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Latino Voting Could Be Key in Presidential Election

June 18, 2012
Plain English Version

In the 2012 presidential election President Barack Obama, a Democrat, is facing Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The race promises to be very close.

In many states, the outcome of the election is predictable. The registration of one party is much higher than the other. For example, California and New York are likely to choose President Obama. Southern states, such as Mississippi and Alabama are likely to vote for Mitt Romney.

About a dozen states are called “swing” or “battleground” states. Most of them voted for Obama in 2008. Among these states are Florida, Ohio, Indiana, Nevada, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Michigan and Colorado.

Hispanics are the fastest growing population in the United States. Experts say they have low numbers in voter registration and turnout on Election Day. This fact lessens their influence on the election. In the 2008 presidential election, a record 10 million Latinos voted. This was half of the eligible voters. Two-thirds of registered blacks and whites voted in that election.Latinos usually vote less than other groups. One reason is a mistrust of government. Another is fear of law enforcement agencies.

Of the 21 million eligible to vote in November 2012. However, nearly 10 million live in California or Texas. California is expected to go for Obama and Texas for Romney.

Community groups are trying to register Latinos. They will try to get out the vote in November. Polls show Latino voters favor President Obama over Mitt Romney.

One voter who was interviewed said “When I hear a lot of Latinos say they are U.S. citizens but they are not registered to vote, that makes me worried: we are not helping one another. I am seeing in our community a lot of frustration, anger, disappointment and fear. We have a president that promised so much to our community but has offered us really bad news.”

A friend sitting nearby said Republicans had led the way “in demonizing Latinos for political gain. Every single attack on our community has come from the Republican side.”

The New York Times

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