Virginia's Latino vote


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Virginia has voted for the Republican presidential candidate in every election since 1952, except in 1964. This year may be different. And Virginia's Latino immigrant voters may play a critical role. "The World's" Jason Margolis has the story.

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There are about 149 thousand registered Latino voters in Virginia -- that's only three percent of the voting population, but it's almost double the number from 2004. If Latinos vote -- and the key is IF they vote -- they could have a big impact in that state. Historically, Latinos don't vote in large numbers. In the 2004 presidential election, only 47 percent of registered Hispanic voters cast ballots, compared to 67% of non-Hispanic voters.

Latinos in Northern Virginia may not need much nudging this election. Last summer, Prince William County enacted one of the strictest anti-immigration rules in the nation. The county became a focal point in the national immigration debate, and many Latinos there, both documented and undocumented left the county. The crackdown might have had unintended consequences -- some think it mobilized and energized the Latino population to the political process.

PRI's "The World" is a one-hour, weekday radio news magazine offering a mix of news, features, interviews, and music from around the globe. "The World" is a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston.

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