Obama's problem with Latinos against McCain
by Jerome Armstrong, Thu Dec 20, 2007 at 06:53:34 PM EST
In general, as the sheen wears off Obama, I expect to see more polls like those coming out of SurveyUSA, showing Obama just as vulnerable, or even weaker, than Clinton in the general election, especially against McCain. A McCain vs Obama race would be the worst case scenario I could imagine for us. Why? Because the talky-centrists like Jonathan Alter from Newsweek and Joe Klein from Time that Obama panders too, who now come to Obama's defense to attack the progressive Krugman, would soon say: "Obama's great but he's too young and inexperienced, let's go with McCain."
I also fear the inroads to Latinos that McCain would make. He's their only candidate that isn't a wall-builder and hater toward illegal immigrants, and that would hurt Obama the most. I thought about that when I was looking at SurveyUSA's poll of New Mexico:
Clinton 49%, Giuliani 46%
Clinton 59%, Romney 44%
Clinton 49%, Huckabee 45%
McCain 48%, Clinton 45%
Giuliani 49%, Obama 44%
Romney 46%, Obama 44%
Huckabee 46%, Obama 45%
McCain 51%, Obama 40%
It's not good news for us, in what's considered the winnable southwestern states, if Obama's got a problem with Latino voters. And he does. In New Mexico, which has a big enough Latino population (35%) that we get a good sub-sample, Clinton defeats McCain 54-39 among Latinos in New Mexico, while Obama loses 45-42 among Latinos. In fact, Obama loses every single matchup precisely because he never exceeds 50% support among Latinos.
John Judis has an article up about the problem, and it's not a very comfortable read:
While this conflict passes largely unnoticed in the popular press, African American and Latino sociologists have been conducting extensive surveys in Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. These surveys have generally found that Latinos display more prejudice toward African Americans than African Americans do toward Latinos or than whites display toward African Americans. In the words of University of Houston sociologist Tatcho Mindiola, Jr. and two associates, "in general African Americans have more positive views of Hispanics than vice versa."
Given this, Judis concludes by wondering about Obama's chances:
Judis is right about the Republicans having bigger problems with Latinos, especially Romney and to a bit lesser extent Huckabee, but not McCain. Now that McCain is coming back, it becomes even more recognizable as an electability problem than the centrist pundit debacle that would happen in a Obama-McCain match-up.