Obama's Texas Dilemna

The Washington Post lays out the problems for Obama in Texas. Shorter version: He still suffers from a lack of support in the Hispanic community.

It begins with John McCain, who does have Hispanic support in Texas:

The Latino community is a critical piece of any Democratic candidate's general election calculations. Against John McCain, who has championed comprehensive immigration reform to his detriment in the Republican primaries, the Democratic nominee will face an opponent who begins the general election with a credible chance of holding a solid minority of the Hispanic vote.

On to Hillary: [More...]

Their first test came in Nevada in mid-January, and Clinton carried Hispanics by more than 2 to 1. On Super Tuesday, despite greater efforts by the Obama campaign, Clinton still dominated the Hispanic vote. There were eight states with significant Latino populations, and she had sizable leads in six of them.

In California, despite the energetic efforts of Ted Kennedy, Obama once again lost by an overwhelming margin of roughly 2 to 1.

Back to Texas:

On Friday, the Texas Credit Union League released a poll conducted by the Republican firm of Public Opinion Strategies and the Democratic firm of Hamilton Campaigns. It showed that, overall, Clinton leads Obama in the state by 49 percent to 41 percent. Among Hispanics, she led as she has in other key states by a margin of 2 to 1. Among Hispanic women, the lead was more than 3 to 1.

The Post ends with some advice for Obama:

One way for Obama to put that to rest would be to win the states outright, and in Texas he could do that if he manages to cut into Clinton's Hispanic support. For all his success in the past few weeks, his weakness in the Latino community is an obvious hole in his coalition. The Obama campaign may believe he can wait to address this, but rather than avoiding the problem, he should be trying to figure out how to solve it -- beginning in the Lone Star State.

If Obama doesn't shore up his support in the Hispanic community, it could spell trouble in November.

The Post-ABC News survey suggested that, if Obama is the Democratic nominee, he may do as well among Hispanic voters as would Clinton, that Hispanics would rally around either one. But the poll also showed that McCain begins the race with what appears to be somewhat outsized support among Hispanics -- and no Democrat can afford to allow that to hold throughout a tough general election campaign.

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    Obama got the AA vote (5.00 / 3) (#4)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:21:12 PM EST
    by destroying the credibility of the Clintons with the AA community. Watch him try this in the Hispanic. Cause he can only win by destroying the other since he has no track record.

    no (none / 0) (#5)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:23:39 PM EST
    they did that themselves

    Really? (none / 0) (#12)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:43:59 PM EST
    yes, Stellaaa (none / 0) (#15)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:48:50 PM EST
    just step into the Obamaverse and you will see the stars align!

    On my knees.. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:01:31 PM EST
    I believe...I believe...

    Obama is playing the (none / 0) (#18)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:09:11 PM EST
    SC card against Bill Clinton today:

    The Obama campaign responded by calling the line a "false accusation", the kind "that failed his wife's campaign in South Carolina."

    And the faithful believe (none / 0) (#25)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:19:59 PM EST
    Sister Stellaaa! (none / 0) (#19)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:10:38 PM EST
    Did you know that the Texas primar-caucuses happen during...Spring Break!

    Rise up!  Rise up, I say!  More teachers voting, more kids drinking!  Amen!


    But...but (none / 0) (#26)
    by Stellaaa on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:21:51 PM EST
    The Easter Sunday is right around the corner...and we know what happens, the resurrection of Hillary. Yes..Yes... Have you seen the Messiah

    Bill destroyed their crediblity. (none / 0) (#8)
    by cannondaddy on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:30:27 PM EST
    I think it's silly to think Obama will try to "destroy" the Clintons image with Hispanics.



    No he didn't... (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:36:27 PM EST
    the forces that be (especially the Republican machine in SC) helped Obama twist Bill's words around.

    It's no secret Republicans will do anything to put Hillary down -- even if it's to aide a rival. They're banking on Obama getting the nomination, so they can replay the Willie Horton game again. They careless if it hurts the Black vote, since they're not voting Republican anyhow -- and it'll be a "call in the wild" for White males everywhere to be reminded of what can happen to "race traitors", too.

    That game goes both ways. And if the GOP is going to play dirty, count on them slinging d-e-e-p mud.


    No, I don't think it was Bill. It was the Obama (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by LatinoVoter on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:06:04 AM EST
    camp with the help of the media. It wasn't Bill that went on television after Iowa and said that Obama couldn't attack Hillary because of America's history with OJ. It wasn't Bill that went on television after NH and said that Hillary cried about her hair but not about victims of Hurricane Katrina. Those two instances were Obama's National Co-Chair Jesse Jackson Jr. It wasn't Bill who circulated the four page memo after NH that twisted things that the Clintons said and painted them as being racist or racially incentive. That was Obama's SC Press Secretary. It wasn't Bill Clinton that twisted the fairy tale line to the black community. That was Michelle Obama and a vast majority of the media.

    I don't think I need to go any further.


    I so agree! Thanks. (none / 0) (#47)
    by derridog on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:51:35 AM EST
    I expect another Obama surrogate like UNITE HERE (none / 0) (#42)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 11:49:03 PM EST
    will play the race card for Obama to keep his hands clean and try to put a wedge in the Latino vote in Hillary the way they tried in Nevada.

    In Nevada they ran that Spanish ad that said Hillary didn't respect the Hispanic community and I firmly believe the ad backfired and gave Hillary the lead. He completely lost me when I saw John Edwards denounce the ads for the race baiting smear they were and Obama said nothing on the subject.

    One thing the media didn't talk up after Super Tuesday was that in Chicago Obama lost the Latino vote, the Latino wards in Chicago went to Clinton. I hope the same results are seen in Texas.


    No one has destroyed. . . (none / 0) (#16)
    by LarryInNYC on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:57:02 PM EST
    the Clintons' credibility in the African American community.  Don't impute to society in the large they preoccupations of the blogosphere.

    Uh (none / 0) (#41)
    by BrandingIron on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 11:30:47 PM EST


    A bigger problem for Obama vs McCain (none / 0) (#39)
    by felizarte on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:37:37 PM EST
    would be if McCain should choose someone like Colin Powell to be his VP.  Gen. Powell has adm. and foreign policy credentials and was an able Sec. of State.

    Powell would automatically divide the AA vote, and may even get many of the Hispanic voters.  As well as the anti-war vote since practically everybody knows that he was against the war and was misled and out of principle did not serve in the second W adm.

    Powell could be marketed as one who would be ready to be president at any time, even more than Barack.


    Ohmigod! You're right. (none / 0) (#48)
    by derridog on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:53:15 AM EST
    That would be a killer for either Hillary or Obama.

    Do you think this argument (none / 0) (#1)
    by Polkan on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:14:35 PM EST
    will be made to the uncomitted super delegates before the convention? I hope Clinton makes sure her campaign makes this very clear.

    I hope super delegates (none / 0) (#7)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:27:29 PM EST
    realize both canidates have what it takes and support the pledged delegate leader.

    Yes. In spite of the fact that I agree with the (none / 0) (#49)
    by derridog on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:57:48 AM EST
    argument that Hispanic voters are going to be extremely important in the general, I also believe that the Superdelegates have to go with whoever seems to be leading after Pennsylvania, at the very least.  Otherwise, half the party will sit on it's hands and not vote in November.  I'm also worried that, if Hillary does win those states and ends up a greater number of regular delegates and the Superdelegates go for her, that the Obama people will get hysterical and vituperative anyway.  They aren't coming at this from a position of reason, but are swept up in their love affair and no matter what happens, I fear they will not forgive if Obama doesn't win.

    what, that Obama might not win TX (none / 0) (#11)
    by Tano on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:42:23 PM EST
    in the fall?

    Do you think Hillary would?


    Maybe not Texas, but she would have a better (none / 0) (#50)
    by derridog on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 10:59:18 AM EST
    chance in Ohio and PA.  No one has ever won the presidency who didn't win Ohio.

    derridog (none / 0) (#51)
    by auntmo on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:07:17 PM EST
    Or  FLORIDA.   Gotta have  Florida in the  general.    Clinton  literally  wiped  the  floor  with all  other  candidates  there.

    Huff Post has an article up with a headline (none / 0) (#2)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:18:02 PM EST
    stating Obama will benefit in TX from Republican gerrymandering.  

    I've also read that HRC campaign recently hired the man who was in charge of Latino vote issues in CA primary for HRC.  

    I think it was the LA Mayor (none / 0) (#9)
    by Jeralyn on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:36:59 PM EST
    who pulled it out for her in California.

    Well, plus Huerta. But this was a (none / 0) (#10)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:41:39 PM EST
    Caucasian male political professional.

    The MSM talk of how latinos and blacks are (none / 0) (#3)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:20:57 PM EST
    against each other is no help to either campaign.  The biggest problem with wether you have the Latino vote there in GE is that the hispanics in the SW are disenfranchised as much as AA community is in the SE that is one of the reason whoever is the nominee needs to be vigilant and mobilization of the base is key in both the SE and the SW.

    Burnt Orange (none / 0) (#6)
    by jdj on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:25:01 PM EST
    Has some interesting thoughts on TX.

    The way it is broken up does favor Obama, at least as they see it.

    Simply cannot wait (none / 0) (#13)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:45:46 PM EST
    until the Clinton/Obama debate.  Today I took an online Implicit Association Test from edge.org that revealed that (unconsciously)I have slightly more positive feelings toward Clinton than Obama.  This surprised me.  If anyone else has taken this test, please share the results.  Were they what you expected?

    Many Texans will be waiting to make final decisions until after the debate.

    ok (none / 0) (#20)
    by ding7777 on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:11:18 PM EST
    Hillary - positive
    Obama - neutral
    McCain - negative

    and a big surpise - Huckabee was positive


    Huckabee (none / 0) (#23)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:18:00 PM EST
    was strangely positive (but only just so) for me, too.  I can't quite explain that.

    As far as Obama/Clinton comparison goes...  I have always framed my indecision over whom to offer full support to in terms of my heart (Obama) vs. my head (Clinton).  What this little cognitive test showed me was that I actually had it backwards.  My heart is for Hillary.  But my head...


    That may indicate you need a booster shot (none / 0) (#24)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:19:25 PM EST
    of kool-aid  :-)   Good to see the Texas party has handled the debate in such a marvelous way.  Only 100 tickets to be given out in some kind of raffle/lottery or some such garbage.  

    I know there's a boatload of complaints about it, but don't know if they'll matter.  The fat cats have their seats and that's probably all that matters.

    Texas Democratic Party,  the party of 'some people'.


    And here I thought (none / 0) (#28)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:30:18 PM EST
    myself as more of a Tang drinker.

    I hadn't heard about there only being 100 tickets, and I only know that it's in Austin.  But, I am going with many friends to one of several large DFW-area TV viewings of the debate.  Seeing that it's at a pub, there won't be Tang or Kool-aid, so I may be forced to sample the local fermented fare instead.


    ok (none / 0) (#27)
    by Polkan on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:24:39 PM EST
    Hillary - positive
    Huckabee, McCain - neutral
    Obama - negative

    Does this test really work


    The test is too young (none / 0) (#29)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:32:24 PM EST
    to be validated as of yet, but the developers are real cognitive scientists.  And their previous Implicit Association Tests have had very strong validation.

    Took the IAT (none / 0) (#30)
    by Florida Resident on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:36:16 PM EST
    Clinton Obama near each other at the top Clinton a slight advantage.  McCain very near the Bottom. Huckabee in the bottom.

    Took the real Greenwald test... (none / 0) (#32)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:43:44 PM EST
    and in the 4% that actually moderately favor Blacks. Not surprised, they are my neighbors! lol

    But I won't vote for Obama even if he's the Dem choice for president. Too green to give the keys to the kingdom to him -- and his social spending is going to be much worse than Bush's war spending. The Traditional conservative in me just can't give a green light to increased spending (and borrowing capital from China to pay for it). If I have to balance my check book every month or goto jail, congress and the president need to do the same.


    I just find (none / 0) (#33)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:51:59 PM EST
    this kind of sentiment absolutely inscrutable.  I am a Democrat through and through.  Progressive, liberal, whatever you want to call it, and I have to have faith that more of us will be happy to vote for either Clinton or Obama over McCain.  

    If you're just voting for party... (none / 0) (#34)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:03:07 PM EST
    that's your thing.

    But I vote on principles. I'll crossover when necessary, as I'm not a party member. Not one to follow the crowd, nor be browbeat to vote for "loyalty".

    My loyalty is to country -- to protect it from enemies both foreign and domestic.


    Curious... (none / 0) (#35)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:10:59 PM EST
    Just who exactly do you consider your domestic 'enemies'?

    Hmmm...about everyone (none / 0) (#38)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:30:15 PM EST
    Fight with Dems, Republicans, Libertarians and other third parties.

    Probably hated as much, too! lol


    Ah. But surely (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by Hypatias Father on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:43:01 PM EST
    you mean domestic 'opponents' in that case.  If I may quote another querulous Greek:

    And if the soul is to know
    it is into the soul
    of the other
    that it must look:
    The stranger and the enemy, we've seen him in the mirror.

    -George Seferis, Part 4, "Argonauts," from "Mythistorema"


    Well I did this political test... (none / 0) (#37)
    by SandyK on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 10:27:30 PM EST

    Sums up my preferences to a "T".


    Really Sorry (none / 0) (#44)
    by Jeralyn on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:01:29 AM EST
    I took that test. What a waste of time, and mental energy, just figuring out the instructions, or else I'm just too left-brained to get it.

    My results were totally predictable: Hillary at the top, Obama in the middle and McCain and Huckabee tied at the bottom.

    I still don't get the point of it or how it is a quantitative measurer of anything.

    Again, I'm very left-brained, so it might be me.


    Waste not, want not... (none / 0) (#46)
    by Hypatias Father on Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 12:45:26 AM EST
    Hmm.  I'm pretty 'left-brained' myself, but didn't notice too many problems with the instructions.  I've taken many of their tests before, so it could be that I'm simply accustomed.

    Waste of time, I can't say.  It wasn't for me.  Seems simple enough:  it tests if you are more or less likely to spontaneously assign a positive or negative valence to any variety of stimuli.  It is extremely useful if a person is interested in knowing to what degree they may harbor unconscious biases based on sex, race, gender, body-type, etc.

    It is quantitative in the sense that it arranges your choices ordinally; so, as with any collection of numbers, the ordinal data can be submitted to standard statistical tests across different test-taking groups.  

    Here is the value:  Say I want to know if a random sample of, say, male freshmen Obama-supporters in a predominantly white Midwestern University have more or less negative feelings about career-minded women.  I could give a Likert-type survey, but then I would stuck with the answers that they wanted me to believe of them--or even the ones they thought they believed.  Or, I can give them an IAT.  In the latter case the data are much harder to fake, and are both quantifiable (63% of Obama-supporters in our sample had more negative feelings about women and careers, as compared to 38% of Clinton-supporters.)

    <shrug> call me a nerd, but I'm surprised that anyone wouldn't be curious to know more about hidden prejudices, especially since it's a such a frequently topic within the threads of this blog .


    waitaminute (none / 0) (#14)
    by Kathy on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 08:47:52 PM EST
    weren't we told this entire last week that Obama had already "beaten" Clinton by eating into her share of Latino voters?

    Why do the "facts" keep changing?  This is maddening.  I clearly recall CNN saying that, according to exit polls, he had pulled Latino votes from her.  I feel like I'm living in an alternative Obamaverse.

    Did anyone see the story on Obama and his fake nuclear power bill tonight on ABC?  The lack of logic put circles around rings, and of course they threw in a picture of Clinton there at the very end to say she was bad, too.  Reminded me of a French movie, where if you don't watch the final ten minutes, then it makes sense.  Same with this piece, only trim it to ten seconds.

    Well, the meme changed after the (none / 0) (#21)
    by oculus on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:13:03 PM EST
    New Mexico results were final.  

    I saw that too and had to laugh a little. (none / 0) (#43)
    by LatinoVoter on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 11:58:58 PM EST
    Was it in Virginia or something? Whatever state it was that they were claiming that Obama won the Latino vote- it was an exit poll where Latinos were 4% of the people polled. That was something like 50 people and somehow they extrapolated that to mean that he had broken through her "firewall". Anyway if you looked at the polling data of the exit poll that said Obama won the Latino vote Hillary had 56% of Latino Democrats so it is possible he won Latino Republicans.

    Obama is on the air in Austin (none / 0) (#22)
    by RalphB on Fri Feb 15, 2008 at 09:14:09 PM EST
    with TV commercials about how he's the one with a universal health care plan.  The guys a pure pant load.  I hope more of my fellow Texans read Paul Krugman than I imagine.