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Importance of Hispanic vote in November

Hispanic voters may make history this November by enabling Obama to win certain states. Here are the details why.

In 2000, Hispanics made up 5.5% of voters. They are expected to make up 8.9% of voters in 2012, per the Center for Immigration Studies. That growth is due primarily to the growth of the vote-eligible Hispanic population, and a little due to the increase in eligible Hispanic citizens who vote.

According to Bloomberg, Latino registered voters prefer Obama to Romney by 69% percent to 21% as surveyed by the Pew Hispanic Center. In 2008, Obama received 67% of the Hispanic vote, compared with Arizona Senator John McCain’s 31%.

Obama's campaign is counting on Hispanics providing the margin of victory in Nevada and other swing states such as Colorado, Iowa, Virginia and North Carolina. These five states happen to be included in the top 10 states that per the most recent Rasmussen or other poll on or before 10/22 had the closest spread between Obama and Romney.

The point spread between Obama and Romney in these states were Nevada 3%, Colorado 4%, Iowa 0%, Virginia 2%, and North Carolina 3%. These states are responsible for 49 electoral votes compared to 270 needed to win. Florida, which is also very close and has a large Hispanic population, has 29 electoral votes.

The Center for Immigration studies in July noted that taken together Hispanics will average 7.6% of the electorate in the "toss-up", "leaning", and "likely" states. It is thus clear that the Hispanic vote is very important for the above-cited states.

The Center for Immigration Studies estimates that 53% of eligible Hispanics will vote in the upcoming election, an increase from 50% in 2008 and a continuation of the past decade's long upward trend.

The projected Hispanic voter participation rate of 53% percent compares to 66% percent for non-Hispanic whites and 65% percent for non-Hispanic blacks in 2008.

Of the nation’s 52 million Hispanics, 24 million are eligible to vote because of their age and legal status, which makes up about 11% of the U.S. electorate, according to Pew. That is up from 9.5% in 2008.

Only about half of them -- 12 million -- are expected to cast ballots in the election. That compares with a record 9.7 million in 2008, according to Arturo Vargas, executive director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund. A Pew poll found that 77% of Latino registered voters say they are certain to go to the polls on Election Day, compared with 89% of the general public.

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