Wednesday, Feb 6, 2008, 1:54 pm
Clinton, Latinos, and Asians
Jeff Chang has some convincing thoughts on why Asians and Latinos broke for Clinton in California.
The reason Hillary won is because the Latino and Asian American votes remain emergent, not yet insurgent.So if Hillary won through some old-school, top-down, machine-style appeals, does that mean Obama can't clue into these communities without altering his message of "change"? Not so fast, says Chang.
Emergent voting blocs respond to leaders in their community. If the candidate wins the leader, she wins her followers. Insurgent voting blocs instead respond to calls for change, and may focus more on single issues or agendas. If a candidate stakes out a good position, she captures the community. Hillary played the politics of emergence.
Younger Latino and Asian American voters were energized by Obama, and formed a visible and crucial part of his GOTV ground troops. They had an impact. Roberto Lovato notes that Obama was able to bring down Hillary's overall 4-1 advantage among Latino voters to a 3-2 advantage by Super Tuesday. It could be argued that Obama's bottom-up machinery hasn't yet taken full advantage of the pent-up energy amongst young Brown and Yellow voters.This makes sense to me, but it's still unclear whether Obama can crank it into high gear in time. Interesting analysis, nonetheless, so read the whole thing here.
Adam Doster, a contributing editor at In These Times, is a Chicago-based freelance writer and former reporter-blogger for Progress Illinois.