Friday, October 17, 2008

Latino Protestants as Swing Voters

President George W. Bush made great progress in attracting Hispanic votes in the 2000 and 2004 elections. Many of those votes, if not most, are attributed to Hispanic Protestants who made up nearly a third of that block. This year, according to a recent survey, more than half favor Barack Obama, only a little more than a third opting for John McCain. Religiously conservative, they were outraged and hurt by the nasty tone of the House Republicans in 2006. McCain's support of comprehensive reform helped, but his shift to stressing enforcement and border security first seems to dampened their interest. Catholic Hispanic voters tend, like earlier immigrants, to be Democrats through the first generations. (See LA Times article. Note you can click to get to the survey.)

Sherriff Joe Arpaio took his "crime-suppression" circus to Mesa's, second largest city in Maricopa County, city hall and the public library. He did it early in morning, long before business hours. His deputies and assorted volunteers came in with bullet-proof vests and automatic rifles. Who did they corral?Mostly the Hispanic and undocumented cleaning crew. The mayor and the chief of police were incensed, but nonetheless intimidated. Incidentally, Sheriff Joe's on the ballot November 4th. (See Arizona Republic article.)

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