Saturday, June 15, 2024

According to members of the Latino Community, both presidential candidates have work to do to win Latino vote

McCain’s California Latino Chairman Mario Rodriquez of San Clemente says he knows his candidate has to appeal to Hispanics one-on-one and that the candidate has to get beyond the intense anti-immigrant rhetoric that he concedes some in the GOP have engaged in. And Norma Garcia Guillen, a Santa Ana lawyer who is president of the Hispanic Bar Association, believes once Latinos learn about Barack Obama’s support for driver’s licenses for all regardless of their immigration status and that he’s supported making it easier for children of illegal immigrants to get a college education that they’ll be in his corner.

Both camps say they are ramping up their efforts to win the Latino vote with more Hispanic staff, Spanish-language ads and Web sites.But why? For years, political experts have talked about the promise of the Latino vote. So far low Hispanic turnout has belied those predictions. But this year, experts insist, the Latino vote could make a difference, especially in some key Western and Southwestern states that up to now haven’t been considered battlegrounds. McCain was the first to launch a Web site in Spanish and frequently points to the Hispanic support he has received over the years in Arizona. There’s a bug on Obama’s Web site that takes people to a Spanish language page and he spoke Spanish on a campaign ad for the Puerto Rico primary. They have both brought on more Hispanic staff and people who will coordinate the message to Latino communities. Obama will do well among the young Latino voter and I think McCain has a good reputation among Latino voters, especially in the Southwest,” says Lorraine Quintanar, a John Kerry delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention who now publishes an online magazine geared to Hispanic women. endorsed Clinton and McCain in the primaries.

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Orange County Register