July 8th, 2008
07:20 AM ET
14 years ago

Obama, McCain battle for Latino voters

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/07/08/art.economy.gi.jpg caption="Both candidates are courting Latino voters."]WASHINGTON DC (CNN) - The fight for Hispanic voters takes center stage Tuesday as Senators John McCain and Barack Obama both speak separately in Washington to the League of United Latin American Citizens. It’s the second of three major Hispanic and Latino organizations the two presidential candidates are addressing this summer, and another sign of how important this key voting bloc is in the race for the White House.

President Bush won 44 percent of Hispanic and Latino voters four years ago, helping him win re-election. But only 30 percent of that demographic cast ballots for Republicans in the 2006 congressional elections. Put part of the blame for that drop on the divisive debate over immigration reform. McCain himself said earlier this year that “I think the tenor of the debate has harmed our image among Hispanics.”

The presumptive Republican nominee was one of the leaders in the Senate for immigration reform. His stance on that divisive issue hurt him with conservative voters. Nowadays he emphasizes border security first — but has continued to make a play for Hispanic voters, privately pledging to work for comprehensive immigration reform and releasing a string of Spanish-language radio ads in recent weeks.

“Many Hispanics feel that the debate on immigration has been a debate against Hispanics in general, and its made a lot of people register to vote, it’s made a lot of people become citizens so they can vote,” says CNN Spanish Correspondent Juan Carlos Lopez.

But immigration is not necessarily decisive issue for these voters. “They’re just like any other voters in America. They care about education, they care about the economy, about health care,” adds Lopez.

Polls indicate those issues favor the Democrats - but Obama is no shoo-in with Hispanics and Latinos.
Hillary Clinton beat Obama among that group in the Democratic primaries, according to exit polls.
“The first impression was they didn’t know who he was, and now they’re getting to know who he is,” says Lopez.

He seems to be making some progress in introducing himself: a Franklin and Marshall nationwide poll taken in early June among Spanish-speaking voters put Obama ahead of McCain by 8 points, and a Gallup poll conducted two weeks ago gave him a much larger lead.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Hispanic For McCain

    To R,.I.F.

    In the latest Newsweek poll Obama let McCain 62% to 28%. That's not close and other polls have come out that suggest similar numbers.

    CNN, I know you put a lot of time and effort in your exit polls during the primary but THIS IS NOT THE PRIMARY. Because Obama lost the Hispanic vote in the primary has no bearing on the general election. It's like ice cream. A lot of people may like vanilla and chocolate but more may choose vanilla when forced to pick one, but that doesn't mean they don't like chocolate. Now if you put the chocolate up against bussel sprouts, which one do you think will win?

    Listen BOZO RIF who are you to speak about the Latinos People and those polls are NOT TRUE Polls. The Latinos That I know and the MANY MANY Friends of that Hispanic (Latinos) Community are NOT voting for OBAMA!!! They are Voting for McCain. So you can be this crap about Chocolate up to your you know where!!!!!. Latinos are voting for McCain and all you Liberals morons hate that. The Latinos in Fla are going with McCain, the Hispanic community in PA, OH, MI, WI, AZ, NM, NV, TX, NY, NJ, CT, MA are all going for McCain. Let me tell you all you Morons the Puertoricans are true Dem but are NOT going to vote for this BOZO Obama THAT IS A BIG FACT. The Hillary Latinos people are going to McCain and not OBAMA. What has OBAMA done for the Hispanic (Latinos) community NOTHING, NADA!!!!!!

    To all my Hispanic, Latinos Brothers and Sisters OPEN Your Eyes OBAMA is a fake, fruad flip flop and a enemy to the Hispanic Community!!!!!!!!!!!! and go for a True American Hero and that is John McCain!!!! Los Hispanos sabe que Obama NO es para los Latinos!!!

    July 8, 2008 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  2. Michael

    Why should Latinos back Obama. Latinos have made it in two generations. Only African Americans, steeped in the ideology oif dependency and victimhood, can't make it.

    July 8, 2008 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. Fed up with the lies

    And he dares call Sen. Obama a flip flopper? This guy gets turned over more often than a fish in the frying pan. You can't tell Mexicans "No, you can't come here in one speech and then try to tell them you're their best friend in the next".

    Obama 2008

    July 8, 2008 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. HENRY


    July 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  5. Texas Trail Dog

    GARY – You are right on. Obama does not want someone on the ticket that is smarter, tougher, and far more experienced than he. HILLARY should stop with campaigning for him right now. It is only going to hurt her politically in the long run. If this man gain office he will use everything in his power to insure that she can't run against him in four years. However, it won't do this idiot any good in four years because the people themselves will ride him out of Washington on a rail, right along with the Deans, Kennedys, Pelosi, Kerry, Rchardson, Byrd and all the rest that had a hand in derailing Hillary's candidacy.

    July 8, 2008 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  6. William,from Cali!

    Stop the pandering, for Hispanic votes! protect our borders! and do something "Real"................... about important issues; that affect all Americans,everyday; no just "special interest" groups.....................................now, that would be a change, I could welcome!

    July 8, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  7. Ernest Caldwell

    Julie mn: latinos, like everyone else who are not like obama, are a speck of dirt to him, all he wants are their votes, this American indian will give mine to the true American, John McCain…

    Re:AMERICAN INDIAN????? Since when did Native Americans ever embrace the name American Indian? If your going to be a bot for McCain at least get it right. We don't call Native Americans, Indians...we call them what they are NATIVE AMERICANS. They don't come from Indian. If I'm not mistaken some find it disrespectful to call NA, Indians. For someone who claims to be a Native American,how did you miss this memo? And let me help you out on another thing, When refering to blacks you may wanna use African American, not Afro American for the same reasons stated earlier...cuz lord knows we all don't have afro's

    Obama 08

    July 8, 2008 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  8. wilbert white

    When a sinner is born again and accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, they become a new creation; the Old Life is gone a New LIfe begins. In Washington politics, the old has degraded this country in such a disparaging way that it is time for a Change. You cannot put new wine into old wine sacks, for they would burst. Therefore, Senator Obama, accordingly has to make a complete change from Washington Politics...the sama as usual. IT IS TIME FOR CHANGE THROUGHOUT WASHINGTON. I BELIEVE OBAMA IS A MAN SENT FROM "GOD" AND IF GOD BE FOR YOU WHO CAN BE AGAINST YOU.AND WHEN GOD IS LEADING YOU......YOU CANNOT FAIL.

    July 8, 2008 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  9. mitchell hussein martin

    mccain wants to put illegal aliens in guantanamo.he wants to deport latino children,and tear their families apart.

    July 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  10. Fed up with the lies

    Dear Texas Trail Dog; spoken like a true "my father was a republican so I guess I am too" voter. It doesn't matter that the majority of Americans chose Obama over Clinton to you. No sir, you just want to spout your ignorance to whomever will listen. It is a good thing for democracy that your vote won't count as you will forget to put "Vote Today" on your calendar. Or for that matter, forget to buy a calendar.

    July 8, 2008 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  11. Ms. Sims

    @Texas Trail Dog...ugg go AWAY!!! Every post you say the same thing over and over and over and over and over again. Each time less effective than the one before. 18 million people voted for Obama as well. He had the most delegates (pledged and super) before all the flood of supers came in at the END of the primary season. Hillary lost big deal every primary someone losses that's a fact. She was given more leeway than she should have in MI and FL even though she knew the rules. Support which candidate you would like but for goodness sake shut up about it. You have 4 choices...MAKE ONE! (AND HILLARY AINT ONE OF EM)

    July 8, 2008 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  12. Cracka lova

    for all the latinos that want Mc Cain......make sure all of your relatives are on this side of the fence before you cast your vote

    July 8, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  13. Doris,Memphis,TN

    Sorry Ken, Obama doesn't need your girl!
    Read my lips, Barack will select Joe Biden
    as his VP. Bye Hillary!

    July 8, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  14. Cracka lova

    don't be fooled by the repubs........you mean nothing to them......wait until a latino is running for office then you will see how important you are to them.......not really important

    July 8, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  15. M.S. Indiana

    Julie mn,
    A little out of touch ??? Obama was born on American soil, unlike McCain who was born on a base some where (Panama Canal Zone), now who is the real American ??

    Obama do social work in Chicago, when was the last time McCain did something for you ?? Even he speaks more Spanish then McCain who lives in a Latino world...

    you sound like a brainwashed puppet of McCain...

    July 8, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  16. M.S. Indiana

    Just look at McCain's stand point on Cuba, like that failed view will help them get home, ever.....

    July 8, 2008 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  17. Newsdiva

    Texas trail dog, you're pretty sad dude...guess you been out in that blazing suna little too long. and you've gone a little coo-coo..you know like that old buzzard Mc Same.

    The one person who played the most prominent role in Hillary's FAILED campaign was Hillary herself. Of course her deluded staff was a huge help in supporting her demise. Who in their right mind introduces a candidate who has just LOST the last primary & the entire process as "THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES??" Sheer stupidity, which YOU Mr. Dog totally understand.

    The nomination was Hillary's to lose and she did a BRILLIANT JOB at doing exactly that. Lies on bosnia, finance problems, melt downs, stupid staff, race baiting, changing strategy every five minutes and fake tears on the election trail. The list goes on and on, but you get the picture buddy.

    Obama doens't need Hillary on the ticket, she's nothing more than heavy, heavy baggage...and that comes with a side order of Bill...who is also pretty strange in his old age.

    Obama will be just fine with whom ever he chooses as his running mate and he will be elected as the next president by a LANDSLIDE in November. Read it and weep Traildog...can't wait 'till November cause I know somewhere you'll be so incredibly disappointed. Love it, love it and & LOVE IT.

    Obama 08 & 12

    July 8, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  18. From New Mexico

    I'm Latino, and everyone I know including lots of ex-Hillary supporters, is now supporting Obama. Its the only choice for Latinos.

    The rich people will vote for Mccain.

    The rest will vote for Obama.

    Its as simple as that.

    July 8, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  19. tedious898

    Texas Trail Dog July 8th, 2008 10:43 am ET
    LATINOS – REFERENCE IT AMAZES ME HOW GULLIBLE LATINOS ARE. Does this not sound like the thinking of the African Americans. They bashed the one candidate Hillary Clinton who would have put you first in her thoughts. Now they are bashing the second most considerate candidate to your needs, in JOHN McCAIN

    Texas Trail Dog = a bumbling idiot.

    African Americans have supported every democratic candidate over the last 30 years by as much as 90%. Guess what ...there are a lot of white people supporting Barack Obama. How does that play into your theory "Oh enlightened one" Looks like you stepped in a pile out thar on the trail pahdna

    July 8, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  20. Bill From Florida

    I can tell you straight away, in Florida the Latino are NOT going to vote for Obama. They do not trust him and don't believe a word he says.

    Not only will Obama loose the Latino vote, the Jewish community
    are not going to vote for him. McCain will win Florida.

    July 8, 2008 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  21. Mireille

    Obama will certainly do the most he can to make things easier for hispanos. Hispanics, if you really know what is good for you vote for Obama.

    Yes We can
    viva Obama

    July 8, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  22. tedious898

    Bill from Florida....And how you know? I'm pretty sure you're not doing the polling for the state of florida....are you?

    So let's just tell the truth, you're talking out of your rear – right? : )

    July 8, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  23. Ex Republican - never again!

    Bill from Florida – spoken like a true white republican male.
    Oh and Texas Trail Dog – I didn't even read what you said but I am sure it was ignorant. I stopped reading your stuff a while back. ead what you said but I am sure it was ignorant. I stopped reading your stuff a while back.

    July 8, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  24. Brandon Hillary Democrat for Mc Cain-Pa

    They did not vote for him in the primaries why would they vote for him now lol.... Good luck bambi

    Latinos still want Hillary look at the states she won....
    New Mexico and Nevada will definetly be Mc Cain country..

    July 8, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
1 2