November 13th, 2008
09:31 AM ET
9 years ago

Can the GOP win back Latino voters?

A new voter registers at a Democratic Party booth in September in Denver, Colorado.

A new voter registers at a Democratic Party booth in September in Denver, Colorado.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Si se puede.

Translation: Yes we can.

It was a common phrase used by Barack Obama and John McCain on the campaign trail this year as they tried to increase their outreach to Latino voters - an influential voting bloc.

But clearly, based on exit polling, those voters overwhelmingly said 'si se puede' for the Illinois senator. Latinos supported Obama 67 percent to 30 percent for McCain.

Obama did well with Latinos because they appear to disapprove of President Bush's job performance more than the rest of the country, said Bill Schneider, CNN senior political analyst.

About 80 percent of Latinos gave Bush negative marks, while 72 percent of all Americans do, exit polling showed.

The question remains: Did Latinos flock to Obama's message of change or did they simply leave the beleaguered Republican Party?

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Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain • Latinos
soundoff (161 Responses)
  1. Maggie from Virginia

    Latinos are realizing what African Americans learned many years ago. Yes, African Americans were Republican before they turned to the Democrats. The GOP do not care about us. The only thing they want from us is our vote.

    I'm glad people see exactly what the GOP is about. This is a great opportunity for the Independent Party to rise up.

    November 13, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  2. keepitreal50

    The republican party, a bunch of dishonest, desperate and disrepectful people could never win that voting block unless we produce a lame duck democrat. And they surely cannot win them back from Obama!!

    November 13, 2008 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  3. paul oregon

    i think there is one word that the gop needs to leard the meaning of
    HONESTY untill that happens and as long as palin is the gop s poster child. dnc has agood chance of winning any an everything

    November 13, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. An American

    I would like to know just how many of the illegals voted and got away with it. This country is going down the toilet.

    November 13, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  5. buddy noone

    "John McCain was the single biggest voice for Latinos in the Senate and they sadly turned their backs on him" should read: "sadly he turned his back on them"

    "just because they wanted to vote for another minority. How else can you explain it?" easy to are racist and too dense to want to understand another answer.

    "McCAin was a champion of immigration reform." keyword: "was"

    let me put it in a language you can understand better "fool me once shame on fool me you cant get fooled again"–george bush

    in summary, that is why latinos did not vote for John "Mentiroso" McCain.

    November 13, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  6. Lisa M

    Unless the Republicans return to the ideals of Conservatism. No the Latinos won't be back a lot of other people won't either.

    November 13, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. dmb

    the gop are so worried about why they have lost they are attacking obama before he is sworn in that is why they lost period. the gop are racist. the regan era is over it is never coming back. minorities stick together white people look down on other races the gop only want the Latino vote to get in and will not do anything for them, just the same for the black race. they are non existent.the way palin attacked obama
    which caused death threat and race relations to go sour the gop laughed it off who want to belong to a political party like that? this world everyone should be jugde by what you are not by the color of your skin.

    November 13, 2008 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Vince

    The Republicans ran a very divisive campaign and in many subtle and overt ways seemed to be appealing to their "base" which consisted of white Christian voters. I know many Americans of Middle Eastern descent that while they might have agreed with McCain's platform, felt very uncomfortable with the "Muslim bashing" that was going on and they felt pushed away. And other minority groups were sensitive to that. On the other side the Democratic party appeared much more inviting and inclusive of all groups.

    November 13, 2008 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  9. GA for Obama

    RealityKing- I think you yourself need a reality check

    KC, Noah- THEN, AKA the PAST..the campaign and the 21st century America is DIFFERENT..McCain campaigned AGAINST immigration reform in the GOP primaries and the General Election, he wasn't appealing on the economy (aka, GOP talking points)

    November 13, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  10. Chuck

    Anyone with a brain knows that the democratic party will be much more supportive of the Latino community. Those who don't think so just need to really look at who was at the Republican rallies. Need I say more!!!!

    November 13, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  11. jim

    Newsflash: NO YOU CAN'T.
    GOP = Old White Guys, Religious Whackos & Subservient White Women.

    November 13, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  12. jamaicaland-welove

    if sarah palin is the next face of the gop...they are doomed because she will alienate independents and democrats...not only is she a polarizing figure but she doe snot have a grasp on national or international issues,,running a demographically small state like alaska and running the USA are two totally different things...she's too frail and unwitty..

    November 13, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  13. Jackie in Dallas

    When you looked at McCain rallies or even his concession speech, you saw a sea of white, well-to-do faces. When you are excluded, why should you vote for someone?

    And it doesn't matter how you are excluded. I might be a white face, but I'm not wearing $10,000 worth of jewelry, I shop at K-Mart, Walmart, and JC Penny, not Saks and Neiman's (I can't even afford to BREATHE in that store), and I felt excluded.

    Why is it that you Republicans can't understand that Obama and Biden have to be sworn in and actually become President and Vice President, and the new Congress seated before they can actually have an administration? You are basing criticism on a couple of selections to their staff? Duh? What part of Bush is still in office do you NOT understand?

    The loss of jobs, the financial mess we are in and the trillions deficit is a Republican problem. Oh, yeah, I can hear you warming up about the Congress, but when you don't have a significant majority (which the Democrats did not) and you are dealing with a President who made policy by executive fiat (Bush did more in 4 years than all Presidents before COMBINED) instead of going through Congress, it's difficult to put the breaks on. You might just want to wait until Obama is sworn in and has had enough time in office to actually try and implement his policies before you claim that they don't work.

    November 13, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  14. keepitreal50

    Oh, by the way, the GOP can't even get minorities in photo ops at their rallies without paying them let alone getting a winning percentage of their vote.

    November 13, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  15. Candy West Virginia

    Republicans don't understand that America rejected the lies, negativity, divisiveness, hate and fear that is the stalwart of their party. They need to change or they will continue to lose big time.

    November 13, 2008 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  16. christy

    I think republicans have to start including the rest of America into their party. All they talk about is why Dems are bad and not why they are better for EVERYONE, not just the rich, or joe six pack, or walmart moms, whih are all code words for white people.

    November 13, 2008 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  17. No More GOP

    I'm a strong supporter of Obama, but I really hope he doesn't suck up to the latinos by giving citizenship to the 20 million illegal criminals who've snuck into our country. Please, Mr. Obama, let justice be done and expedite their expulsion from our country until such time as they can apply legally.

    November 13, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  18. Carl Justus

    If Obama picks Richardson for secretary of state, which he should, and his administrations begins to show promise and recovery for the economy and can get out of Iraq and improve the situation in Afghanistan, then the republicans will have a rough time gaining the Latino vote.

    November 13, 2008 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  19. anti palin pro women


    November 13, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  20. Chtei

    I believe latinos flocked to Obama because they did indeed disapprove of Bush policy along with believing the promise of change that Obama preached. Being a latino myself, I find it irrelevant that McCain is a "champion of immigration reform" or the fact that he has a better plan for immigration. Many of us latinos and our families came here legally or are first generation Americans so thinking immigration is the ONLY issue that concerns us would be erroneous. McCain may have had a better record for immigration but i voted for Obama because i agreed with him on larger issues regarding the economy, health care and foreign policy. I, and hopefully many other latinos, consider ourselves American first, latino second and base our votes on more than immigration.

    November 13, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. Tex Ann ~~~~~~~

    If the GOP wants to "win back" Lationo voters (or any minority voters) then they need to open up the party to something other than white evangelical Christians.
    Notice the pictures at the two party's conventions-
    Democrats: a mixed bag of white, black, Latino, Asian, male, female, alternative, young, old, sort of a picture of Americans in general.
    Republicans: pretty much all white and predominately male.

    November 13, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. Lin

    Can the GOP win back the latino vote? In one word............NO.

    November 13, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  23. Republicans in the political wilderness

    I am experiencing Sarah Palin/Republican Party fatigue! I wish they would just disappear into their political wilderness and try to figure out what is best for themselves and their dismal party and just leave us alone. Go do some brainstorming....Oh I forgot, they dont really have much brain power – they are robots who are fueled by hatred and intolerance and care only about the 1% of the wealthy in this country and their trickle-down economics. They they fool the social conservatives (many of whom are poor) into thinking that they actually represent values and morals, but time and again prove themselves to be hypocrites. They could care less about education and healthcare...and I could go on and on. JUST LEAVE US ALONE, PLEASE. We have great hope and expectation for this country and you Republicans are the problem and therefore cannot be part of the solution.

    November 13, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |

    You people who talk about McCain being for immigration reform. That should not be a basis as to why the Latino vote should have gone for McCain. If you know about history, everyone in America is an immigrant except the Native Americans who were already established in America before the land was stolen from them. McCains ancestors came from Ireland, he too is an immigrant. African American ancestors were taken from their homeland of Africa, they too are immigrants. Any more

    November 13, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. MG

    Not unless they drop the white look and change their stances to include, rather than divide and exclude.

    November 13, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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