Hispanics

NDN’s Analysis of Hispanic Voters in Florida Increasingly Relevant

In 2000, Cuban-Americans represented 70 percent of Florida's Hispanic electorate. Today they make up less than half of the Latino electorate in that state, largely attributable to a large influx of new voters originally from Puerto Rico, Colombia, Venezuela and other Central and South American countries. The result: Florida's Hispanic demographic is increasingly reflective of the transformation the Hispanic community has undergone across the country - increasingly diverse and not as party-loyal. As a result, both political parties are working to win over what Newsweek called the "Latino mix" in a piece today by Arian Campo-Flores. NDN has analyzed the trend of Florida's Hispanic population becoming more diverse and less affiliated with the Republican party for years, and conducted a major poll in Florida in 2006.

It is Hispanics who make Florida increasingly relevant this year. By all accounts, U.S. Sen. John McCain would not have won the Florida primary - and thus would probably not have been his party's presidential nominee - had he not won the 54% of the Hispanic vote that he won in the Republican primary election, while he only won 33% of the white vote and took that election with 36% of the vote overall. Thus, U.S. Sen. Barack Obama is fighting in Florida, just today President Bill Clinton - loved by Hispanic Democrats and many overall - was campaigning for him in the state. As explained in Newsweek by our friend and collaborator, Sergio Bendixen:

"Now they need to have a domestic message"-terrain that favors Democrats these days. If he manages to capitalize on the opportunity, Democratic Sen. Barack Obama could outdo John Kerry's performance in 2004, when the Massachusetts senator captured 44 percent of Florida's Latino vote. "If [Obama] gets 55 percent, then he would pretty much ensure winning the state," says Sergio Bendixen, a pollster for the New Democratic Network (NDN) and expert in Hispanic public opinion."

And that is the relevance of the Latino Mix. As NDN explains at length in Hispanics Rising II, party ID among Hispanics can change very quickly, and this election in particular does not favor the party in the White House. Republican anti-immigrant campaigns have been perceived as anti-Hispanic, Latinos have the highest rate of unemployment as a result of this economic crisis, and the latest - now minorities are being blamed by right-wing conservatives for the housing crisis. 2008 primary exit polls showed a 66% increase in Hispanic turnout in Democratic primaries and Hispanic party ID became 72% Democrat, while in 2004 it was closer to 60%. Our latest polling data shows that the Presidential race among Hispanics in Florida is in a dead heat - 42% favoring McCain and 42% favoring Obama.

The question remains - as Florida's Hispanic electorate grows and becomes more complex, who benefits? I would say Hispanics do. The reality of a more complex demographic is that to win Florida, John McCain and Barack Obama will have to do so based on the strength of non-Cuban Hispanic support.

Hispanic Heritage Month 2008

Every year the United States takes a time out from September 15-October 15 to recognize the contributions of Hispanics in the United States as part of Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanics are now recognized as the largest minority in the U.S. - the Census estimates that by 2042 one in four persons will be of Hispanic origin. As this year's Hispanic Heritage Month kicked off this week, it becomes clear that an unprecedented number of Latino voters could decide this year's election, Latinos are increasingly represented in government and industry, Latinos are a growing force in the media - as evidenced by the launch of shows like "Agenda" and "Al Punto" on Spanish language networks, and Hispanics are also becoming web and technology users in rapidly growing numbers.

For these reasons and more, the Pew Hispanic Center reported this week on a survey it conducted on the overall state of Latinos. The report reflects how Hispanics are bearing much of the current economic crisis, combined with suffering increased instances of discrimination.

Half (50%) of all Latinos overall (native and foreign born) say that the situation of Latinos in this country is worse now than it was a year ago, according to this nationwide survey of 2,015 Hispanic adults (higher than the average for non-latinos). Fully 63% of Latino immigrants say that the situation of Latinos has worsened over the past year. In 2007, just 42% of all adult Hispanic immigrants - and just 33% of all Hispanic adults - said the same thing. These increasingly downbeat assessments come at a time when the Hispanic community in this country--numbering approximately 46 million, or 15.4% of the total U.S. population--has been hit the hardest by rising unemployment.

Due mainly to the crisis in the housing and construction industry, the unemployment rate for Hispanics in the U.S. rose to 7.3% in the first quarter of 2008, well above the 4.7% rate for all non-Hispanics, and well above the 6.1% rate for Hispanics during the same period last year. As recently as the end of 2006, the gap between those two rates had shrunk to an historic low of 0.5 percentage points--4.9% for Latinos compared with 4.4% for non-Latinos, on a seasonally adjusted basis. The spike in Hispanic unemployment has hit immigrants especially hard. For the first time since 2003, the unemployment rate for Latinos not born in the United States was higher, at 7.5 percent, than the rate for native-born Latinos, at 6.9 percent, the report found. Latinos make up 14.2% of the U.S. labor force, or roughly 22 million people.

In addition to the economy, issues like immigration, access to health care, and discrimination continue to be of concern to Hispanics and to Hispanic voters. In the Pew survey, one-in-ten Hispanic adults - native-born U.S. citizens (8%) and immigrants (10%) alike - report that in the past year the police or other authorities have stopped them and asked them about their immigration status. Some Latinos are xperiencing other difficulties because of their ethnicity. One-in-seven(15%)say that they have had trouble in the past year finding or keeping a job because they are Latino. One-in-ten (10%) report the same about finding or keeping housing.

On the question of immigration enforcement, the Pew Center's research demonstrates the same data NDN found through our polling on immigration, released last week. Latinos disapprove of current enforcement-only measures - more than four-in-five Hispanics (81%) say that immigration enforcement should be left mainly to the federal authorities rather than the local police and 76% disapprove of workplace raids. Two-thirds (68%) of Latinos who worry a lot that they or someone close to them may be deported say that Latinos' situation in the country today is worse than it was a year ago, as do 63% of Latinos who have experienced job difficulties because of their ethnicity and 71% of Latinos who report housing difficulties because of their ethnicity.

Most Hispanics in the U.S. are native born, i.e., U.S. citizens legally not susceptible to deportation, therefore the fact that most Hispanics worry about raids, immigration, and even facing possible deportation reflects how the existing reckless "enforcement-only" policies are impacting not only foreign Hispanics, but U.S. citizens.

NDN has a history writing and speaking about the Hispanic community as one of the great American demographic stories of the 21st century, recognizing that it will be hard for any political party to build a 21st century political majority without this fast-growing electorate. Hispanics have become one of the most volatile and contested swing voting blocs in American politics, and they are responding to this attention. As reported in Hispanics Rising II, an analysis of the Hispanic electorate and their motivation, Hispanic immigrants are becoming increasingly involved, as reflected by the data released this week by the Immigration Policy Center, demonstrating a spike in citizenship applications. Immigrants want to be U.S. citizens, they want to apply for citizenship, often having to overcome virtually impossible obstacles to be able to pay the obscenely high application filing fees.

Therefore, political candidates will do well to pay attention to the many challenges facing Hispanics today. At the onset of Hispanic Heritage Month this week, both Presidential candidates released statements praising Hispanics' contributions to American society and their military service. The difference between the two statements is that Barack Obama also called for comprehensive immigration reform. On the other hand, John McCain didn't mention it. This is curious because polling for the last 3 or 4 years, including the latest polls conducted by NDN, consistently shows that immigration is of top concern for Hispanic voters.

What World Does The Republican Party Live In?

I have watched the coverage of the Republican Convention for three days now and I have two main observations: 1) they have not presented a single proposal, just snide remarks (clever ones, but merely snide remarks all the same) and 2) the crowd is older and all white. Such a homogenous crowd is simply not reflective of the reality of the United States of America - watching and listening to the Convention makes one thing abundantly clear: the Republican Party is so very, very out of touch with the country they claim to put first.

The Washington Post's Eli Saslow and Robert Barnes note in a piece published today:

Only 36 of the 2,380 delegates seated on the convention floor are black [which is 1.5 percent of those present, while blacks make up over 12% of the U.S. population], the lowest number since the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies began tracking diversity at political conventions 40 years ago. Each night, the overwhelmingly white audience watches a series of white politicians step to the lectern -- a visual reminder that no black Republican has served as a governor, U.S. senator or U.S. House member in the past six years.

The lack of diversity is out of sync with the demographic changes in the United States. Twenty-four state delegations at the Xcel Energy Center have no black members at all. A few weeks ago Simon wrote about the Census Bureau reporting that racial and ethnic minorities will make up a majority of the country's population by 2042 -- almost a decade earlier than what the bureau predicted just four years ago. Two-thirds of Americans are non-Hispanic whites, 12.4 percent are black and 14.8 percent are Hispanic,according to 2006 census numbers. Not only is the party out of sync - it appears Republicans are making a concerted effort to ignore the multiplicity of nationalities and races in the United States, as they propose to eliminate all non-citizens from being counted in the next Census.

Only a few years ago, Republicans talked publicly about the party's aspirations to diversify -- So what happened? As in so many other areas, the Republican Party has no record and no proposals to offer any particular demographic. The party made a concerted effort to court Hispanics in 2004, but NDN has tracked how the GOP's electoral gains under George W. Bush have been diminished by the hard-line stance many Republicans have taken on immigration.

A black Republican delegate from Texas, Tony Leatherman agreed, "You see what Obama has done, and it's a reminder of what's possible." But the Republicans have proven that they are too cynical to consider what's possible, they're too busy trying to glorify the past in order to avoid dealing with the reality of today and the very real challenges of tomorrow. They demonstrate this by focusing on putting down their opponent - a product of the bi-racial, multi-cultural society in which most of America lives - instead of developing solutions that can appeal to the wide array of Americans. As Sally Quinn wrote, describing how the two parties are worlds apart: some people might want to live in McCain's or Sarah Palin's world, "but I believe that we live in Obama's world."

McCain Don't Know Much About Geography

As Simon has commented, U.S. Sen. John McCain's ads exceedingly reflect a new Rovian approach to this election, and he's not limiting himself to attacking in one language...this latest ad in Spanish, called "The World According to Barack Obama" intends to promote the notion among Hispanic voters that according to Barack Obama, Latin American countries somehow "don't count" in the world because he didn't discuss Latin America during his trip to EUROPE ("but entire nations were forgotten.."), by asking voters: "and where is Latin America?", "and what about Latinos?", "Did he forget about us?" The ad is flawed in that Barack Obama's trip through Europe, and his speech in Berlin, was intended to discuss issues related to joint U.S. and EU policy.  As Jake and I were discussing, there's this thing called the Monroe Doctrine that would make it unseemingly to say the least for the U.S. to invite European nations to strategize over Latin American policy. But since when have Rovian tactics had any regard for honesty and accuracy?  

The New Case Against Hispanics

On the CIS "report" that I mentioned yesterday - the premise of this paper, does demonstrate that CIS intends to argue that all undocumented immigrants are uneducated Hispanics and that all foreign-born, less-educated Hispanics in the United States are necessarily undocumented immigrants:

CIS ignores that undocumented immigration responds more to economic conditions than to immigration-enforcement measures. Data actually shows the economic downturn in many of the industries where undocumented immigrants tend to be employed (construction, service, and retail sectors) began well before August 2007 (as cited by CIS) - during the 1st quarter of 2007.

Undocumented immigrants themselves report that immigration-enforcement measures are not a deterrent. The Center for Comparative Immigration Studies at UC-San Diego performed an actual field study and found that 91 percent of individuals who intend to cross the border without documents see attempting to cross the border as "very dangerous," and nearly one-quarter know someone who has died while doing so. Additionally, over 90% of the people who intend to cross the border and believe crossing is "very dangerous" cross anyway. Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Julie Myers, herself admitted during an interview with Univision, that when she asks ICE detainees if they're going to try to cross again, by far most of them say yes.

CIS repeatedly contradicts and undermines its own conclusions. Although no "evidence" is given, CIS posits:"there is good evidence that the illegal population grew last summer while Congress was considering legalizing illegal immigrants. When that legislation failed to pass, the illegal population began to fall almost immediately." Hmm - so these less-educated Spanish-speaking Hispanics (per CIS) were just glued to CPSAN and taking cues from the Senate floor to decide what to do. But CIS then observes (in a footnote), that "illegal immigrant employment is partly seasonal, with more in the country during the summer months [when the immigration debate took place] when employment increases in agriculture, construction, and the hospitality industry."

CIS suggests that the solution to undocumented immigration is more deportation-only measures, a continued economic downturn, and a vow of silence by presidential candidates. CIS also warns that, "Presumably, since even talking about comprehensive immigration reform in the United States could spark a sudden rush of Mexicans across the border, presidential candidates should simply ignore the issue." Great, because ignoring issues always makes them disappear. That is SOUND policy right there.

Border enforcement alone doesn't remedy, it exacerbates the broken immigration system. Since 1993 there has been a 322% increase in the budget of the border patrol. The result has been that during this period of tighter enforcement, the undocumented population has more than doubled in size. It's like a balloon - when enforcement clamps down in Yuma,AZ, crossings through Yuma might decrease, but they increase in San Diego - people find an alternative route. Border enforcement by itself has only helped get "coyotes" (smugglers) more business - the cost of crossing illegally has gone from $975 in 1995 to $2,124 in 2007.

We need a real solution: The answer is not found in blatant anti-Hispanic propaganda, nor in "ignoring" proposals to reform the immigration system, as CIS suggests. A real solution to the problem is to begin by engaging the countries from which immigrants originate (not just Mexico) and share the responsibility of ensuring that economic conditions in the world are such that people can make a living at home. It's necessary to reform the entire visa and legal immigration system, internal and external enforcement, eliminate the backlog that keeps many in uncertain status, and provide a pathway to earned citizenship. Deportation-only strategies do nothing to actually address the problem.

 

Menendez: On Immigration, McCain "Walked Away."

From a piece by Sam Stein on the Huffington Post:

One of Congress' most influential Hispanic members says that John McCain "walked away" from the Latino community and is not a "person of principle" on immigration reform -- a perception that could haunt the Arizona Republican in the general election.

In an interview with The Huffington Post, Sen. Robert Menendez offered a scathing rebuke of McCain, painting him as a candidate who sold his political soul to secure his party's presidential nomination.

"In my mind, he has dramatically shifted. He has really taken a Republican tact," said the New Jersey Democrat. "It seems to me, and it is out there in the community, that he walked away at a critical time. And when you take that view, which shows that he is not the person of principle that he would like to show himself being, and you wear the Republican mantle that is so negative and anti-immigrant... I think it is very hard for John McCain to make hay with Latinos at the end of the day." 

Obama, pride, and possibility

Watching all this tonight I feel pride, and a powerful sense of possibility. I am proud of our nation, I am proud of Senator Clinton and I am proud of Senator Obama, his family and his remarkable campaign.

As each day goes by I am more and more convinced that we are entering a new age of politics, an age of possibility, where so much is possible now, where we can imagine, imagine a tomorrow and an America so much better than today.

I end my brief post by reposting something I wrote just after Senator Obama's impressive win in the Iowa Caucuses, called Obama, Race and the end of the Southern Strategy:

For the past several years NDN has been making an argument that for progressives to succeed in the coming century they would have to build a new majority coalition very different from the one FDR built in the 20th century. The nation has changed a great deal since the mid-20th century, as we've become more Southern and Western, suburban and exurban, Hispanic and Asian, immigrant and Spanish-speaking, more millennial and aging boomer and more digital age in our life and work habits than industrial age. 21st century progressive success would require building our politics around these new demographic realities.

Looking at the leadership of the Democratic Party today, there is cause for optimism on this score. The four leading Presidential candidates includes a mixed race Senator of African descent, an accomplished and powerful woman, a border state governor of Mexican descent and a populist from the new South. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi represent areas west of the Rockies. Taken together these leaders represent a very different kind of politics, a 21st century politics, for the Democrats.

But of all these great changes the one that may be most important today is the growth of what we call the "minority" population. When I was born in 1963 the country was almost 89 percent white, 10.5 percent African-American and less than 1 percent other. The racial construct of America was, and had been for over hundreds of years, a white-black, majority-minority construct, and for most of our history had been a pernicious and exploitive one. Of course the Civil Rights Movement (particularly the Civil Rights Act and Voting Rights Act) began to change our understanding of race around the time of my birth, but it was the Immigration Act of 1965 that changed the face of America. That act changed who would enter America, reorienting our new immigrant pool from Europe, as it had been for over 300 years, to Latin America and Asia. And America changed.

As the chart below shows, today America is 66 percent white and 33 percent "minority". While the African-American population has grown a bit, most of that increase has come from the recent historic wave of Asian and Hispanic immigrants. In my half a lifetime the "minority" population in the United States has tripled. When I was born one of out ten people walking around America were non-white. Today it is one out of three.

I think it is safe to say that America is going through the most profound demographic transformation in its long history. If current trends continue, America will be majority minority in my lifetime or soon thereafter. In a single lifetime we will have gone from a country made up largely of white Europeans to one that looks much more like the rest of the world.

If Senator Obama becomes the Democratic nominee this profound change will become something we all begin to discuss openly. Today the nation is having a big conversation about this change - whether it understands it or not - through our ongoing debate over immigration. While this debate has seen some of the most awful racist rhetoric and imagery since the days of Willie Horton, what should leave us all optimistic is that only 15 percent of the country is truly alarmed about the new wave of immigrants arriving in America. Consistently about 60 percent of the country says we need to leave all the undocumenteds here, indicating a pragmatic acceptance of the changes happening around our people and their families. Once again the uncommon wisdom of the common people appears to be prevailing here, and it is my hope, perhaps my prayer, that if Obama is the nominee American can begin to have a healthy and constructive discussion of our new population rather than what we have seen to date.

My final observation this morning is a point we focus on in our recent magazine article, The 50 Year Strategy. This election is the first post-Southern Strategy election since its early emergence in 1964. The Southern Strategy was the strategy used by Conservatives and the GOP to use race and other means to cleave the South from the Democrats. This strategy - welfare queens, Willie Horton, Reagan Democrats, tough on crime, an aggressive redistricting approach in 1990 - of course worked. It flipped the South (a base Democratic region since Thomas Jefferson's day) to the GOP, giving them majorities in Congress and the Presidency. 20th century math and demography and politics dictated that without the South one could not have a majority in the US. But the arrival of a "new politics" of the 21st century - driven to a great degree by the new demographic realities of America - has changed this calculation, and has thankfully rendered the Southern Strategy and all its tools a relic of the 20th century. As Tom Schaller has noted, today the Democrats control both Houses of Congress without having a majority of southern Congressional seats, something never before achieved by the party of Jefferson, Jackson and Lyndon Johnson.

In our article we lay out what might become the next great majority strategy, one yet unnamed, that we believe may be used by the Democrats to build a durable 21st century majority. It will be built upon an America described above, and will embrace the new diversity of 21st century America at its core. At a strategic level, resistance to the new demographic reality is futile, which is why GOP leaders like George Bush, Ken Mehlman and even the Wall Street Journal's editorial page (here and here) have railed against the GOP's approach to immigration. They rightly understand that positioning their party against this new demography of America may render them as much a 20th century relic as the Southern Strategy itself.

Liberating American politics from the pernicious era of the Southern Strategy should be one the highest strategic priorities for left-of-center politics. Last night a powerful and thoughtful man emerged on the national stage who deeply understands - and is himself the embodiment of - the moral and political imperative of moving beyond this disappointing age. He appears to be summoning the courage, the vision, and the conviction to usher in a whole new - and better - era of politics for America. At its core this new politics will embrace diversity and difference rather than exploit it; at its core this new politics will be defined by hope and tolerance not fear and Tancredoism; at its core this new politics of tolerance is not just a requirement for a more just America here at home, but is a requirement if America is to reassert itself abroad in the much more globalized, multi-polar, interconnected, and open world of the 21st century.

And of course the arrival of this new post-Southern Strategy age of American politics will be accelerated by the extraordinary level of political participation of Millennials, the largest generation in American history, whose life experiences and values are much more Obama than Nixon.

Whatever happens in this campaign, the arrival of Barack Obama and his politics is a welcome development for our nation struggling to find its way in a new and challenging day.

An inconvenient poll -- Obama leads McCain 48-40 in PA

In our long essay about the future of left of center politics, Peter Leyden and I point out that Democrats have won 19 states worth 248 electoral college votes in each of the last four presidential elections. This group includes important states like PA and MI. It is this analysis which has led us to argue that the true battleground of this election will be in the heavily Hispanic states of AZ, CO, FL, NM and NV (and a handful of other states like OH, MO, IA, NH and perhaps NC, WI and VA).

One of the big arguments coming from both the McCain and Clinton camps has been that Obama cannot win those northern industrial states so critical to this Democratic map, and that they can. But is this true? Can McCain, in this environment in which the GOP is weaker today than it has been since at least 1982, and perhaps the 1960s, really think about winning a general election state they have not won since 1988? I have always believed that once a Democratic nomiee was picked, those 248 Electoral College votes would begin to settle in for the nominee and the game would move to the battleground described above, which in recent years was won by the GOP.

A new Survey USA poll of Pennsylvania indicates that as Obama begins his transition from candidate to nominee, that these traditional Democratic states may be reverting back to form. This new poll has Obama beating Senator McCain in PA by 8 points, 48-40, well outside the margin of error -- and this is before Senator Obama has been officially crowned the nominee. Another poll has the uber battleground of Ohio even. I've seen other recent polls that have Obama within a few points of McCain in Texas and Arizona (driven to some degree by the Hispanic community's aggressive abandonment of the GOP).

While it is early, and these polls will bounce around, looking at the national polls (A new Reuters poll released today has Obama up 8) and new state polls, there is growing evidence that Obama is successfully bringing the Democratic Party together, is winning over key Clinton constituencies and that his much discussed weakness with certain white voters is not carrying over to the general election battlefield in any meaningful way.

It also means that we will be seeing an unprecedented national campaign for the Hispanic vote, a battle which Senator McCain begins in a very weakened position and without a lot he can do to change a very anti-GOP dynamic that has taken hold in the Hispanic community.

America and race, 2008

Lots of news this Sunday morning, but we zero in on two important pieces - Frank Rich's Sunday column and a major Carolyn Lochhead essay in the SF Chronicle. Both take a look at theme we've written about a great deal - how our changing demography and Barack Obama's candidacy is starting a very important conversation about the changing nature of race in 21st century America.

From Lochhead's excellent article:

It seems odd that during a time of war and terrorism, a mortgage crisis, health care worries and a teetering economy, that race would assert itself. Last summer, the Democratic contest seemed destined to focus on Iraq. Instead, it has become a lesson in demography.

With few domestic policy differences separating Clinton and Obama, the patterns that have emerged revolve around age, income, education and the ethnic and racial composition of various voting blocs. Clinton has drawn her highest support from white women, Latinos, seniors and lower-income workers. Obama's inroads among each of those groups in Virginia recast the contest and now threaten Clinton's last hopes in Texas and Ohio on March 4.

"That race has become an issue in 2008 should come as no surprise in light of enormous immigration-driven population changes," said Simon Rosenberg...

"The country is undergoing its most profound demographic change in its history," Rosenberg said. "When I was born, the country was 89 percent white and 10.5 percent African American and 0.5 percent 'other.' Today, it's 66 percent white and 33 percent minority. We've seen a tripling of the minority population in the United States in a very short period of time."

Race began percolating as an issue most recently with the 2005 immigration debate, he said, and continued in that guise through the early GOP primaries, where he contends Republicans "demonized" Latinos. "For any civil society, that kind of transition is going to be hard."

Thanks to the fast-growing Latino vote, many analysts believe 2008 will be the year when a presidential election will be decided for the first time by minorities. Some contend that milestone was already passed when President Bush drew more than 40 percent of Latino voters in 2004, providing his victory margins in closely contested Southwestern states...

Frank Rich's op-ed covers similar terrain but in his typical penetrating fashion, talking about the GOP's embrace of its race-based Southern Strategy and this year's all white, very 20th century Presidential field. In the piece he refers to a new book, Millennial Makeover, by our good friend Morley Winograd, who is the one who introduced NDN and NPI to the importance of the coming Millennial generation.

For more on this whole subject of the changing demographics of America, come see Morley and his partner Mike Hais at our upcoming forum, A Moment of Transformation?, in Washington, DC on March 12th. It is free, open to the public and will be full of big ideas and powerful leaders. I hope you will join us.

You can find more on our thinking about our changing people in our recent magazine piece, The 50 Year Strategy, in our recent report Hispanics Rising and in a new essay, On Obama, Race and the End of the Southern Strategy and in our recent study, The Progressive Politics of the Millennial Generation.

And I will be talking directly about all this at a public NDN forum on the 2008 elections this Wednesday, Feb 20th, in Washington, DC. This one begins at 12:30pm, is open to the public and also features the ever interesting Joe Trippi and Amy Walter, the editor in chief of the Hotline. I hope you will join us for this one too.

Hispanics deliver Florida for McCain

According to the exit polls Mitt Romney and John McCain tied 33% to 33% among the 89% of the Florida Republicans who voterd last night who were not Hispanic. Among Hispanics, who where 11% of the Florida GOP electorate last night, the vote was 54% McCain, 24% Rudy and 14% Romney. So it was the vote of Hispanic voters who put John McCain over the top in Florida, and gave him the most important win of his fight for the GOP nomination.

Thus, John McCain, the candidate who championed immigration reform, may have had the nomination delivered to him by those Hispanic voters he has been fighting for. And Romney, who has led the anti-immigrant crusade in the GOP field this year, saw this strategy explode on him - as it has virtually every other Republican who has invested in it - last night.

Perhaps there is justice in the world.

Thanks to our friend Frank Sharry for passing this along.

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