Press Release

WCVI Press Release
September 30, 2004


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Contacts: Michael Bustamante
916.425.0839
michael@mjbstratregies.com

Antonio Gonzalez
323.222.2217
agonzalez@wcvi.org


New Latino Community Poll Undrescores
Stakes of Presidential Debate
Democratic Challenger Ahead; Lags Behind Performance
of 2000 Democratic Presidential Candidate

Los Angeles, CA (September 30, 2004) – A new poll conducted among likely Latino voters this week in the battleground states of Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Colorado this week finds democratic candidate and U.S. Senator John Kerry leading President George W. Bush among Latinos by a margin of 56% to 36%. During the 2000 presidential election, democratic nominee Al Gore received 62% compared to then-governor Bush’s 35%. To view the top lines, CLICK HERE.

“These numbers do not bode well for Senator Kerry,” said Antonio Gonzalez, President of the Willie C. Velasquez Institute (WCVI). “Kerry holds a 20-point lead over President Bush, but over the past several elections we’ve seen the democratic nominee hold a considerably larger margin. If this year’s election is anywhere near as close as the 2000 contest, this margin will probably not be enough. Senator Kerry has to convince Latinos with his debate performance that he can do a better job on the issues than Bush.”

On the issues, Hispanics rate the war in Iraq as the most significant issue when determining their vote for president (35%), followed closely by access to health care (33%), homeland security (26%) and public education, strengthening jobs and wages (25%). Latinos trust Senator Kerry when it comes to jobs and the economy (57% to 29%), doing a better job on health care (56% to 29%), and education (51% to 35%) while voters trust President Bush on national security (45% to 41%) over Senator Kerry.

Asked how President Bush was serving the Hispanic community, respondents disapproved by a margin of 63% to 37%. Significantly, Latino voters believe that Senator Kerry is making only a modestly better effort to reach out to the Hispanic community by a margin of 40% to 29%, with 10% of respondents believing neither is doing a good job. Latinos found Kerry to be honest and trustworthy (41% to 31%), and understands Latino community needs (39% to 28%). Respondents gave Bush the edge for being a strong leader (42% to 38%) but found the President out of touch with Americans (45% to 31%).

The sample, conducted September 27-29 includes a total of 606 interviews (165 interviews in Nevada, 152 in New Mexico, 150 in Colorado and 139 in Arizona) with an overall margin of error of plus/minus 3.98. The margin of error for each state is significantly higher. The WCVI poll was conducted by Mirram-Global, a Latino-owned consulting firm in New York.

About the William C. Velasquez Institute
Chartered in 1985, the William C. Velasquez Institute is a nonpartisan, non-profit, Latino-oriented research and policy think tank with offices in San Antonio, Texas and Los Angeles, California. For more information regarding WCVI, please visit our website at www.wcvi.org.

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