Ignoring contrary polling, WSJ claimed "Mr. McCain might enter a race versus Mr. Obama with an advantage among Hispanic voters"

››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

A Wall Street Journal article about a hypothetical general election matchup between Republican Sen. John McCain and Democratic Sen. Barack Obama asserted that "Mr. McCain might enter a race versus Mr. Obama with an advantage among Hispanic voters." However, recent polls have found that significantly more Hispanics would vote for Obama than McCain in a head-to-head contest.

In a February 15 article about a hypothetical general election matchup between Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL), Wall Street Journal reporter Laura Meckler claimed that "Mr. McCain might enter a race versus Mr. Obama with an advantage among Hispanic voters," citing as evidence that "[d]uring the primaries so far, Mr. McCain has done well with Hispanics, while Mr. Obama has not." But according to the available polling, significantly more Hispanics would vote for Obama than McCain if the two meet in the general election.

According to a Time magazine/abt SRBI poll conducted February 1-4, 66 percent of Hispanics would vote for Obama over McCain. In addition, a February 12 Associated Press article suggested that Obama beat McCain among Hispanics in an Associated Press/Ipsos poll conducted February 7-10. The article noted that according to the poll, "Obama gets 74 percent of the votes of minorities when paired against McCain." From the February 12 AP article:

Meanwhile, Obama's advantage over McCain among women is about the same as Clinton's, blunting her edge in a group that has been the core of her strength in her fight for the Democratic nomination. Obama gets 74 percent of the votes of minorities when paired against McCain, 7 points more than Clinton. Echoing a pattern seen in most Democratic primaries so far, Obama does better than Clinton among blacks, while she attracts slightly more support from Hispanics.

From the Wall Street Journal article:

At the same time, Mr. McCain, the senator from Arizona, has an uphill climb with evangelical Christians and other conservatives who make up much of the base of his party. In Virginia's primary on Tuesday, four in 10 Republican voters described themselves as evangelical, and Mr. McCain won just 30% of those votes. Most went to former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, who has little chance of winning the nomination. Mr. McCain also lost those describing themselves as very or somewhat conservative.

On the other hand, Mr. McCain might enter a race versus Mr. Obama with an advantage among Hispanic voters. During the primaries so far, Mr. McCain has done well with Hispanics, while Mr. Obama has not. That could change the calculations in the Rocky Mountain West, Republican territory where Democrats have seen an opening.

In the South, many analysts see Virginia as a state where either Mr. Obama or Mrs. Clinton could make a serious run, but where Mr. Obama's appeal to African-Americans could offer an extra boost. Virginia has voted Republican in all but one presidential election since 1952, but in recent years it has elected two Democratic governors in a row and ejected a Republican from the U.S. Senate.

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John McCain, 2008 Elections
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