"Florida's Hispanics, who have determined the results of the two most recent presidential elections, will be equally decisive tomorrow in Tuesday's election for the Republican presidential candidate, which, according to the results of our poll, favors McCain with 36.16 percent of the vote, in comparison to Mitt Romney (25.63 percent) and Rudy Giuliani (16.39 percent)," said Eduardo Gamarra, director of Newlink Research.
Gamarra also reported that, following a telephone poll conducted February 25-27 throughout the state of Florida, with responses from 502 state- registered voters, Hispanics overwhelmingly favored Hillary Clinton with 68.56 percent, well ahead of her closest competitors, Barack Obama (14.74 percent) and John Edwards (7.75 percent).
In the poll, Newlink Research made use of "Newport," state-of-the-art technology that profits from the advantages of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) to place calls and obtain responses with more than 95 percent reliability.
"McCain's victory in Florida, which would give him 57 delegates for his party's next Convention, could be critical for his aspirations to become the Republican standard-bearer, to which Florida's Hispanics would have contributed to a very large extent, thanks especially to the female vote (40 percent) and that of citizens over 45 (40 percent), even when he is the least conservative of all the candidates," said Gamarra.
As regards the issues that most concern the Hispanic population, the poll revealed Latinos tending to behave more and more like other groups of U.S. electors, their priorities the economy (49.77 per cent) and the conflict in Iraq (20.61 percent), to the detriment of the immigration issue (9.37 percent).
Furthermore, the Newlink Research poll confirmed the trend toward an increase in Hispanic support for the Democratic Party is being maintained. Some 43 percent of those interviewed expressed their support for Democrats, in comparison with 46.95 percent who favored Republicans, a scarce 3 percent difference, which contrasts with the more than 5 percent during the 2004 presidential elections.
In this scenario, the vote of the Hispanic community could play a key role in the results of the 2008 U.S. presidential elections, in light of their influence, both at the political and economic levels.
According to experts, any candidate hoping to win in key states such as California, New York, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, or Virginia, will necessarily have to devise a strategy to lure the power of the Hispanic vote.
Newlink Research, a member of the Newlink Consulting Group, is a public opinion and markets research company that provides highest quality standards in the gathering of data and scientific analysis of information.
Based in Miami, Newlink Research works for multinational and national clients from Latin America and the United States, providing them with a wide range of products and services, including focus groups, public opinion research, in-depth interviews, client satisfaction polls, World Cafe, Perception Analyzer, Force Field Analysis, Iberoamerican governability barometer, Latin American pulse, and Hispanic Pulse in the United States.
The Newlink Research team comprises Latin American and U.S. specialists and academics who, apart from their vast experience, provide the company a multi-cultural perspective.