Will Texas Go for Hillary Like California Did?

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's (D-N.Y.) victory in California was entirely due to her 2-to-1 win against Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) among Hispanic voters. The next key primary will be in Texas on March 4. Will Hispanics in Texas, as numerous as in California, vote for Hillary by similar margins?

Unlike California, in Texas independents can vote in the either primary. In California, they could vote in the Democratic primary but not in the GOP contest. But in Texas, McCain can compete with Hillary and Obama for the Latino vote. McCain won the Hispanic vote by a wide margin in the Republican primary and will do well among Latinos in Texas. This three-dimensional contest — as opposed to the two-dimensional battle in California — offers Obama a key opportunity to deny votes to Hillary and divert them to McCain, the sponsor of immigration reform in the Congress, instead.

But Obama needs to overhaul his approach to the Latino vote. His backing of driver's licenses for illegal aliens — as opposed to Hillary's opposition to it — gives Obama a good issue to use against Hillary. If he uses it properly, it can drive him to a win in Texas.

The key for Obama is to stop Hillary from carrying Hispanics by a significant margin. He needs to focus on the Latino vote in Texas. If he can switch it, there is a good chance that he can win the nomination.

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