Clinton, Obama fight for Hispanic vote
Feb 04,2008 00:00 by UPI

SACRAMENTO - High-profile U.S. endorsements have helped Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama cut into rival Hillary Clinton's Hispanic support, observers said.

In California -- with 441 delegates up for grabs in the Democratic primary Tuesday -- Latinos comprise about a quarter of eligible voters, the Christian Science Monitor reported Monday.

"I think in fact (the Latino vote) could determine the outcome in California," said Gary Segura, a Latino politics expert at the University of Washington. "My sense ... is that Clinton's lead among Latinos has gone down some, particularly because of high-profile endorsements" the Illinois Senator has received.

Endorsing Obama are La Opinion, the leading U.S. Spanish-language newspaper and Maria Elena Durazo, a Los Angeles union leader. California first lady Maria Shriver also endorsed him, CNN reported, as has Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass.

Sen. Clinton of New York has endorsements from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, activist Dolores Huerta and the United Farm Workers.

"Latinos remember how well the economy was during Bill Clinton's time ... and having her and the backup support of her husband running this country, it only means more opportunity and better times for the people -- especially Latinos," Alberto Murillo, a substitute teacher, told the Monitor.

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