Why Don't Latinos Back Barack?

Minorities don't always vote for minority candidates
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2008 7:08 AM CST
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., speaks during a rally in Selma, Texas Friday, Feb. 29, 2008. Obama has gained support within the Latino community, but the clear Clinton preference among Hispanics runs deep....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Hillary Clinton's support in Hispanic communities is well documented, but the voting patterns of Hispanics are not as easy to characterize as her pollsters make them out to be, reports the New York Times. The issue of identity politics is a complicated matter that clearly does not guarantee that all minorities rally behind a minority candidate, and gives a "Rainbow Coalition" all the substance of a cloud.

Some experts attribute Clinton's Hispanic support to her years spent cultivating the community, her ad expenditure on Spanish-language media and Latinos' respect for her husband. Others see another reason for her double-digit lead over Obama among Latino voters. One professor guesses that "about 10% of the Latinos who are voting for Hillary are voting against Obama because he’s African-American.” If Obama wins the nomination, it's not clear if those voters will come around, stay home—or vote Republican.