Latinos' support for George Bush debated

HoustonChronicle.com - Latinos' support for George Bush debated

Exit-poll math doesn't add up, one institute says

Sources: Federal Election Commission, U.S. Census Bureau, Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, Willie C. Velazquez Institute

The institute, essentially a wing of the San Antonio-based Southwest Voter Registration Education Project, found itself at odds with the numbers put out by the main national exit poll in the previous two national elections. The problem, Gonzalez said, lies in the way the poll goes about collecting them.

At first blush, the numbers seem too significant to be believed. And in truth, they might be.

National exit polls show that President Bush received an impressive 42 percent of the nationwide Latino vote Tuesday, seven to 10 points higher than his first run and possibly unprecedented for a modern-day Republican candidate.

But a prominent Latino organization claims the numbers are as incredible as they appear.

"It ain't true," said Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Willie C. Velazquez Institute, which researches Latino voting patterns. "Their poll showed more Latinos voting than there are registered Latino voters. That tells you everything you need to know."

That national exit poll showed more than 10 million Hispanics voted, he said, but Hispanic voters groups estimated the number at more than 7 million.


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