Oct. 31 - The growing Latino vote takes on additional importance and could provide the margin of victory in the razor thin 2012 presidential race. John Russell reports.
For the past several months, politics has been a staple at the Serrano dinner table, where the Los Angeles family with Latino roots has attempted to digest the issues and debate surrounding the presidential race. And it is a topic of conversation that is important, since the powerful Hispanic vote, may prove to be the tipping point in the razor thin 2012 election. SOUNDBITE Herbert Serrano, of Los Angeles, California, saying (English): "We can be a very powerful group. We could enact change that would benefit not just Latinos, but I think the whole country." While recent polls show that the Latino vote remains heavily weighted for the president, there are differences in the level of enthusiasm surrounding that support when compared to four years ago. SOUNDBITE Herbert Serrano, of Los Angeles, California, saying (English): "Deportations have gone up under the Obama administration. It's really sad because of the things he said was he was going to fix immigration and he was going to push and actively go after an immigration reform and for whatever reason he hasn't been able to succeed." Latinos are the fastest growing segment of the American electorate and the largest minority group in the U.S., but, as a group are less likely to head to the polls. In Los Angeles, nonpartisan groups have rallied volunteers like Carmen Avalos, to work phone booths and door knocking in an effort to get out the vote. SOUNDBITE Volunteer Carmen Avalos, saying (English): "It's very important to tell the people to go outside and vote. Because they want to silence our voices, if we don't go out and vote, then they're not going to hear us." Across the nation, both campaigns are looking for ways to reach Latinos. Spanish speaking ads targeting the 50 million Hispanics in the country are a direct outgrowth of their importance, especially in the battleground "swing-states." The United States presidential election takes place on Tuesday, November 6.