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Obama still doing well among Latino voters

Yet another national poll shows Barack Obama doing very well among Latino voters compared to John McCain.

The poll of 2,015 Latino voters conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center found that Democrat Barack Obama, who lost the Hispanic vote to Hillary Clinton by nearly 2-to-1 in the Democratic primary, holds a commanding 66 percent to 23 percent lead over Republican presidential candidate John McCain.

The Democratic tide in the Latino community is so strong that Obama leads among every nationality group, including the historically Republican Cuban-American population, where Obama now leads, 53 percent to 29 percent.

The Illinois Democrat is running far ahead among Mexican-Americans, who cast about 40 percent of their ballots for George W. Bush in 2004. Among voters of Mexican ancestry, Obama leads McCain, 70 percent to 21 percent.

Obama is running so far ahead that he has the support of 25 percent of Hispanics who identify themselves as Republicans and holds an edge of about 5-to-1 among Latinos who consider themselves political independents.

President Bush’s approval rating among Latinos has plummeted to 27 percent. More than three-fourths of Hispanic voters have a favorable impression of Obama, while McCain — who has regularly won majority support among Mexican-Americans in his home state of Arizona — is viewed favorably by just 44 percent of Latinos nationally.

Unless McCain can reverse the GOP slide, the Hispanic vote could prove pivotal to Obama in traditionally Republican states such as Colorado, New Mexico and Nevada, and could help him close what has been a significant gap in Florida. It also could help the Democrat in three states that went Republican in 2004 but have small but rapidly increasing Hispanic populations: Iowa, Virginia and North Carolina.

Well, that partly explains Obama’s Latino outreach strategy, though it also shows he’s not thinking big enough with it right now. There are opportunities beyond the agreed-upon swing states, that’s the point I’m trying to make.

The full poll report is here (PDF), and it’s pretty much good news down the line for Obama. I wish it had broken out the results by state, as the previous poll by Latino Decisions had done, but I think it’s safe to draw the conclusion that Obama is doing about as well in Texas as he is elsewhere among Latinos. If he ever were to do some real campaigning here, who knows what his ceiling might be. I’ll note again the contrast here with the Baselice poll from May, back when Hillary Clinton was still in the race. It sure would be nice to see a newer version of that, wouldn’t it? MyDD has more.

One more thing, from the report:

The 2008 National Survey of Latinos focuses on Hispanic registered voters’ views on the presidential candidates, the presidential campaign and Hispanic political participation. The survey was conducted from June 9 through July 13, 2008 among a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of 2,015 Hispanic adults, 892 of whom report that they are U.S. citizens and registered to vote. The survey was conducted in both English and Spanish. The margin of error for the full sample is plus or minus 2.8 percentage points; for registered voters, 4.4 percentage points.

Emphasis mine. I bring that up because earlier this month Sergio Bendixen was quoted casting doubt on the earlier surveys that showed Obama with a commanding lead among Latinos on the grounds that they had only been done in English. Perhaps this will put his mind at ease.

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