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Hispanics could put Obama over the top

The overlooked demographic could be the Democrat’s key to western states

By Chuck Todd
Political Director
NBC News
updated 2:20 p.m. ET, Mon., Oct. 27, 2008


Chuck Todd
Political Director

• Profile

WASHINGTON – If Barack Obama goes on to win the election, there will be plenty of ink and video spent on chronicling the historic nature of the turnout among young voters and African-Americans. 

But as important as both constituencies have been to Obama — particularly in the primaries — it’s Hispanics that could be putting him over the top on Nov. 4.

Obama’s dominance among Hispanics in the West is proving to be the difference maker in Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. In addition, the increased numbers of non-Cuban Hispanics in Florida, as well as the growing Hispanic population in North Carolina and Virginia, could be the tipping voting group in those three states.


So how did this happen? When this general election began, there were three pieces of evidence cited to develop the conventional wisdom that Obama would under-perform with Hispanics:

  • He lost Hispanics by very wide margins to Hillary Clinton in the primaries.
  • John McCain’s efforts to fight his party on the issue of immigration, in addition to his Southwestern political roots, would win him votes with Hispanics.
  • Hispanics are perceived to be hesitant to vote for black candidates. Of course, there was only anecdotal evidence of this phenomenon in a few big city mayoral contests.

As it turns out, Clinton won the demographic because she courted them heavily and used Bill Clinton to campaign as a familiar advocate for Hispanics.

As for McCain, despite his best efforts (as well as that of President Bush and Karl Rove), the Republican brand has been tainted, potential for the long-term, due to the negative tone of the immigration debate that took place on conservative talk radio and in the presidential primaries.

In fact, McCain’s immigration stance was so damaging that it is what nearly derailed his candidacy in mid-2007, not Iraq as the campaign sometimes likes to claim.

Read full story here. 




November 3, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Republicans Tonight

SEPTEMBER 3, 2008 

As I predicted earlier today, Sarah Palin did just fine. In fact, she delivered a brilliant speech. It was a classic Republican speech–written by Matthew Scully of the Bush speechwriting shop–chock full of conservative populism, a cultural “torpedo” as Chris Mathews is saying as I write this, aimed directly at Barack and Michelle Obama. She was far more effective, using fewer words than the over-the-top Rudy Giuliani, in tearing down the Obama candidacy. There was not much substance–issues don’t matter, remember?–and her description of Obama’s policies, particularly his tax policies, was quite inaccurate.

But that hardly matters. Palin established herself as a major-league performer, a very effective messenger for the perennial Republican themes of low taxes and strong defense. And a new theme–government reform–that changes the terrain of the election and will have to be forcefully countered by the Democrats. Obama will have to be every bit as sharp–and down to earth–as he was in his speech last week as this goes forward.

Last week, when Bill Clinton began to speak, I thought: this turns this lugubrious convention around. I thought the same as Palin spoke tonight. John McCain, not nearly the speaker that Palin seems to be, has a tough act to follow tomorrow night.


October 17, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why This “Hillary Holdout” Is Backing Barack

On June 7th, my heart was broken. The candidate of my lifetime and my dear friend Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton suspended her historic Presidential campaign.

Over the past two months I have become the poster-child, in the press, for the so-called Hillary holdouts; Hillary Clinton supporters who were angry and frustrated with the way she was treated in the primary and post-primary and weren’t ready for unity. I was frustrated at the incredible amount of misogyny in our political process and in our media. And I was embarrassed that my party, and its leadership, never came to her defense when she faced a barrage of attacks based on her gender.

I still bear some wounds, but I’ve thought long and hard about the issues I support and that I believe in and Hillary has led me to understand that Senator McCain supports little of what I champion.

Read the whole story here

August 29, 2008 Posted by | Politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment