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Campaign 2008

The Candidates and the World

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Carrying the Latino Vote

by Joanna Klonsky
November 5, 2008

A large majority of Latinos turned out to vote for Barack Obama on Tuesday, exit polls showed. 67 percent of Latino voters picked Obama overall, while 31 percent voted for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in the national election. Hispanic voters helped deliver several crucial states to the Obama campaign, including Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

In Florida, where Cuban-American voters have long been a reliably Republican bloc, some exit polls showed Obama with 35 percent of their vote– more than double what former Democratic candidate John Kerry received from the group in 2004 (CBS). This CFR.org Issue Tracker details the candidates’ positions on U.S. policy toward Cuba.

In total, Obama got 57 percent of the Latino vote in Florida (CNN), while 42 percent went to McCain, exit polls showed. In Colorado, 73 percent of Hispanic voters supported Obama.  In Nevada, Obama received 76 percent of the Latino vote, according to exit polls

McCain at one time enjoyed popular support from Hispanic voters in his home state of Arizona. The Dallas Morning News’ Emily Ramshaw writes today that the McCain campaign had been hoping McCain’s “immigration experience and social conservatism would appeal to Latinos.” But on Tuesday, according to exit polls, Obama won 56 percent of Arizona’s Latino vote, compared with McCain’s 41 percent. 

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