Ominous Signs for McCain, Republicans in Florida

Taking a look through the latest Quinnipiac poll from Florida, one particular piece of data jumped out at me: the preferences of likely Hispanic voters in the state. While Barack Obama leads John McCain inside the margin of error over all -- 46 percent to 44 percent -- among Hispanics Obama's lead is much greater, 56 percent to 36 percent.

Doing a little conjecture and number crunching, the margin of error for the subsample of Hispanic voters is somewhere in the neighborhood of plus or minus 7 percentage points, meaning that not only is Obama's lead within this community statistically significant, but the difference between his showing among this community and the state electorate as a whole is also statistically significant.

Why is this important? A glance at the 2004 exit polling gives us an idea. According to those numbers, George W. Bush won the Hispanic vote in Florida by a 56 percent to 44 percent margin over John Kerry, one of the keys to Bush's victory, both in Florida and nationwide. Had Kerry been able to pull in the same share of the Hispanic vote in Florida in 2004 as Obama is pegged at pulling in today, he would have netted roughly 5 percentage points overall -- meaning that Florida would have ended as close to a tie once again, putting the White House much closer to the reach of the Democrats.

The point of this, of course, is not to look backward but to look forward. If Obama can foster the continuation of the trend of Hispanic voters moving from the GOP to the Democratic Party that was seen in 2006 around the country and in Florida -- note that the Democrats' gubernatorial nominee in the state received 49 percent of the Hispanic vote in the state that fall -- his path to the White House will be significantly easier. And if this trend continues unabated into the future, the Republican Party is going to have some serious demographic problems to deal with as their base grows increasingly small relative to the overall electorate while the Democratic base grows rapidly.

Tags: FL-Pres, Hispanic Voters, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

Re: Ominous Signs for McCain, Republicans in Flori

Non Cubans are on the rise, which could account for some increased support. Even the Cuban Americans are showing ominous signs. Great post.

by misscee 2008-08-01 03:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Ominous Signs for McCain, Republicans in Flori

And there are paper ballots again in FL.... very important!

by LordMike 2008-08-01 03:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Ominous Signs in Florida

I'll be glad when race-baiting bites the Republicans hard. Maybe they will even learn the wrong lesson and think they were too soft on immigration and that's why they lost.

by C S Strowbridge 2008-08-01 03:53AM | 0 recs
The disparity in ground games is really

striking in Florida too.  Tie goes to the Democrat this time.

by Geekesque 2008-08-01 04:35AM | 0 recs
yes, but...

i was very happy with my canvassing results in the all-critical i-4 corridor (blogged here, here and here).  every hispanic i talked to (which, granted, wasn't that many) were all supporting barack.  but...

the polls traditionally overstate the preference for democrats in florida.  this has been true since 1998 at least, maybe a little longer.  john kerry was ahead in florida in the last gallup poll in 2004, and we know how that turned out.

florida republicans have had a dynamic gotv ability in the state.  it starts with a huge commitment to producing 40% of their target numbers in tier one (or key) precincts in the state through absentee ballots.  remember when george bush cautioned everyone to wait for the absentees in florida?  this is why, republicans bank votes through absentees, with the purpose being to both narrow their gotv universe for election day and counter any democratic gotv efforts.  so we should be cautiously optimistic about polls in florida, since their have been wrong so often before.

i will try to write a wrap up post soon but my basic point is, this is an important state where grassroots activists can make a key difference.  if you live in florida, you should be doing as much as you can.  if you can get to florida (and don't live in a swing state), you should consider a trip there.  they need the help.  no democrat has ever worked this system.  barack has a good chance here...

by bored now 2008-08-01 04:58AM | 0 recs

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