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. The pardoned One

    It's simple as this. Many minority groups (not all minorities) perceive the GOP as an enemy and not sincerely willing to embraced them as their own. Until the GOP acknowledges this failure, they will continue to dwindle to extinction. This is not just appointing minorities to offices, but also reaching out to the families and youth who may not have a "perfect past" and TRULY give them another chance and the opportunity to succeed.

    November 13, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  2. Carla Barnes

    I have respected the Latinos, but they just killed that with their negative bloc vote against the president who has kept them safe all these years.

    November 13, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  3. Manuel TX

    McCain was the only candidate in the contest who fought for comprehensive immigration reform.

    As Dolores Huerta said, Obama's record in support of Hispanics is non-existent. And I predict that it will be close to that in four years as well. Perhaps then the Hispanic community will get beyond the idea of a minority candidate and vote for a candidate who will actually do something for them.

    I agree with Noah and KC above...oh and did I mention that I'm Hispanic? 🙂


    November 13, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  4. sabuc in Atlanta

    They probably can with their usual bag of tricks – lies, deception, and fear tactics.

    November 13, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  5. mitch

    no. because they blame latinos for everthing they can't put on blacks and poor whites. they want to split latino's families apart and deport them. even us white folks know what the GOPKKK party stands for: 'THE MASTER RACE'! REV. wright was right about them!

    November 13, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  6. EJ in Texas

    Win back Latino voters? Shouldn't they try to win African-American voters as well or have they just given up on that?

    November 13, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  7. Roger May

    NYer, you are not only obtuse, you are also an ignoramus.
    The minorities and youth voted for Barack Obama because they believed in his message: CHANGE!!
    One only had to look at the conventions of both parties to realize who was addressing the real concerns of these two groups.
    The Reps were 'older and whiter' while the Dems were all-embracive.
    In addition, the crowds that Obama drew were at least 10-1 over what McCain was able to draw on his own.

    Only a neanderthal-like voter would fail to realize that Obama was addressing the issue (CHANGE) that those two groups of voters (minority and youth) were craving for.
    Yes, W will likely go down as one of the (if not the ultimate) worst Presidents in U.S. history, but Obama connected with the voters in a way that only Kennedy and Reagan, in my lifetime, had done.

    The Republicans are dead in the water for a generation if they don't realize what they have to do to compete with the Democrats.

    November 13, 2008 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  8. Fred Anderson

    Sad, it was John McCain who went to bat for the immigrants and Latinos and it was Bar Obama who did not. Yet the Latinos went for Obama. Crazy, huh?

    November 13, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  9. malabar

    McCain and Palin won over this latino voter. it's funny how all the racist jokes, texts, and e-mails i recieve are from Obama "supporters". Tom Brokaw is now a joke too- did you hear what he said on Charlie Rose about not knowing certain things about Obama? funny, i thought he was a journalist

    November 13, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  10. republicans hate america


    November 13, 2008 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  11. aarimo

    Do not underestimate the Latinos. Most of them are from countries where the democratic proces is a tool to bring in the desires otf the people. If obama does not do what he promissed to the people, the latinos will ditch the Democrats faster tnam you cna blink.

    November 13, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  12. delighted democrat in jacksonville florida

    maybe if john mccain would have signed his own immigration bill that he helped write himself instead of giving in to the will of the republican party, who seem to have forgotten the roots of this country, then maybe more latinos could have respected him enough to vote for him.. but alas, the puppet went the way of the puppeteer.... and would not sign something he himself help write.. what a dummy!

    November 13, 2008 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  13. Texas Latina

    The Republicans never won over this Latina, who's been a Democrat for many years. But Barack Obama won my heart early on, and I had to buck the opinions of all my Democrat friends who were (and still are) staunch Hillarists.

    I pray that Barack instills not just hope and progress, but civility into the public conversation. We certainly need it.

    November 13, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  14. Janey /proud American/michigan

    I feel sad for the hard-working conservative values legal latinos for voting Obama simply because they did not like Pres Bush. I feel they will regret it when they realize that Obama is for illegal aliens who take their jobs away.

    November 13, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  15. Pat in NM

    Doubtful if the Latino's like myself carefully listen to the so-called Republican leaders like Palin continue to contradict themselves in things that they publicly said before the election.

    November 13, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. K

    If latinos are smart they will swear off the republican party forever. Post that! The republican party is the enemy of people of color, always have been and always will, and if your banking on sarah palin to be the new face of the GOP then the party will go the way of the dinosauer...extinct! which is better for the nation period!

    November 13, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  17. Al from Tx

    I wasn't aware that the Republicans had any Latinos? Republicans lost too much and they've also made it very clear that they don't like Latinos, regardless of which country they were born in. As long as Palin is the GOP face, the Dems have a smooth road ahead. The "any skirt will do" campaign doesn't work for Latinos. My first choice was Hillary Clinton and last time I checked, she's not a minority. When she lost in the primaries, I supported Obama.

    McCains choice for VP made my choice very easy. Palin was out of her league.

    November 13, 2008 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  18. Clear Thinker

    If you pro life people cared as much about babies outside of the womb as you do inside of the womb, maybe someone would listen to you. Just another item on the long list of hypocrisies by the Evangelicals.

    November 13, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  19. Real American

    The Liberal vitriol and hate never ends and has taken over this site just as their partial prez.

    The mexicans voted, as the seniors, for federal handouts of my tax monies – nothing more/nothing less

    When the partial prez cant pay everyone their giveaways – then they will go back to 'GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY" and vote for conservative dems and repubs

    partial prez is jimmy carter2

    November 13, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. SD,Michigan

    Except for beating the anti-abortion drum which Latinos like, being Catholics, the GOP has done NOTHING for them. Nothing! For years and years...They got fed up and voted them out. And frankly, I don't see any change to come in their policies that would atract them back..

    November 13, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. delighted democrat in jacksonville florida

    hey Noah... john mccain turned his back on them when he wouldnt sign the immigration bill that he wrote once he got the republican nomination... they saw him for the puppet that he is.. willing to turn on anyone the GOP tells him too.. they are not stupid like mccain.

    November 13, 2008 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. Justin

    Only if the GOP stops fetishizing the 1950s.

    November 13, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  23. Michelle, PA

    The GOP has branded itself as an exclusive club ideologically, geographically, religiously, racially and in just about every other way. Intentionally or otherwise, there is the impression out there that if you aren't white, evangelical, rural and NASCAR loving, you're not just unwelcome but downright demonic. Until and unless the GOP "base" opens up to accept people who aren't just like them into the fold, they will stay the minority party – but not the party of minorities.

    November 13, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |

    We are NOT a monolithic group. Puerto Ricans and Dominicans are overwhelmingly Democratic (upwards to 85%). Mexicans, depending on the state are also heavily Dems. The only Latinos that the GOP "lost" were the SouthWest and Florida Latinos. Cubans, I believe are the ones that are generationally moving away from the Republicans, and if Obama loosens travel restrictions and remitances back to Cuba, you can expect that that demographis will move to the dems for a good while. Illegal immigration is not the sole issue, remember all of these Latinos that vote are American citizens, so illegal immigration is not the end all be all. Also, the hate fostered on the extreme right, make those who are not a part of the status quo turned off to them. Why would you want to be a part of a party that vehemently campaigns against your countrymen with a disgusting tone?

    November 13, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  25. Vic

    Simple answer – NO!

    November 13, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
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