As a lifelong Arizonan who has pushed moderate immigration issues, Sen. John McCain more than any of the other GOP presidential candidates has a chance of winning enough Latino votes to overcome the Democrats' huge advantage among African-Americans, pollster Bill McInturff tells us. But first, he adds, McCain must win back the loyalty of the Republican Party, especially what he calls "rehab Republicans" who don't like the president and the war in Iraq.
He says that the Latino vote will be critical for McCain since either Democrat will dominate the black vote. "Why Latinos? Just to do a quick math lesson: If McCain runs against Hillary Clinton, he'll beat her among white men by 25 points. I think he'll win white women by 5. That means you're 12 points ahead with 80 percent of the electorate. He's going to lose African-Americans by 90-10. So guess what, that's 8 points for the Democrats. Now there's 4 points left. Ten percent of the country is Latino. If you lose 75 to 25, which I think any other Republican nominee but McCain would of, you lose. You lose 70 to 30, it's too close to call. If you can lose 60 to 40, you win. That's two points. You win by 2 points," he says. McInturff, who has worked for McCain in the past, says that the senator has deep roots in the Latino community and owns what is now dubbed the Big Four: Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado. Other pollsters say that section is more of a battleground than Ohio.
By Paul Bedard