Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Bush's phantom Hispanic vote

After the election ridiculous claims were made that Bush won 44% of the Hispanic vote. Fortunately, BusinessWeek sets the matter straight:

The William C. Velasquez Institute, a nonpartisan think tank, conducted its own exit polls, which found Bush winning 34% of the Latino vote -- no better than four years ago. "Bad science is being used to misrepresent a community," says Robert Aguinaga, research director of the institute. Republicans who derided the media polls on Election Day -- when they showed Democrat John Kerry running ahead of Bush -- are now embracing them.

In fact, none of the polls appear to get the Latino vote right. BusinessWeek examined real election returns from 62 jurisdictions in 13 states -- mostly places where Hispanics made up 75% to 95% of the population. The bottom line: Bush improved on his 2000 performance in 85% of these heavily Hispanic areas, undercutting Dems' claims that he didn't make inroads. But his gains averaged just three percentage points -- far less than the nine-point gain Republicans have been trumpeting.

Given those relatively small gains, it seems unlikely that Bush could have jumped to 44% of the national Hispanic vote.

The eagerness with which Bush seems to be trying to court the Hispanic vote probably has little to do with any belief that he is popular amongst Latinos and more to do with the fact that his nephew is Hispanic:

Meet George P Bush, 28, nephew to W, grandson of H, son of Jeb.

"George P Bush is a tremendous asset to the family," said Dario Moreno, director of Florida International University's Metropolitan Centre. "He's obviously Hispanic, he's an attractive young man, he's articulate and he's a Bush. That's a powerful combination. It raises the dynastic possibility, and it could be a hoot if the first Hispanic president of the US is a Bush."


At 3:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you believe that the "Hispanic" vote is monolithic? Voters may be Hispano in name only; after all American "culture" is pervasive and media driven. Look how intrusive advertising ad has become, in english, spanish and "spanglish".
The President had the incumbents advantage(perhaps 15%), if the majority of people have jobs and money to spend for the nearly Christmas season (six weeks after the election) it is easy to see how he was reelected. Miguel Mena

At 10:31 AM, Blogger Adam Lawson said...

The Hispanic vote may not be monolithic but Latinos do have a tendency to vote for Democrats. Bush may feel that his nephew has the best chance of winning over Hispanic votes since people have a tendency to vote for fellow ethnics.


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