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. Tomkat in Seattle

    As a Hispanic, I could not entertain the idea of following the GOP right now. It would be like walking into a "Whites Only" country club and the members would be staring and whispering why I didn't use the Service Entrance. The GOP has polarized itself into white Christian's only, they should change their party name to the WCP, since NAZI is already taken. They do not represent me, right now the Democrats do. The GOP needs to also stop trying to shove Christianity down everyone's throats. This is disrespectful to non-Christians and Atheists. GOP needs to do a lot of soul searching, the self destruct mode is stuck in the "on" position. M2C


    November 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  2. Scott NYC Independent

    The GOP is historic in its forked tongue practice. In speaking with my grandmother, an active "community organizer" in the 50' and 60's she remembered that the republican party was once the party of Black American's; they kept stringing Black American on promising desegregation year after year and decade after decade when finally John F. Kennedy took the reins of power and began the birth of civil rights. Both Bush 41 and Bush 43 did the same with the Latino/Hispanic vote and immigration. They aren't interested in real accomplishment – they are interested in government jobs for cronies and redistribution of tax credits to the wealthy. Comprehensive immigration is a carrot stick to be used whenever there is an election.

    November 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  3. Jan

    It's just an angry intolerant divisive party.

    November 13, 2008 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  4. Sue

    What in the world have the Republicans EVER done for them??!! I never understood the Latino vote going Rep. anyway – they could care less!

    November 13, 2008 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  5. carlos

    If the Republican party wants to win back the latino vote, they are going to have to stop using them as the scape goat for everything that has gone wrong with the country. It was much easier for the republican to blame immigrants, and latinos in general, instead of proposing any constructive solutions. Not only was Obama an inspiring and inclusive candidate, but the gop has been exploiting immigrants way too much, to their own detriment. The hateful rethoric comming from the GOP towards latinos is what made thousands of them register to vote, so they could vote against it. I personally kind of feel sorry for McCain who was one of the few republicas to stand up for the latinos, but evev him was forced to pull back by his own party, or he would have never gotten the nomination.

    November 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  6. Dave, Central Illinois

    As long as they care more about bringing their brethren over the border illegally than about the rule of law, then probably not. Kinda like the blatant racism shown by the black community. Whatever happened to individualism? Now we are supposed to vote by block based purely on our own self-interest? Im white, Im not allowed to do that. There will only be racial harmony in this country when we no longer are divided into blocks. The Democrats that are masters at dividing us against each other and then pretending to be on the side of whoever they are speaking to. The sad part is that many people can't look in from outside the box and recognize it.

    November 13, 2008 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  7. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    ¡Si el GOP quiere recuperar Latinos, APRENDER ESPAÑOL!
    If the GOP wants to get back Latinos, LEARN SPANISH!

    For an alleged group of know-it -alls, the GOP has a serious communcation problem. The GOP already speaks enough "redneck". Now is the time to recognize and respect the bi-lingual nature of a good portion of our society.

    Si no, ¡adiós estúpidos!

    November 13, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  8. karen raleigh

    I think the governors are having this meeting in Miami because they are worried sick that they are going to lose their jobs in 2010 and they are most likely right. Palin should go home , be happy she has that job ???? in Alaska and take care of her children. I think Palin has an ego problem and should be happy that she has the job in Alaska.

    November 13, 2008 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. mel from ohio

    Don't know why the Latinos were EVER Republicans in the first place!!! Maybe they looked around and saw what the Repubs are really about or they listened to their racist rhetoric during this campaign season and saw the light. Anyone who suggests that they owe McCain anything for working to do things to appease them and "buy" their votes is sorely misguided.

    November 13, 2008 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Kel in Auburn, AL

    NO. It's going to take the GOP at least a decade to win back the white house, maybe more.

    President-Elect Obama is going to do such a great job, and set the bar extremely high. He will be re-elected for a second term, and the democrat running in 2016 will just remind America of how bad times were under the GOP rule, and how good they are then under a Democratic president. Then they'll have President Obama campaigning with them to boot!

    George Bush's legacy is so badly tainted that it's going to keep Democrats in office through 2020. The next 12 years are looking great! Thanks a lot, W.!

    November 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    As a latino: No.

    Noah: Latinos did not vote for Obama because he was another minority we voted for him because he was the right decision and will be able to get us back on track more so than John McCain. Just because you voted for John McCain because he's white and did not want to see a minority leading this country does not mean we all voted that way some of us actually do care about this country.

    November 13, 2008 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |

    What about Asian-Americans?

    How come no one writes or talks about them?

    I'll hold on while CNN tries to write an article about that.

    November 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  13. grahame

    Ahhh! I just love this. If Sarah Palin is the new face of the Republican Party, then they will never get the Latin vote back..............ever

    November 13, 2008 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  14. Steve

    As long as the GOP continues to pander to its extreme right wing, it will not gain Latino support. Latinos realize that immigration is far from the most important problem facing this country; as with most Americans, immigration is way down on the list. No single party "has" or "owns" Latino votes.

    November 13, 2008 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  15. Ed from Nebraska

    No..... The Republican party is racist and if you are of different or not white you are not welcome in the Republican Party The party is made up white racist or far right wingers who will never give into the fact that the United States is a country of all nationalities. The Lationos that live in the States are realizing this and will stay with the Democrats.

    November 13, 2008 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  16. DB25

    I guess the GOP is expecting country bumpkin Sarah Palin to win over a lot of people who use English as a second language. Unfortunately, Sarah Palin has enough trouble with English as her first language.

    November 13, 2008 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  17. janine

    Latinos turned their back on McCain because he turned their back on them. Yes he did coauthor a bill with Ted Kennedy for immigration reform but in the end he didn't vote for it.
    I live in Nevada and we did the advertising for the Republican party. In most not all of the statewide advertisements, Republicans ran on a platform of anti-immigration. They blamed immigrants for the problems that we have. Many latinos feel that the hate mongering that the Republican party has stirred could possibly lead to violence against them.

    November 13, 2008 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  18. Edgar

    I'm a Latino Voter and I hate to see all of you racist white, uneducated pricks calling me uneducated. I'm in Medical School and extremely informed so don't tell me that I flocked to Obama. I voted, campaigned and worked Hard for Obama and the Democratic Party because of they're inclusive nature towards Latinos. I ask the Republican party; "what have you done for me lately? besides trash my people and talk of us as if we're scum. Then all of a sudden elections come around and you realize that we are the key voting block to several states now and you want to play nice. Shut up and try to diversify your party. All of you white trash people and your party don't represent me. And oh by the way, 2020 is the last time white people will be able to say they are the Majority. Therefore, if Republicans want to win any elections, they better find a way to become more inclusive extremely fast.

    November 13, 2008 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Conservative

    Of course, given enough of time, people will wake up to the traditional values of their fathers. It is called maturity. We all know liberalism or socialism does not work well in France, or Russia.

    November 13, 2008 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. Steve

    How can you win back people you don't even like.......without lying?

    November 13, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  21. Rosie

    Latinos supporting this republican party is like black or gays supporting the republican party. It is simple an oximoron. How latinos are going to support a party that diminish immigrants from latin america, that push for raid against " illegal" workers and want to cut health services for immigrants? Come on! it is a brain to conclude that with that kind of mentality republicans will never get latinos back into their line.
    Latinos have shown in this election that they have grown politically and that will not be bought by good intentions and rethorical speeches, but for concrete actions and good policies. Obama better listen to them if he wants to keep democrats wining elections in the future.

    November 13, 2008 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  22. Nadine

    Republicans only has a stronghold for ignorant folks! And this election proved it. You can only sidekick with Karl "Rogue" Rove for so long and your world will collapse on you.

    November 13, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. hitobito

    The Republican Party not only lost the Presidential election, they lost a whole generation of young voters. The GOP made the decision to make the evangelicals the centerpiece of their strategy to win independents and minorities as well as the Christian religious extremists. It did not resonate with most Americans. The anti intellectual, NRA, gun-toting soccer mom strategy also fell flat. Latinos are the fastest growing minority group and they will tend to vote their interests which are inconsistent with the current Republican party. If you watched the GOP convention, it became increasingly obvious that the convention was made up primarily of old white people. That is the GOP!

    November 13, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Tracy, Chicago, IL

    TO NOAH:

    McCain turned his back on them when he started pandering to the far-right with their anti-Hispanic & anti-Minority rhetoric. He should have stood up to the far-right on immigration reform instead of changing his position, he didn’t and lost votes b/c of it and if the Republicans continue to pander to the far right, they will only win elections in Appalachia

    November 13, 2008 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  25. Catholic-mom-4-OBAMA

    @ NYer, please stop with the demeaning comments about our President-elect! Shows just what a small mind you have!

    The GOP will NOT win back the Latinos, as long as they continue to HATE ..... Latinos!

    The GOP is the part behind the English Only laws.
    The GOP and the AM radio-hate-mongers, and LOU DOBBS, 'Faux News" are the ones wanting to round all "illegals" up and deport them. They dehumanize people by calling them names and then want their support!

    There is nothing more hypocritical, than the Spanish language ads of the Republicans ever four years when they want our vote!

    Latinos know full well who IS really on their side!

    Republicans= HYPOCRITES!

    November 13, 2008 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
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