Hispanics remain faithful to Hillary Clinton

Other News Materials 6 February 2008 22:36 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Hillary Clinton can remain confident on obtaining the Hispanic vote: every attempt by Barack Obama to steal from her the support of the largest majority in the United States was unsuccessful on "Super Tuesday."

The power of the name Clinton simply remains too great.

Some 61 per cent of the millions of Hispanics who voted (around 10 million were eligible to vote) gave their support to Senator Clinton, 60, a key factor to grant an edge to the woman who aspires to become the first female president in US history.

"The Hispanic community has known the Clintons for longer," said New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, himself of Mexican origin.

"Senator Clinton held some very positive positions on education and health and immigration," Richardson - himself a former candidate to the Democratic presidential nomination - added.

However, the governor has not yet endorsed any of the candidates remaining in the race, although he watched the Super Bowl with Bill Clinton last week.

On "Super Tuesday," the Latino vote proved particularly decisive in California, a state in which opinion polls indicated that Obama had closed in on Hillary Clinton. Indeed, exit polls showed that Obama obtained 42 per cent of the white vote, just 3 percentage points less than Clinton.

However, among Hispanics - 29 per cent of the population in the country's most populous state - stood by Clinton: 66 per cent voted for her, with 33 per cent backing the Senator from Illinois.

A "striking feature," The Washington Post said Wednesday of this aspect.

Obama , 46, had tried everything. He adopted the famous slogan of trade-union leader Cesar Chavez, " Si se puede " ("Yes, we can"), he had the support of Maria Shriver - the wife of California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger - and of TV queen Oprah Winfrey.

Numerous Obama rallies in and around Los Angeles featured an active Senator Edward Kennedy, one of the most firm defenders of immigrants in the US Congress.

A total of over 23 million Hispanics live in California, New York, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, Colorado, New Mexico and Massachusetts, eight of the 24 states that voted on "Super Tuesday."

The states are home to 51 per cent of the Hispanics in the United States, according to data from the Pew Research Centre.

The only large "Latino state" not voting on Tuesday was Florida, where Democratic voters went overwhelmingly for Clinton on January 29, carried strongly by the Hispanic vote.

Obama's low standing with Hispanics was similar across the country, with the exception of Illinois. Latinos favoured him only by a tight 50-49 per cent margin even in his home state.

The remaining Western states that voted Tuesday, where the Hispanic population is also significant, favoured Hillary Clinton: in Arizona she beat Obama by 53 per cent to 44 per cent, and in New Mexico she obtained 56 per cent to the Illinois Senator's 36 per cent.

The former first lady's triumphs were even more comfortable in the North-East. In New York, Clinton beat Obama among Latinos by 73 per cent to 26 per cent -and by a slightly smaller margin (68-30) in neighbouring New Jersey.

As in California, the "Kennedy effect" did not really work among Hispanics (or the rest of the voters) either. In the home state of the most famous political dynasty in the United States, Clinton won by 56 per cent to Obama's 36 per cent.