Orlando, Florida (CNN) – If President Barack Obama wins Florida, it will be thanks to an increase in Hispanic voters, according to leaders of the president's campaign in the state.
One week before Election Day and three days into early voting in the ever important battleground, Obama's Sunshine State director Ashley Walker told reporters during a pen and pad briefing that early turnout among Hispanics is up 50% from 2008 due to an increase in registration and enthusiasm in the community.
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She pointed specifically to the Puerto Rican population along the crucial I-4 corridor that stretches from Tampa to Orlando. Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist based in the state, said the African American and Puerto Rican populations in particular have increased in recent years.
However, a disparity has existed between the number of eligible Hispanic voters and those who turn out to the polls.
Over 12 million Latinos are expected to cast ballots this November, an increase of 26% from 2008, according to the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). Yet that figure is far less than the 23.5 million voting-age Latinos in the United States.
In Florida, Democrats have a registration advantage among Hispanics. Of the 1,551,000 registered Latinos in the state, 463,000 registered Republican and 592,000 registered Democrat, as of mid-July, according to the Florida Department of State Division of Elections.
Schale said there is now "more enthusiasm to vote," especially among the voting bloc that supported then-Sen. Obama 67% nationally in 2008. And Walker said an estimated 780,000 individuals have cast ballots to date, giving Democrats a 107,000 person advantage in ballots cast.
Team Romney conceded Democrats have an edge in early returns, but said the difference "is nowhere near the numbers that they need to run up to be in position for victory on Election Day."
A memo from the Romney campaign released Sunday pointed to a turnout increase in typically Republican areas and gains among independent voters.
A CNN/ORC International Poll in Florida released Monday showed the candidates one percentage point apart, and Walker said that's the "very nature of Florida."
"It's always a nail biter," she said, adding they are confident in the early voting and vote by mail numbers.
Therefore, neither campaign is taking anything for granted. The candidates, party committees, super PACs and other independent organizations have spent an estimated $130 million on advertising in the state since April 10, the unofficial start of the general election campaign.
– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.
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Who let "those" people vote ?
This is excellent news!! For Romney!!!
Nothing like Obama taking advantage of Race & Minority to persuade an election. Its about the American People regardless of what Minority or Race they are.
Have you carefully look at the people in Romney's campaign appearances? They look very much alike! Look at the people in Obama's appearances. They reflect the diversity that made this country great.
Latinos are struggling to reach the american dream. Their weapon is their willingness to work, not the big bonuses that millionaires give themselves even if their corporations fail hurting everybody else. The latinos will eventually succeed and looking at the demographics, those who look down at them will disappear in a few years. Vote with the YOUTH!
Romney is sending out ads in hispanic communities. Vote for me, or you will be deported. Regardless of whether or not you are a citizen.
Romney said this in front of the Florida chapter of the Hispanics for Romney group. A crowd of 15 people. 13 were security.
Yes! it's clear that the same Hispanic vote that the GOP tried to suppress earlier this year will come back to haunt them...lol
Oh oh......positioning himself to the right of all the other GOP candidates in the primaries on the immigration issue is coming back to bite Romney. Gosh.....didn't see that coming! Duh!
Illegals cost taxpayers over 110 billion a year. Obama's defacto amnesty scheme is selling out taxpayers to get the hispanic vote. He gets the vote you get the bill.
The GOP and Romney campaign says they had a late start due to not realizing that millions of Hispanics are actually US citizens and eligible to vote. They thought they were here for lawncare, nanny services and housecleaning only.
Obama good! Him let me and me 12 kids stay in country free and no deport!
CNNs poll says that the race in Florida is 48 percent Obama, 48 Percent Romney, 1 percent Johnson, and 1 percent other, yet they are saying Romney is winning by 1 percent. The Johnson factor shouldnt be taken lightly as he will most likely have atleast 2 million votes this election, maybe more.
I dont know who will win the state of Florida but I do know if President Obama wins, he owes it to the unexpected LARGE turnout of Hispanics and Blacks who were never counted in polls among "Likely Voters"
Yes we are enthutiastic to vote for our president! Now more than before! Vamos raza dejar nuestras voces sean escuchadas! Si se puede! Fired up & ready to vote! If there is something about our community is that we stick together & we are faithful in our beliefs.. Nothing will keep us away fr exercising our right! Mr President you have our loyalty, trust & we have your back!! Si se puede! Fired up &.ready to vote, fired up & ready to vote! Hispánics 4 Obama/Biden!!
I live n colo. I just talked 2 a die hard conservative republican veteren that said he is not voting. Romney scares the hell out of him.
Glad there were no signs of voter fraud, like the republicans destoying voter registration for the dems. Republicans are so fake, lying is the new norm, truth has no place in politics.and libya is a dangerous place, when in detroit you know its dangerous. he knew the risks.
Sammie......you are soo right. Romney should tell Christie, his best friend " Sorry pal your state can handle that, you dont need FEMA, tell them to get out of your state"
Remember Romney said, oh gosh I am running for election I can have those people (hispanics) mowing my lawn. He called Rick Perry stupid for his stance on the dream act and he would repel the Cuban Adjustment Act. He will annex Puerto Rico and will jail Mexican on sight on the border. Sheriff A would be happy. But God is not a criminal to unleash Romney on us.
"Phil–Nothing like Obama taking advantage of Race & Minority to persuade an election. Its about the American People regardless of what Minority or Race they are."
I wish your friends and relatives in the Republican part felt the same way you do because there's Nothing like Mitch Mcconnel, Mitt Romney, John McCain and the rest of the GOP using Race to destroy this Country. PRESIDENT (i know its hard to say) Obama should win those close States because the Margin of Error are all the Minority's that arent polled.