Saturday, March 2, 2024

Both presidential candidates competing for votes from Latinos…both scheduled to appear at Naleo Conference this Saturday.

There are dramatic signs that the fabled “sleeping giant” of the American electorate, the Latino vote, has awoken for the 2008 presidential race – putting Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama in heated competition for what could be a game-changing prize. And the candidates’ reaction to that awakening explains this week’s flurry of activity: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., will address the nation’s largest association of Latino officials today in Washington, D.C., the day before her much-ballyhooed joint appearance with Obama in New Hampshire. Both the candidates plan to cross paths before the same group, the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, this weekend.

In California next month, their head-to-head competition is expected to continue: Bothcandidates have been invited to appear before the National Council of La Raza at its national convention in San Diego. McCain has even invited Obama to hold a “town hall” debate before the influential Latino advocacy group – Obama hasn’t yet accepted.With just weeks until the major party nominating conventions, both McCain and Obama have their eyes on the support of Latinos, America’s largest minority group with about 9 percent of the national electorate – that’s up from 5.5 percent in the 2000 election – according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

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San Francisco Gate