Thursday, June 19, 2003

Does aWol know what "mentiroso" means?

Andres Oppenheimer in The Miami Herald

A new poll shows that 69 percent of U.S. Hispanic voters believe that the president has not kept his promise to make Latin America one of his top foreign policy priorities.

''During the last campaign, Spanish-language media heavily publicized Bush's commitment to Latin America, and during his first two years in office they gave extremely positive coverage to his relationship with [Mexican President] Vicente Fox,'' says Sergio Bendixen, president of Bendixen and Associates.

''But over the past year, Bush has hurt his credibility on two issues that Latino voters pay attention to: immigration, and Latin America,'' Bendixen says.

Among the key findings of the Bendixen poll of 800 Hispanic voters, with a margin of error of 3.5 percent:

• The political honeymoon between Bush and Hispanic voters may be ''on the rocks.'' The percentage of Hispanics who say they would vote for Bush has dropped from 44 percent in 2002 to 34 percent today.

• There is strong evidence that President Bush has hurt his credibility among Hispanics by neglecting Latin America: 69 percent of Hispanics feel Bush has not met his promise to make Latin America one of his top priorities, while only 19 percent think he has kept his word. In his 2000 presidential campaign, Bush had promised that he would ''look south not as an afterthought, but as a fundamental commitment'' of his presidency.

• Among the Hispanic voters who feel Bush has not kept his word on Latin America, 60 percent say they plan to vote for a Democratic Party candidate, and only 24 percent say they would vote for Bush

And anyone know the Spanish for "bait and switch"?

Granted, it's a Democratic poll, but then it's always good to see the Democrats doing a little strategic thinking.