April 05, 2004
Kerry leads Bush among Hispanic voters

Here's a poll that shows John Kerry with a sizeable lead among Hispanic voters in his race against President Bush.

The presumptive Democratic nominee held a 58 percent to 33 percent lead over Bush among voters who identify themselves as Hispanic in a poll for The Miami Herald. The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted March 29-31 and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Despite the advantage, strategists say Kerry must hold Bush's support among Hispanic-Americans to less than 35 percent to have a shot of winning the White House in November. Bush narrowly won the presidency in part by taking a sliver of the traditionally Democratic Hispanic base and drawing 35 percent of its vote in 2000.

"The Hispanic vote is borderline for Kerry and it's borderline for the president," said pollster John Zogby of Zogby International, which conducted the poll. "Nothing is going to make this one easy to predict."

There are several points that need to be made here:

- I've said it before and I'll say it again: Hispanic voters are not a monolithic bloc. Look at this chart, which tracked self-proclaimed party affiliation among different types of Hispanics in the 2000 election. Until we can answer the question "How is Kerry doing against Bush among specific subsets of Hispanic Americans, such as Cubans, Puerto Ricans, and Mexicans?" we will not have a truly clear picture of the data.

- The 35% magic number for President Bush is predicated on a specific assumption about turnout among whites, blacks, and Hispanics. Clearly, the greater the proportion of Hispanic voters in November, the greater the support Bush will need among them. A big part of Bush's strategy has been registering and turning out white evangelicals. The more of that he gets, the less he needs Hispanic support.

- Obviously, Hispanic support and turnout will play a bigger role in some states (like New Mexico and Florida, to name two) than in others. Again, until we have some idea of how this is in those swing states, we have a muddled picture.

- Check out the New Democratic Network's Democratas Unidos campaign and consider making a contribution if you want to help.

Via Political Wire.

UPDATE: More from NDN on their Hispanic outreach program.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 05, 2004 to The making of the President | TrackBack