Sabato: Low Hispanic Turnout Will Aid Republicans

Tuesday, 12 Aug 2014 05:38 PM

By Greg Richter

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Political scientist Larry Sabato believes low voter turnout among Hispanics and minorities in general offers Republicans the best hope in November's midterm elections.

Appearing Tuesday on Fox News Channel's "Your World with Neil Cavuto," Sabato said he has doubts about the numbers in a recent McClatchy-Marist poll finding Latino support for Democrats is barely above that of Republicans. Still, he thinks numbers are not looking bad for the GOP.

The poll showed a surprising 2 percentage point difference in Latino support, with Democrats edging out Republicans 40 to 38 percent. The poll was conducted Aug. 4 and surveyed 1,035 adults. It has a margin of error of 3.5 percent.

Sabato, head of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, said support among Democrats is the lowest in decades. He believes the margin is closer to 20 points — at 60-40 — but said even that is enough to spark Republican victories in the fall.

With that close a margin, Republicans would take over the Senate, add seats in the House, and may even take over some governorships, Sabato said.

"But that's a big 'if,'" he said. "We have to see this number confirmed by other polls, and I'm not sure it's going to be."

The major distinction for this election is lower turnout among minorities in general, he added.

"That is what is producing a Republican margin, in addition to the Republicans having a very favorable map," he said.

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