...
“That number should be very, very sobering for the McCain campaign,” said Tony Fabrizio, the pollster for 1996 Republican nominee Bob Dole. “The bottom line: Despite all of this positioning he’s taken on immigration, it’s shielded him nothing with Hispanics and it’s another point of distrust with Republicans.”

For months, other surveys have also revealed McCain’s weakness among Hispanics, with his support generally bracketed in the 20 percent to 30 percent range. The Gallup poll’s most recent report pegged McCain with 29 percent support.

But the precision of the Pew poll makes its findings especially troubling for the McCain campaign. Utilizing Spanish-speaking interviewers, who offered respondents the chance to speak in Spanish or English, Pew sampled 2,015 Latinos from June 9 to July 13. Its electoral breakdown was based on 892 registered Hispanic voters, with a margin of error of 4.4 percent.

The Pew data comes on the heels of months of McCain advertising on Hispanic television and radio in Florida, Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada. On Wednesday, the Obama campaign announced its first media buy of the general election on Hispanic radio in the same states. Obama has not yet purchased advertising on Hispanic television.

“You have to understand in a way that the Republican Party is damaged among Hispanics,” said Hessy Fernandez, McCain’s spokeswoman for Hispanic media. “But at the end of day it’s the contrast between Sen. McCain and Sen. Obama.”

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