Sloppy Reporting, Pushing the Race Narrative

The Hispanic vote has been one of Hillary Clinton's most important constituencies. In most contests she won them by large margins. It is a fact that Hillary Clinton has done better with Hispanics than Barack Obama. There are many reasons that could explain why Hillary Clinton has preformed better among Hispanic voters, yet those reasons are almost never mentioned. Overwhelming the story has been not "Why does Clinton do well with Hispanics?" but, "What is Obama's problem with Hispanics?"

The media decided that Obama's poor performance was based on race. When Sergio Bendixen, a Clinton pollster, said, "The Hispanic voter — and I want to say this very carefully — has not shown a lot of willingness or affinity to support black candidates," the MSM took the statement at face value. The "Black-Brown divide" became the prism through which the Hispanic vote has been viewed. A disturbing narrative was created; Hispanics were not voting for Hillary Clinton, they were voting against a black man.
There are some personal reasons why Hispanics may have voted for Senator Clinton. Years ago she did some work trying to register Hispanic voters in Texas. Her husband appointed several prominent Hispanic officials, and the Clinton presidency was seen by many as a very good time for the community.

While race or personal loyalty may have played a small role in how Hispanics voted, I do not believe that 45 million Hispanic Americans are driven by a strong sense of personal loyalty or are by racism. I suspect that Hispanic Democratic primary voters are just like all other Democratic primary voters. I think the Hispanic vote is based on the samesocio-economic patterns that have defined the Caucasian vote so far.

I say "suspect" because the exit pollsters do not report on the Hispanic vote based on income or education. They do break down the vote based on age, gender, and party affiliation. On these three criteria the Hispanic vote does follow the same pattern as the Caucasian vote. Males, younger voters, and independents voted more for Obama. Females, senior citizens, and Democrats voted more for Clinton.

Exit polls demonstrate that Clinton's support is strongest among low income voters and those with the least formal education. Across the board, Clinton has preformed best with those making less than $50,000 a year and those with the least education. In California, for example, she received 80% of the vote from those who had not graduated high school. This pattern holds true both in states that have almost entirely Caucasian electorates and in states with large Hispanic populations.

Given that nationwide, the median income for a Hispanic household is 30% less than that for a white household and that the Hispanic community has the lowest proportion of individuals with high school diplomas, one could assume that the Hispanic Democratic electorate would also tend to be lower income and have less education. It would seem that Hispanics are following the same income/education pattern as Caucasian Democratic voters.

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