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Friday, August 01, 2008

Obama Leads McCain Among Florida Latinos

If you dig down a little in the latest Quinnipiac poll, you’ll find something surprising.

No, not that Obama is leading by a narrow margin. That’s not news – that’s been a trend for some time (check out Pollster.com’s trend lines).

For a long time, we have been predicting a coming, cataclysmic shift in the patterns of Latino voters in Florida, driven both by greater number of Latinos of Mexican-American and Puerto Rican descent, but also because of the difference we have seen between what I call the pre- and post-Mariel generations (referring both to those who came here on or after or came of age after the Mariel Boatlift).

However, I always believed that it would be a relatively incremental process, taking place over several elections. Well, the Quinnipiac breakdown shows Sen. Obama with a 20 point lead – 56% to 36% - over Sen. McCain. Because crosstabs are necessarily smaller universes than the universe of the whole, meaning that the MoE of the likely voting Latinos will be larger than the 2.8 point MoE of the entire poll, but there is no good to way to spin a 20 point deficit as anything less than disastrous, not just for McCain, but for the Republican party as a whole in Florida if these kinds of numbers hold strong for later cycles.

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