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Poll: Latino Voters Favor Kerry

A new poll by The Washington Post, Univision and the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute show John Kerry with a commanding lead over George Bush among Latino voters. Those polled were critical of Bush's handling of the economy and the war in Iraq.

The findings suggest that, at this point in the campaign, Bush is falling short of his goal of notably improving on the 35 percent share of the Hispanic vote he received four years ago, although his advisers said they believe he is still on track to do so. Kerry advisers, in contrast, said they are determined to keep Bush from winning as much of the Hispanic vote as he did in 2000.

....Competition for Hispanic voters remains fierce. Latinos now outnumber blacks, rank as the fastest-growing minority group in the country and are less solidly attached to the Democratic Party than are blacks. The 2000 census counted more than 35 million Hispanics in the United States, a 50 percent increase in one decade.

Latino voters who were surveyed were sharply critical of the war in Iraq. More than six in 10 -- 63 percent -- said the war was not worth fighting, a view shared by slightly more than half of all voters nationally. Fewer than a third of all Latinos and fewer than half of all voters believe the war justified its costs. Latinos also are more pessimistic about the war on terrorism than the overall population is, with 37 percent saying the United States is winning and 40 percent saying it is losing.

Kerry's had support from 60% of those polled while Bush had support from 30%--a 2 to 1 lead. Here are the sentiments of one person polled:

"Bush is wrong on Iraq," said Maria Cerda, 42, of the Bronx, who is from the Dominican Republic and cleans offices for a living. "There are a lot of young people dying over there. Education and better jobs is what we need. Not war."

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