Wednesday, July 24, 2024

Despite High Poll Numbers, Obama Still has Work to do in Order to Win the Support of Latinos.

The latest polls released suggest that Barack Obama has made great strides in wining the favor of Latinos who voted for Hillary Clinton during the primaries earlier this year. In a recent poll by the Pew Hispanic Center, Latinos are overwhelmingly supporting Senator Barack Obama for president 66 percent to 23 percent for Sen. Spell out John McCain. This is good news for many Democrats who feared that disappointed Hillary Clinton supporters would not support Obama and might even support McCain. However, it seems that Obama still may have some work to do when it comes to Hillary Clinton’s most devoted supporters.

The Democratic National Convention which will take place in Denver next week will be the last stand for these Clinton followers. While at the convention, they will have many venues to show their support since a significant amount of time will be devoted to Hillary Clinton. For starters her supporters are planning a march and celebrations in her honor; she will be a speaker at the convention along with former President Clinton, and her name will be placed into the official nomination process. According to Greg Rocha, a professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso, “the Obama camp hopes this is a way for the Clinton folks to just show their support for her and make this the last hoorah so they can then coalesce around him.”

Ramona de La Paz Torres one of ten delegates from El Paso who will be attending the convention, is one of these die hard Hillary Clinton supporters. She said, “I want to see her get the respect she deserves at the convention. I am going to stick with her to the end.” Six of El Paso’s delegates are for Clinton, four are supporting Obama. State Representative Norma Chávez, an Obama delegate who has been supporting the Illinois senator’s campaign since 2004, believes that allowing Clinton supporters to show their pride at the convention is good for the party. She added “Senator Clinton’s message is important so that the Clinton supporters are ready to move forward at this convention.”

But it seems perhaps not all of Hillary Clinton’s supporters are quite ready to show their full support for Obama. De La Paz Torres also says she is not sure she can vote for Obama, “he’s not experienced enough for him to handle the presidential decisions right now. I feel that he should have waited.” Other fellow Texans such as Blanche Darley have similar sentiments. She explained that she does not trust Obama and does not think he has paid enough attention the needs of the Mexican-American community.

Rocha continues on to say that perhaps winning over die hard supporters such as these will be Obama’s biggest challenge. He believes Obama has a lot of work to do to win over many Clinton supporters, especially low-income, Latino and women voters. “What Obama says at the convention and how he says it,” Rocha said, “will be critical in his bid to woo them.” In a year where many Latino votes will come from swing states where every vote will be crucial towards choosing the next president, facing this challenge is of utmost significance to Obama and the Democratic Party.

El Paso Times