LatinaLista — A new Gallup report reveals that when it comes to a showdown between Obama and McCain, McCain is the one with the “Latino problem.”
While Clinton is considered the candidate who was able to attract more Latino voters, than even Latino New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, Obama has always had his share of Latino voters. They just didn’t match the numbers of Clinton’s Hispanic supporters.
And now that Clinton is ending her campaign, it is obvious that she is leveraging those Latino supporters, who are among the now infamous “18 million” who voted for her, in securing her future role in an Obama Administration.
It would seem from the Gallup poll that Clinton can’t count on leveraging too much from her Hispanic supporters because some are already switching their allegiance to Obama, but it won’t be enough.
And it is highly unlikely that just because Clinton says, “Ok, vote for Obama because I’m endorsing him now,” that those Latino supporters in Southwest Texas, Nevada, California, etc. will just automatically put Obama signs in their yards or sport Vote Obama buttons.
Because Latino culture doesn’t work like that. A person has to earn respect, and in this case, votes. But it’s not his track recored in Congress or his work in Illinois or the number of superdelegates he has that will sway hardfast Latino Hillary supporters.
No. Earning respect, in this case, means you shake their hand, you walk their neighborhoods. You go cara-a-cara (face-to-face).
If Obama thought the hard part of his campaigning was over then he has no idea how to connect with Latino voters who live in the rural parts of the country â€” away from the urban centers that were his traditional winning bases.
The personal touch takes a whole new meaning when it comes to dealing with Latino voters. Clinton understood that.
If Obama wants Clinton’s Latino supporters, there’s a number of things he must do:
1. Start putting in some real face time in the Southwest and other parts of the country where there are heavy Latino communities.
2. Take lessons from Clinton’s campaign and construct an outreach program that just didn’t issue press releases but developed relationships with Latino bloggers and media.
3. And most of all, prominently include Latino leadership within your campaign to make the electorate feel like their voices are being represented which can reach your ear.
Obama already has a headstart over McCain when it comes to the Latino vote, but as recent history has shown us, headstarts don’t mean a damn thing when it comes to who finishes first.