Monday, March 3, 2008

The Latino Youth Vote

An AP analysis of the Latino vote stresses the growing importance of the youth vote. About 400,000 Hispanics become of voting age this year, and most are registering to vote. Already motivated by last year's demonstration and the anti-immigrant rhetoric, they seem motivated to use that new franchise by the Clinton-Obama race. There are already five million eligible Hispanics voters between 18 and 27 years old, and their numbers will grow rapidly. There is a sense that the 2008 presidential election is a watershed for Hispanics. They tend to be turned on more by Barack Obama, since they look at issues more broadly than just immigration. But have no doubt, immigration is as big an issue with them as with other Latinos. They took the anti-immigrant outcry personally, as a slam against all Hispanics.

Mitt Romney was undone in his campaign for the Republican nomination because he got tagged as "a waffler". He change positions he took as governor of Massachusetts that differed from conservative GOP orthodoxy. His intent was to endear himself as the candidate of the right. McCain, on the other hand, ran from behind as the consistent one, calling his campaign bus "the Straight Shooter Express". Even now he claims to be the paragon of consistency against either Clinton or Obama.

Well. as Al Smith use to say, "Let's look at the record." The New York Times does that and finds enough flip-flopping to bring his credentials as Mr. Consistency into doubt.

McCain is drifting righ and trying to assuage conservative Republicans -- even on immigration. He hasn't given any indication to retreat on a pathway to citizenship of some of the other positive features of his reform proposals made in alliance with Senator Ted Kennedy. But has taken to speaking only about enforcement and border security, arguing that once are borders are secure the nation can turn to doing something about the presence of 12 million undocumented. He still does insist we just can't turn them out.

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