The Myth of the Latino Swing Voter


In this year’s historic elections Latinos are poised to play a historic role. If Latinos vote in the precedent-setting numbers that marked their participation in the presidential primaries, they could be responsible for putting a candidate in office.


When Sen. Hillary Clinton exited the race in June, the support that she had among this voting block appeared up for grabs. Both campaigns released Spanish language ads and Sen. John McCain even traveled to Mexico and Colombia to appeal to Hispanic voters. Demographic profiles showed that Latinos could help decide who would win key battleground states like New Mexico, Colorado, Florida and Nevada.


But despite the hype, perhaps Latino votes aren't really that swing-able? Ever since Clinton's departure, polls have shown Latinos steadily moving to support Obama. A recent Gallup Poll appears to confirm this trend, showing Latinos backing Obama 59% to 29% over McCain. The poll concludes that Latino support enjoyed by Clinton appears to have shifted to Obama.


The shift in poll numbers raise the question: Is this group really as elastic as the political narrative has suggested?
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