Hard Times Turn Latino Voters to Obama

Their support in key Western states could decide election
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 25, 2008 7:53 PM CDT
Barack Obama holds a town hall meeting before a racially diverse crowd at Garfield High School on October 20, 2007 on the east side of Los Angeles, California.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Campaign workers walking Latino precincts in Las Vegas are finding padlocked doors, foreclosed homes, jobless residents—and more voters supporting Barack Obama, the Los Angeles Times reports. "The economy is so bad, and I am afraid McCain has the same ideas as President Bush," one man told a canvasser. And Nevada is only one of three Western battleground states where Latinos could ensure an Obama victory.

Colorado and New Mexico Latinos could also swing the election for Obama if neither candidate sweeps Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida. McCain and Obama are close or tied in all three Western states without Latino voters, but lean toward Obama by up to 10% with them. Yet some Latinos find it hard to ignore McCain's family values platform. "I am antiabortion and pro-life," said one Latino political commentator. "It is difficult to turn my back on John McCain."