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Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's No Wonder Hillary Won Over Latinos and Asians




Why Latinos and Asian Americans Went for Hillary
by Jeff Chang

Among Latino and Asian American circles, Super Tuesday brought a sense of giddiness. Thanks to the central importance of California to the primary elections, here was a chance to not just be heard, but to be recognized as a voting bloc right up there with the privileged masses of Iowa or New Hampshire. Boy, did they make some noise.

In California, while Obama took a plurality of white voters (including white males) and the overwhelming majority of African American voters, Hillary won the popular vote by 8 points. So how did Hillary make her 10% margin of victory? A big part of the answer was in the Latino and Asian American votes. A CNN exit poll last night indicated that Latinos in California went for Hillary by a 2-1 margin, and Asian Americans went for her 3-1. Democratic polls showed Hillary winning Latinos by 3-1.

Soon we'll be hearing a number of crackpot theories as to why this was so. Are Latinos and Asian Americans in fact slightly more conservative on immigration issues than everyone previously thought? Ridiculous. Are Latinos and Asian Americans unwilling to bring themselves to vote for a Black man? Get out of here with that.

The reason Hillary won is because the Latino and Asian American votes remain emergent, not yet insurgent.

Emergent voting blocs respond to leaders in their community. If the candidate wins the leader, she wins her followers. Insurgent voting blocs instead respond to calls for change, and may focus more on single issues or agendas. If a candidate stakes out a good position, she captures the community. Hillary played the politics of emergence.

Early, she locked down important leaders in the Latino and Asian American communities. In Los Angeles, that meant securing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's support, and the predominantly Latino unions that have supported him. She also landed the support of Fabian Nunez and Dolores Huerta. In San Francisco, that meant seizing on Mayor Gavin Newsom's popularity amongst Asian Americans. She also captured a who's who of Asian American elected officials starting with Controller John Chiang and moving on down. Just as important, Hillary's campaign locked up a huge number of the leading Latino and Asian American party operatives--the people who actually deliver the voters. (Source)

The image displayed is of Hillary at the New America Media (NAM) 1st National Ethnic Media Awards held on Nov. 14. She was already on the ball. Can't knock Hillary's political savvy right here.

I was thinking that maybe it was a generational divide among both groups but I don't think so after reading both articles. The generational divide could still be there along with Clintonmania and possible bigotry but him not showing enough interest in their leaders or their functions is more than likely a huge factor. This could be taken as a dismissal of their vote and their significance and no one likes to be snubbed. People will support you only if you recognize them.

Barack needs to get to work. It's never too late to start gaining support so I suggest he starts NOW.

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