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Latinos Love Sotomayor–But How Much?

There’s finally some polling out on the SCOTUS nomination of Sonia Sotomayor that breaks out Latinos, and unsurprisingly, she’s very popular in this demographic. But the degree of this approbation, and thus the potential risk to Republicans of fighting her confirmation, is still in some question.

Yesterday Quinnipiac released a national poll showing a 58/24 approval/disapproval ratio for Sonia Sotomayor’s nomination among Hispanics; a solid majority, to be sure, but barely distinguishable from the 55/25 ratio for all voters.

But another poll released today by DailyKos/Research 2000, conducted on 5/31-6/4, with a MoE of 2%, tells a very different story. You can read the full findings over at DKos, but the most important numbers, for Latinos, are very stark: Their approval/disapproval ratio for Sotomayor is 82/5, and for Rush Limbaugh is 3/77. In terms of the big conservative talking points against Sotomayor, Latinos like the idea of empathy in a judge by 79/4; and don’t think she’s a racist by a margin of 83/2. There are a scattering of undecideds on all these questions, but it’s fair to say that Latino support for Sotomayor in this poll is overwhelming and unconditional.

We’ll soon see more evidence, and have a better idea which of these two snapshots of Hispanic/Latino opinion is an outlier, since one of them almost certainly is.

If DKos/R2k is right, or conservatives decide to take a different tack with this confirmation, it may well be time for Republicans to ponder Nate’s “Operation Gringo” strategy for winning the presidency with little or not Latino support.