The Boston Globe – May 27, 2004
One million new Hispanic voters seen
By Pablo Bachelet
WASHINGTON -- Hispanics could account for 1 million new voters in the presidential election, giving the fast-growing group additional clout in hotly contested states like Arizona and Florida, according to a study by Latino group.
The National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a nonpartisan group representing about 6,000 Hispanic officials, expects a record 7 million Hispanics to vote in November, or 6.1 percent of the total electorate, according to its voter projections, released Tuesday.
In 2000, when Republican George W. Bush won, Latino participation was 5.4 percent, or just about 6 million voters.
''We believe this election year will be historic for Latinos," Arturo Vargas, executive director for the NALEO Educational Fund, said during a press conference.
''Not only will we have an unprecedented number of Latinos participating in the elections, Latinos, we believe, will be the deciding factor in many of the states that are the key focus of the two candidates, particularly in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Florida," he said.
The group also suggested that registered Hispanic voters are less concerned about immigration initiatives than education, health care, the economy, and, more recently, the Iraq war, issues that worry American voters as a whole.