Forget Palin: Will McCain Win the Hispanic Vote?
In a dramatic break from the Democratic Party, Miguel Lausell has endorsed John McCain.
The move by the Puerto Rican businessman and longtime Democratic activist and fundraiser is a significant departure and a bruise for Senator Obama’s campaign, reminiscent of the erosion Senator Clinton faced in the waning days of her Democratic primary bid.
In a September 18, 2008 interview with The Wall Street Journal, Miguel Lausell said, “I find McCain to be a sound person and a man with a track record. I know where he is coming from.”
Mr. Lausell also added that he believes Senator Obama “doesn’t really regard the Hispanic community as important.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Hispanics comprised 15% of the overall U.S. population in 2006 – or 44 million people. The 2006 composition of Hispanic origin in the United States breaks out as follows:
Puerto Rican 9%
Central American 8%
Other Hispanic 8%
South American 6%
This is a very important community. It is important in terms of size and in terms of their impact on election strategy. Referencing a 2007 study from the Pew Hispanic Center, the Hispanic community represents a key swing vote: “Hispanics constitute a sizeable share of the electorate in four of the six states that President Bush carried by margins of five percentage points or fewer in 2004 – New Mexico (where Hispanics make up 37% of the state’s eligible electorate); Florida (14%); Nevada (12%) and Colorado (12%).”
In a campaign stop in New Mexico, Senator Obama urged Hispanics to get out and vote. “Don’t stay at home,” he told them.
But if Miguel Lausell’s departure is an indication of bigger erosion among Hispanic thought leaders, Senator McCain may be the happier candidate to see the Hispanic community at voting centers across the country.
Tags: McCain , Obama , Hispanic , Election , Miguel Lausell , Republican , Democrat , Census , Population
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