by Steven Ertelt
November 9, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Hispanic voters favored President Bush by larger margins in the 2004 presidential elections and abortion played a key role in driving them away from supporting John Kerry. The additional support allowed Bush to win the popular vote, carry New Mexico and build a stronger base in battleground states like Florida, Nevada and Arizona.
The Bush campaign pushed hard to speak to Hispanic voters directly and emphasize the differences between Bush and Kerry over issues such as abortion and the nomination of Latino judges like Miguel Estrada, whom Kerry opposed.
The president received 42 percent of the Latino vote last week, seven percent higher than his share of the Hispanic vote in 2000, according to exit polling data. Kerry won 53 percent, down from 62 percent four years ago for Democrat Al Gore.
In New Mexico, Bush’s share of the Hispanic vote increased by 12 percent to 44 percent.
Christine Sierra, an associate professor of political science at the University of New Mexico, told the San Jose Mercury News that the result was "really quite an impressive gain for the Republicans, and now we’ve got to figure out why."
According to the New York Times, the answer likely has to do with those differences on key moral issues like abortion, as polls show the Hispanic community strongly pro-life.
"The Spanish-language television advertisements for President Bush went negative this fall, attacking Senator John Kerry’s voting record and his stance on abortion," the paper said noting how they helped Bush.
Those differences led some Hispanic groups like the Latino Coalition to back the president.
A new poll conducted by Zogby International in April shows Hispanic Americans are largely pro-life.
When asked to give a specific position as to if and when abortion should be legal or illegal, Hispanics support a pro-life position by a 78-21 percentage margin.
"In this country, as is evidenced by the Zogby poll, we Hispanics bring our morals and our cultural abhorrence for abortion with us when we migrate," Raimundo Rojas, the Hispanic Outreach Coordinator for the National Right to Life Committee says.
Bush was also aided by Hispanic outreaches by groups like Focus on the Family, which aired Spanish-language advertisements on 200 radio stations nationwide and sent information to about 13,000 churches.
Despite the successes, Hispanic groups that favor pro-abortion candidates won’t give up the fight to move Latino voters their direction.
Maria Cardona, senior vice president of the New Democrat Network, a Democratic group that spent $6 million targeting Hispanics for Kerry, told the Associated Press, "You cannot take a look at the Hispanic vote monolithically."
"The bottom line is Hispanics are increasingly one of the most important swing vote groups in American politics today," Cardona said.
Related web sites:
Hispanic Americans for Life – https://www.nrlc.org/HAL