Time: Latino Voters Will Swing the 2012 Election

Key states include Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Nevada.

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With the unofficial start of the presidential general election season after Rick Santorum's exit from the GOP nomination race, both Democrats and Republicans are refining their strategies for a key demographic: Latinos.

The new issue of Time Magazine considers the all-important 2012 Latino vote and how it will be, or won't be, split between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Time's article, "Why Latino Voters Will Swing the 2012 Election," has more than a few pundits carefully studying the Census.

Since the early 1990s, Democratic presidential candidates have usually won at least 55 percent of the Latino vote. Republicans have usually held sway with about 20 percent. Time is predicting that 25 percent of the Latino vote is at play in 2012. And that will be key, analysts said, in key states like Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and Nevada, with some smaller impact in North Carolina and Ohio.

As an example, if Obama were to secure 69 percent of the Latino vote in Nevada, then, according to Time, he could still win the state by capturing only 47 percent of the non-Latino vote.

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