Monday, April 21, 2008

Hispanic Women Democrats Say It's About Leadership, Not Race or Gender

This story from PRNewswire pretty much confirms what I've heard from members of my family that are Hispanic, their main reason for supporting Hillary Clinton has more to do with the belief that they feel she is more experienced than Barack Obama. Geographical location seems to not be a factor with those living in El Paso, Texas - New London, CT and in Puerto Rico all sharing the same mindset.

According to a new nationwide survey commissioned by LEADS at Spelman College, Hispanic female Democrats across the country say leadership abilities, not race or gender, is the primary motivator for their selection of Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama as the Democratic presidential nominee.

The first survey conducted to explore the political interests and mindsets of minority female Democrats reveals that few Hispanic female Democrats admit gender (7 percent) or race (3.3 percent) are the primary motivators for selecting the next presidential candidate. Almost nine out of 10 (89.3 percent), say they will choose the Democratic nominee based on leadership abilities.

"This survey shows that Hispanic women view leadership through the lens of experience," said Jane E. Smith, Ed. D., executive director of LEADS at Spelman College, a leadership development center for women. "Clinton's experience with critical issues such as immigration, jobs and health care, seems to resonate with the Hispanic population."

Seven out of ten (72 percent) Hispanic Democrat women surveyed prefer Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama citing her experience (51 percent) and qualifications (17 percent) as their top deciding factors, supporting previous national polls indicating great Hispanic support for Clinton.

Experience Matters Most

When asked to state which leadership abilities they most desire in a presidential candidate, the study of 300 Hispanic women (of 905 total minority participants) cite experience (18.3 percent), integrity (14.3 percent) and the ability to improve the economy (14 percent) as the top three characteristics. The ability to make change (13.7 percent) and inclusiveness in his/her approach (9.7 percent) complete the top five desired leadership traits.

Survey Methodology

The LEADS at Spelman College 2008 Leadership Survey was conducted via telephone. The total sample size was 905 female respondents, who were head of household; 18 years of age or older; and who were registered Democrats planning to vote in the next presidential election. Respondents were randomly selected and each subset included African-American women (305), Hispanic women (300), and other minority women (300): Asian/Pacific Islander and Native American). There is a plus or minus 3.2 percentage point margin of error (for the overall sample).

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