Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"All Hat and No Cattle"

The primary results along the Potomac River last night were lack much pizzazz. As the primary schedule marches forward, the Obama and McCain campaigns are slowly but steadily racking up wins and delegates. Certainly John McCain will be the Republican nominee and I think it is fair to now call Barack Obama the Democratic frontrunner.

The more interesting event last night was the “let’s-pretend-nothing-happened-out-east” speech of Hillary Clinton in…Pittsburgh? Cleveland? Dallas? No, in El Paso, Texas. I would be willing to put money that it has been quite a while (and likely never) that El Paso was at the center of a Presidential campaign. The Clinton campaign is attempting to create a firewall on March 4 in both Texas and Ohio, but Texas will be the center for one reason: Latino voters. Where will Hillary be campaigning over the next few days? In Corpus Christi, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. Again, I would bet that Hillary Clinton is the first Presidential candidate EVER to campaign in the Rio Grande Valley!

The black/brown divide in the Democratic Party has been in the making for many years and in this election cycle, the rift has come to the surface. Clinton has the short end of the stick here. Black voters are registered and well organized. Latino voters are registered, but less reliable at the polls. On March 4 in Texas, Obama is likely to capture 90% of the black voter with at least half of the white vote. Clinton has to do spectacularly well among Latino voters in south Texas, netting between 70-90%.

I doubt she can do it. The numbers from El Paso, San Antonio, Corpus Christi and the Valley could be the most important numbers on that night. Another first!

Mason Slidell

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