5.16.2008

An Obama Victory in Puerto Rico

Political pundits and Clintonistas assume Hillary wins Puerto Rico running away.

They cite as "evidence" three items: 1) Hillary's lock on New York Puerto Rican pols and votes; 2) Bill's pardoning of the FALN 16; 3) and a dated--and dubious--EL Nuevo Dia poll showing Hillary leading Obama by 13 points -- 50% to 37%.

IMO, The Puerto Rico primary will not be the blow-out that they're counting on--and that an Obama victory would be by far the better outcome. Here's why:

A. Puerto Rico is not East LA

Nothing against the good people of the Bronx, but to suggest that voters in Puerto Rico will vote like Puerto Ricans in the Bronx is silly. Moreover, to suggest that because Hillary won a majority of "Hispanic" voters in California and Texas that, therefore, she'll win the "Hispanic" Puerto Rico vote as well is just dumb or worse. Puerto Rico is not East LA, San Antonio or even Miami.

B. Different place and time

Much has happened since New York, California and Texas voters made their picks--and the evolving storyline is hugely different. Thank goodness! The scripted pageant of the Clintonistas, their allies in Miami and Los Angeles-based Spanish language television, and barrio Latino pols, has crashed with the rise of an authentic "people-power" movement known as Obama.

With specific needs, challenges and opportunities of their own, Puerto Rico's voters have an historic opportunity on June 1st to tell the U.S. and the world whom they believe will make the better leader for their cause, the American nation's interests and the world.

C. Use of the Race Card Doesn't Sell

While the Clintons do have many supporters in Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico voters too are looking for change--and the Clintons don't measure up.

For example, Hillary's pro-Iraq War vote, combined with her recent and irresponsible rhetoric about obliterating Iran, is like the stench of "naplam" to a people quite aware that their sons and daughters are dying at a disproportionate rate for a bad war.

Additionally, the Clintons use of the race card against Obama and Hillary's claim that she's the go-to choice of bigots are views deeply offensive to the multi-racial nation that is Puerto Rico.

Hillary simply CANNOT be the candidate of BOTH White bigots and Puerto Ricans. NO WAY!

D.) Lack of Hard Data

Believe or not, but NONE of the national polling companies tracking voter primary preferences has conducted a poll of Puerto Rico voters.

The only "data" is from a dated survey conducted by the island's El Nuevo Dia newspaper in late March/early April. That poll had Hillary up 13 points with a margin of error of 4.4.

With all due respect to the good people at El Nuevo Dia, not only is polling not their strong suit, but they have NO experience gauging local preferences for national candidates competing in a first ever true primary election. None. So one must take any poll there with a grain of salt.

Additionally, the poll had a 4.4 margin of error, which means that the gap between Hillary and Obama back then could have been as little as 4.2 points. But more importantly, a political poll done in early April tells us nothing about voter preference today or on June 1st. Nothing. Nada.

An Obama Victory in Puerto Rico

It's clear Barack Obama--and not Hillary Clinton--will be the Democratic Party 's nominee for president of the United States. Given this outcome, and given striking commonalities between Obama and the Puerto Rican nation--a multi-racial heritage, a balanced world view, awareness of the consequences of economic dislocation--island voters have an historic opportunity to vote Obama.

The benefits of such an outcome would be huge for the people of Puerto Rico, an Obama Presidency and the cause for change.

Related Posts:
Puerto Rico Presidential Primary VII: Partidos Politicos
Puerto Rico Presidential Primary VI
Hóla, Puerto Rico!: Puerto Rico Presidential Primary V
Puerto Rico Presidential Primary IV
Puerto Rico Presidential Primary III
Latinos Shift to Obama
Puerto Rico Presidential Primary II
Puerto Rico Presidential Primary
Puerto Rico to Pick the Next U.S. President? It may not be so crazy
Angelo Falcon: Puerto Rico & the U.S. Presidential Election
Puerto Rico's Anibal Acevedo-Vila Endorses Barack Obama
Independentistas Tap Puerto Rico's Anti-War Sentiment