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NY Delegate Says Latinos Could Decide the Next President

August 28, 2008

New York, NY - Some New York delegates to the Democratic National Convention believe the demographic pendulum has swung - and the new "swing vote" will come from Latinos.

If Barack Obama expects to become president in November, these voters say, they agree with New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson - that Obama needs to do more to win them over. New York delegate Luis Acosta points out that more than one in ten New York voters is Latino.

"We will play a significant role, if not the significant role, in the election. Latinos across the country must coalesce to bring about the America that we've always dreamed about, the America of opportunity, that is open to immigration."

Acosta was originally pledged to support Hillary Clinton, but he believes her convention speech has convinced her supporters to vote for Obama, particularly if he picks up on the theme that those who work hard, deserve to get ahead.

Rinku Sen is a New Yorker blogging from the convention; in her interviews with members of the New York delegation, she's hearing that the Obama camp has been doing just the minimum required to reach out to the Latino community.

"With all the attention on white voters and, in particular, white working class voters, there's some concern that the Obama campaign will take Latino and Asian voters for granted, and won't actually do the hard work it will take to speak to those voters."

In Sen's view, the key issues for minority voters are the economy, education, a humane immigration policy, and language-sensitive access to healthcare.

Michael Clifford/Don Mathisen, Public News Service - NY