The Hispanic (or Latino) vote is expected to increase this election year. Certain facts will determine how influential it is.
Hispanics do not vote as a bloc. They are Republicans, Democrats and Independents. Hispanics do not vote on a single issue. They are concerned about the same issues as the rest of the country: the economy, fuel prices, entitlement programs, housing and jobs, among others.
Immigration is a big issue. Politicians expect the views of the presidential candidates will influence the vote of many Latinos. President Obama is said to have a majority of the Hispanic vote.
However, about 50 percent of Hispanic voters live in California, Texas and Florida. Experts say California is safe for Obama and Texas safe for Romney. Only Florida is a swing state. Voters in these states are not likely to alter the Electoral College results.
The Tipping Point Index chart shows the importance of key states in reaching the required 270 electoral votes. The higher the Tipping Point the more important the state will be in deciding the election. The last column shows the Hispanic Share of the 2008 Turnout.
Observers say it is going to be a close election. In two important states, Nevada and Colorado, Latino voters could make the difference for Obama.
Virginia and Ohio also might be vital states for Obama. In those two states, the percentage of Hispanic voters is lower than their average in all the states.