Man Without Qualities

Monday, August 04, 2003

Trending Away: Hispanics Out The Gate?

The New York Times reports that committed Democrats intensely "distain" President Bush:

There is a powerful disdain for the Bush administration, stoked by the aftermath of the war in Iraq and the continuing lag in the economy. ... It is not simply a lurch to the left. .... Geoff Garin, a pollster who is working for Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who is seeking the Democratic nomination, said the Democratic anger toward Mr. Bush was "as strong as anything I've experienced in 25 years now of polling," and perhaps comes closest to the way many Democrats felt about President Richard M. Nixon. .... There was no abstract battle for the soul of the Democratic Party here, just an abiding anger at what Mr. Bush has done... Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, said, "It's George Bush who will serve as the biggest unifying force for our party."

Which is all very interesting, because the Times also reports that Hispanic Americans mostly seem to like Mr. Bush:

Hispanics view the Democratic Party as better able than the Republican Party to manage the economy, create jobs and improve the nation's public school system, according to a New York Times/CBS News poll. But they admire President Bush and have embraced positions — from supporting tax cuts to opposing abortion and some gay rights — that have typically been identified with Republicans.

... [T]he respondents identified with Republicans on a host of issues the party has emphasized over the past two years. They applauded tax cuts, calling them better economic policy than reducing deficits, and embraced the use of school vouchers. They were less likely than the population at large to support the legalization of homosexual relations between consenting adults. And 44 percent of Hispanics said abortion should not be legal, compared with 22 percent of non-Hispanics. .... The poll signaled that the competition to court Hispanic voters — whom White House aides have identified as one of the critical groups of swing voters in next year's election — is wide open, notwithstanding the efforts by each party in recent years to strengthen its support among these voters in anticipation of the 2004 contest. That impression was underlined by follow-up interviews with some of the respondents.

"The Republicans are closer to my value system," said Abigail Hansen, 45, an independent voter from West Valley City, Utah, who was born in Uruguay. "The Democrats are pro abortion and pro homosexual marriage, and those are things my value system does not agree with."....

Are there just not as many Hispanic Americans coming to the Democrats' events as there used to be? And it is especially interesting that Hispanics applauded tax cuts, calling them better economic policy than reducing deficits, and embraced the use of school vouchers. That makes it a lot easier to understand why uber-opportunist Dianne Feinstein has been waffling on vouchers - apparently generating her own brand of intense "distain" among some core Democratic interest groups, especially the teachers unions. The core Democratic interest groups have an immense capacity for loathing.

[By the way, the linked article above makes even clearer why Senator Feinstein would be stupid to enter the recall race - and therefore why she just won't do it.]

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