An interesting perspective from the president of the New Democratic Network.
In Washington State Hispanics voted for president Bush at the rate of 49%, higher than the non-Hispanic population and the national average for Hispanics.
And in Washington Governors race, decided this week (pending recounts) in favor of Republican Dino Rossi by a margin of .01%, Hispanics supported Rossi at an unprecedented rate of 44% clearly impacting the outcome (5% of the voting population in Washington is Hispanic).
In contrast, neighboring Oregon, a state with similar demographics, geography and temperament to Washington, Hispanics supported the president at a rate of only 17%, suggesting that these gains are neither permanent nor ingrained and the Hispanic vote is still completely up for grabs.
Pedro Celis, Ph.D.
Online at: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/national/apus_story.asp?category=1110&slug=Hispanics%20Kerry
Thursday, November 18, 2004 · Last updated 4:38 a.m. PT
Democrat slams Kerry on Hispanic outreach
WASHINGTON -- A Democrat whose organization spent about $6 million to get out the Hispanic vote criticized John Kerry's campaign effort Wednesday and said Democrats risk becoming a permanent minority if they don't do a better job.
"John Kerry did not compete adequately for Hispanic votes, period," said Simon Rosenberg, founder and president of the centrist New Democrat Network, a political organization independent of the national Democratic Party. "If we don't reverse the gains that President Bush made, we can forget our hope of being a majority party again."
Exit polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks indicated Bush won 44 percent of the Hispanic vote, up from 35 percent in 2000. Kerry won 53 percent, down from 62 percent four years ago for Democrat Al Gore.
Rosenberg, 41, is considering a bid for chairman of the Democratic National Committee, but said the DNC and the Kerry campaign mistakenly assumed Hispanics would be part of their base vote, while the fast-growing Hispanic community is increasingly a swing voter group.
Among Rosenberg's complaints were the Kerry campaign and the DNC lacked a national strategy for Hispanics and did not spend enough money on advertising or enough time campaigning in Hispanic communities and did not employ enough people on the get-out-the-vote effort.
Tony Welch, a spokesman for the Democratic National Committee, said the DNC had its most extensive outreach to Hispanics in its history in 2004. He added, "As we saw in the election results, Democrats are going to have to work even harder for Hispanic voters because they are a key part of any winning Democratic formula."
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