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. Voter


    It's not that Latinos wanted to "vote for another minority." Latinos voted for Obama over Bush because they want a fair and decent immigration policy.

    McCain could have won the Latino vote if he had not backed away from his original position.

    November 13, 2008 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  2. Snake eyes

    when venomous anti-immigrant rhetoric comes out of the GOP how do you expect to attract latinos? even when targeted to "just illegals" the sentiments spread out against anyone with dark skin. dont you guys at the RNC get that?

    November 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  3. keenaber

    no way

    November 13, 2008 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  4. Franky

    Simple answer, yes they do have a chance to try and get them back.

    But there gonna have get their work cut out but also a lot will depend how the Dems manage to keep the voting block in the years to come. The GOP can do as much as they want but is the Dems who control their destiny towards this...

    November 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  5. Milhouse van Houten

    Donde est de la bano?....Because that is exactly where the GOP are heading if they stay on this present course of fear mongering,divisive,
    and rudderless style of politics.

    November 13, 2008 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  6. Patrick

    This doesn't make sense to me. Were they aware that both Bush and McCain risked their own political careers to reach out to Latinos through their support and in McCain's case writing of the comprehensive immigration reform law? These men didn't have the cover of their party behind them to support it like Obama did.

    November 13, 2008 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  7. Anita from Arizona


    The most important word in your statement? 'WAS" McCain WAS the reformer into he went against the immigration bill he helped write just to appeal to his Republican base, which isn't the only thing he compromised to appeal to his base, but that was so yesterday's news.

    I think the Republicans need to broden their acceptance of different people from all walks of life, but still hold true to their ideals. It's called compromise. The next thing is get rid of the radicals like Limbaugh, Hannity and O'Reilly who are too divisive in their thinking and would rather lie and talk rhedoric to their audience for ratings.

    November 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  8. dizizi31

    GOP will never get back Latino voters. The world is full of color and the GOP must recognized as European Americans people of color must be respected, putting up a border fence is not the best way to make friends in the Latino community. There was no border fence on Ellis Island. Hey GOP, look at the how the WORLD reacted to Obama. A man of color little foreign policy experience and embraced as a tall, tanned man of hope.

    November 13, 2008 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  9. cjr

    GOP is over -full of racists and facists. and sarah – nothing more to say.

    November 13, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. The Stallion & The Champ vs. The Old Mule & Winky Half-baked Alaska

    If Palin is any indication of the new face for the future of the Rethuglican Party ............ Then that would be be one big, fat no.

    November 13, 2008 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. TKW- New Mexico

    No. Not until the Republicans realize that America is a melting pot of different cultures. Not just one culture. Pro-American doesn't just mean white American. Certainly, minorities will not vote republican with that divisive Sarah Palin leading the party. I think John McCain might have won if it wasn't for her.

    November 13, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Graphics Committee

    It was the signs.

    November 13, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. ltva

    No they cannot and if they think Palin can lead them then they are worse off than originally thought. I watched her on Larry King last night and televangalist came to mind; certainly not cut out to be a political leader. Her being governor of Alaska was a fluke.

    November 13, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  14. Jazz

    Okay Repubs the election for 2008 is over. Now why in the hezzz you are worried about the Latinos. They voted the way they should have and because they wanted change instead of the same old shizzz. If someone or anyone wants to sway another way that is their right. Now what the Repubs can do now is find out how to run a good clean campaign without so much smearing and tearing down your opponent. If they do the same old tactic next time then they will lose again. Now the other thing is to drop Palin and stop her from running her mouth as if she is in charge. This is a turn off now to everyone and it will hurt the Repubs in the long run. Stop her now or face the lost of another election.

    November 13, 2008 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  15. Goddess

    Wiscon. What false ads run by Obama in the elections? Maybe it was all the fear and hate ads run by McCain/Palin that drove them away.

    This is one Hispanic that will not support the Republicans.

    November 13, 2008 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Justin from New Haven, CT

    The GOP will be lucky if they can get back any voter period. They suck.

    November 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. Purple Nurple

    NO, due to fact of the GOP's close minded, self centered ideas. The GOP wants you Latinos to go home or "back where you came from". Shame they CANNOT accept people who are different than them. I can only hope the GOP is on it's last leg. The party of HATE must not be allowed to recurit anymore members who hate everybody who is NOT like them. Remember Liberal is not a bad word as the GOP would like you to beleive.

    November 13, 2008 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  18. Debby

    Yes they can, because I doubt Obama will do anything for Latino's the next 4 years.

    November 13, 2008 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. 60 year old, white female for Obama

    The republicans and the pundits don't get it: voters vote for the party with clear policies and an inspiring, intelligent leader. Catering to one particular demographic vote is transparent and blatant pandering.

    One just needs to look at an Obama campaign crowd and see the sea of multiracial faces to understand that his policies and decency attracted people from all walks of life.

    November 13, 2008 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  20. Brian

    Look at any background picture from the McCain rallies. Or better yet look at his concession speech. The people around him are representative of the Republican party. Almost all White, older men and women, younger White blue collar workers. Did I mention that most are White? They do not represent today's USA. Until, they do and do so honestly (not tokens and puppets) they will get smaller and smaller. Exclusion is a bad business model for any group that wants to grow.

    November 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  21. Yamini Balachandran

    YES !!!

    ONLY IF they make Sarah as the Top ticket – we all women will vote for her (regardless of race, religion, caste, creed, age, social background..)

    Vote Sarah for 2012 – she is the ONLY savior for all of christians

    November 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  22. Noah

    Wow, Liberals are either really stupid, realy arrogant, or have very short memories. Probably all of the above. It was not long ago that the media was making the same claims about your party as they are about Republicans. Never forget that you still have only elected 4 presidents in the past 40 years compared to 7 Republicans elected to President. America is still a center-right country. The majority of America does not agree with your luny Left stances. Even Obama knew his Liberal record would never get him elected so he ran away from his true record and campaigned as a moderate which he never has been.

    November 13, 2008 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  23. Andy

    Candidate McCain was not a champion of immigration reform. He ran a reckless and divisive campaign, on traditional social issues that appeals specifically to white male voters – one of the most at-risk groups in this economy who are quickly losing their social importance and are increasingly emasculated by the shrinking economy. At my workplace most of the employees are women and they are all rocks in the household. The men are jobless and struggling.

    So until the Republicans get over their racist tendencies they will never win.

    November 13, 2008 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  24. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    GOP might have a chance if they put a "muzzle" on Palin and anybody like her. Palin has made viewers clearly see why the McCain campaigned muzzled her. While the economy is in a critical crisis Palin is rambling on and on about herself and won't answer a question about the economy.

    November 13, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  25. Noah

    Republicans used to be the party of African Americans up until the 1960s. Never forget that the Republicans freed the slaves and it was the Democrats who wanted to keep slavery alive and well. The Democrats were also largely the reason for Southern segregation (George Wallace anyone?) Even Martin Luther King Jr was a Republican! African Americans jumped parties because of LBJ and his Great Society.

    November 13, 2008 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
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