(RELATED STORY: The Hispanic Vote Is the Story of the 2012 Campaign)
And Hispanics increasingly lean Democratic. A Pew survey shows that 61 percent of Hispanics say they believe the Democratic Party best represents their interests, a sharp rise from 45 percent last year. Only about 10 percent of Hispanics feel they are better represented by the GOP, down 2 percentage points from 2011.
An ImpreMedia and Latino Decisions tracking poll released on Monday shows that if the Latino vote is as high as it is projected to be this time around, Obama will win a record-high share of the Latino vote. About 73 percent of likely Hispanic voters said they plan to vote for Obama, compared with 24 percent who indicated they would back GOP challenger Mitt Romney.
"If Obama wins 73 percent or higher of the Latino vote, it would eclipse the 72 percent won by Bill Clinton in his landslide reelection in 1996, and marking the highest total ever for a Democratic president," according to an analysis by Latino Decisions, a political opinion research firm. If Latinos flock to the polls, they could deliver Nevada, Colorado, Virginia, and Florida to Obama. The same poll showed that 55 percent of likely voters say they are more enthusiastic about voting this year than in 2008.
While a galvanized Latino block is essential to Obama's hopes, he also needs to receive the support of most African-Americans, Asian-Americans, young people, and blue-collar and college-educated women.
One in six Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders reside in a battleground state, according to California Reps. Mike Honda and Judy Chu, both Democrats. Honda's new 17th Congressional District, which encompasses Alameda and Santa Clara counties, is now the first AAPI-majority district in the continental United States. But much like the Latino community, Asian-Americans are a relatively young population, which means a significant segment is not yet eligible to vote.
Nonetheless, among eligible voters, this constituency is largely undecided, which means both parties have an opportunity to court them, says Christine Chen, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote. Her organization is following closely the presidential race in Colorado, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, all states where the Asian and Pacific-Islander electorate is growing. "Even with a 2008 average of 55 percent voter registration rate for the AAPI voters, we can be a swing vote due to the tight race," she said.
In Virginia, a fiercely contested state, Asian-Americans make up only 6 percent of the population, but their vote is highly desired in the race for the presidency, reports National Journal. This is especially true in counties where the popular vote went to Democrats in the last two presidential elections after it flipped from voting GOP in 2000.