Fox News
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Kerry Camp Tries to Attract Cuban-Americans

MIAMI John Kerry and John Edwards are aiming to pick up some votes from the Cuban-American community after recent polls suggested that a portion of the traditionally Republican voting bloc may be up for grabs.

Edwards, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, stumped in Florida on Monday and then spent private time with some members of Miami's Cuban-American community.

Democrats say President Bush's get-tough policy on Cuba has backfired. Designed to choke off Fidel Castro's government, the tight restrictions and limits on remittances have angered Cuban-Americans with family back on the island.

But Republicans say support hasn't wavered, and most Cubans are willing to make short-term sacrifices to dismantle the dictatorship.

One political scientist says Democrats vow every four years to do better in the Cuban-American community while Republicans overestimate their national Hispanic numbers.

"At the end of the day, we end up with traditional numbers, which is Republicans wind up with 75 to 80 percent of the Cuban vote and about 30 percent of the Hispanic vote nationwide," said Dario Mareno, a professor of political science at Florida International University.