Immigration: McCain and Obama's Five Percent Rule

Both of the major parties' presumptive Presidential nominees are salivating over the Latino vote, and with good reason. Four years ago, George Bush won New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Florida by less than 5 percent of the vote. Each of these states has a vast Latino population -- case in point: one in three New Mexico voters is Latino.

In other words, Latino voters matter like never before in this year's tight Presidential race.

As analysts point to growing numbers of Latino voters in crucial Southern and Western states, Latinos are the new soccer moms and Nascar dads (in 2008 political parlance) and the Presidential campaigns are answering this clarion call loud and clear with multimillion-dollar ad buys (both Obama and Clinton spent at least $4 million on Spanish-language campaign ads before the June 1 primary - an astronomical 400 percent increase over what Bush and Gore spent on Spanish-language media in the 2000 race) and heartfelt Spanish-language television appeals.

It appears the Latino voter is poised to join this election's mythic white working class voter in the campaign's hall of fame.


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