Obama and McCain hispander to Latino voters

Both Barack Obama and John McCain are “hispandering” to the extreme in their pursuit of Latino voters.  But can we buy this sudden enthusiasm for Latino voters?  Is it genuine?

McCain’s campaign has even aired a commercial with Spanish subtitles (see the video clip above) that calls Latino immigrants “God’s Children” and talks about what Latino immigrants have done for this country as U.S. soldiers.  The ad is stunning and won’t likely make the Minutemen very happy.

Other outreach efforts by both campaigns have been awkward. Check out this excerpt from the AP: “They just come to me and say, ‘Who are the bosses of the Latin community?'” said Patrick Manteiga, who runs a family-owned newspaper for Hispanics in Tampa’s historic Cuban neighborhood of Ybor City. “That’s like coming and asking, ‘Who are the bosses of white America, of the soccer moms?'”

As one might expect, Obama has a huge lead in the chase for Latino voters.  “A recent AP-Yahoo News poll found Obama leading McCain 47 percent to 22 percent among Hispanic voters, with 26 percent undecided.”

The difficulty for both of these presidential nominees is that Latino voters are quite diverse.  Some of them have been in this country for generations.  Others are more recent immigrants.  And they all hail from different countries.  In some cases they lean GOP, as is the case with Cuban voters, but most of the time they go with the blue party.  And their income, education and age are big factors in determining who they might vote for.

Do these voters really matter?

“According to the Pew Research Center, Hispanics are the nation’s largest minority group, at 42 million people and 14 percent of the population. By 2050, that population will triple, to 128 million, which will be 29 percent of the American population,” according to a commentary by former Bush U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, published in the Duluth News Tribune.

And “in the strategic states of New Mexico, Florida and Colorado, Hispanics make up, respectively, 37 percent, 14 percent and 12 percent of eligible voters.”

I for one don’t think Latino voters should vote for McCain.  He belongs to a party that, for the most part, hates Latinos.  Even if McCain is sincere, his party won’t let him do anything to help Latinos.

As for Obama, he has a ways to go in his outreach to Latinos.  What many Latino leaders want to know is will he appoint Latinos to his cabinet?  Will he really help the immigrants?  Will the Democrats in Congress work with him in that effort?  We don’t know the answers to those questions yet, but at least he is not a Republican.  That’s a start.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.