DNC: Richardson says Hispanics can make difference in Nov. | VailDaily.com

DNC: Richardson says Hispanics can make difference in Nov.

Berny Morson
Rocky Mountain News
Vail, CO Colorado

DENVER, Colorado ” New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said strong support by Hispanic voters can tip the balance for Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama in the key swing states of Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico. Hispanics are more than 20 percent of voters in each of those three states.

A poll by the Virginia firm Myers Research shows Colorado Hispanic voters backing Obama by 69 percent to 23 percent for Arizona Sen. John McCain, the likely Republican nominee.

Obama will take New Mexico if Hispanic voters back him by 70 percent, Richardson said. Obama drew 62 percent support to McCain’s 23 percent in New Mexico in the Myers poll, which was conducted for the group New Majority Project.

Together, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico cast 19 electoral votes, enough to offset the traditional swing state of Ohio, with 20 electoral votes. Ohio went Republican in 2000 and 2004.

Richardson said another state with a large Hispanic population — Arizona — is probably out of reach for Obama because it is McCain’s home state.

Richardson said Hispanic voters perceive Republicans as intolerant on immigration. McCain didn’t help himself among Hispanics by taking a harder line on immigration recently, Richardson said.

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