Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Latinos Turn?

Although Hillary reputedly won much of her margin in CA with Latino votes and she generally has won that demographic in past contests, Obama has been making progress, as he did with other demographics. There may well be further evidence of that in the results tonight, because in SurveyUSA's polling, Obama was winning in the Latino category (although the sample was small) in Virginia and Maryland.

However, Latinos are a big segment in Texas, and a shoe may have just dropped that will affect that vote. Over the weekend, the Clinton campaign replaced Patti Solis Doyle, daughter of a Mexican immigrant, as campaign manager. At first it was officially positioned as an amiable transition, even a resignation because she is a mother with young children in a long campaign. But more recently, there have been stories--which have the look of being "leaks" from the campaign--that she was fired for screwing up, specifically for not telling Hillary how bad the campaign finances were.

Today El Diario in La Prensa, New York's leading Spanish language daily, referred to Patti Solis as a fall guy, and the "last hired, first fired" propensity familiar to blacks and Hispanics. It said: Clinton’s chances of winning the nomination may rise or fall on the Latino turn-out in the upcoming Texas primary. What effect Solis Doyle’s resignation will have on Hispanic voters remains to be seen. But it cannot help.

There is no specific charge made, but it can be read between the lines. Or at least some may read it that way. If there's another shoe to drop, or if this becomes a word of mouth charge, it could hurt.

And with a political mind like Bill Clinton around, you have to figure that the campaign considered this possible fallout. So taking the risk must have seen better than trying to ride it out. That's not a good sign for the Clinton campaign in general. (Hat Tip to the Field for both the El Diario story and the demographics from SurveyUSA.)

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