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The 'Hispanic perfect storm' is about to hit. Hispanics, now the largest minority in the United States, could determine the outcome of this
year's presidential election, a star Spanish-language television anchor
said in a new book. 'If the race turns out to be as close as many suspect
it will be, then a bloc of Spanish-speaking voters could be the group that
puts either of the two main candidates in the White House,' Mr Jorge Ramos
said in his book, The Latino Wave, which was published on Tuesday.

This year's election will mark 'the Hispanic perfect storm', he said, adding that dozens of political organisations were registering Latino voters, more numerous
than ever, while the candidates appeared to be running neck-and-neck. In 2000,
it was the Latino vote that gave Mr George W. Bush the White House, with the
Cuban-American community in the swing state of Florida voting overwhelmingly for
the Republican candidate, said the Emmy Award-winning journalist and a popular
anchorman with Univision television.

But other than Cuban-Americans, Latinos vote Democratic predominantly, and this could work in Mr John Kerry's favour, he
said. 'John Kerry will win the Hispanic vote. The only question is will he win
over 70 per cent of the Hispanic vote. If he does, then, as Bill Clinton did, he
will get the White House,' Mr Ramos said at a book-launching party.

The 40 million Latinos make up the largest minority in the US. Both Mr Bush and his
Democratic rival are reaching out to the 13 million Latinos who are eligible to
vote. The Hispanic electorate is largely concentrated in 10 US states in which
more than 10% of the population is Latino, including New Mexico,
California, Texas and Florida.

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Source: The Strait Times

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