Latinos are hailed as a key voting bloc, even though they show their power at the polls only sporadically. When they turned out in record numbers to vote for Democrat Barack Obama, they not only erased recent gains by Republicans but shattered the myth of a black-Latino divide.
Amid worries about home foreclosures and economic recession and driven by an unprecedented get-out-the-vote effort and the acidic debate over illegal immigration, Latinos helped Democrats flip the battleground states of Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico and Florida.
"Without the Latino vote, we would not have won those states," said Federico Pena, Denver's first Hispanic mayor and a national co-chairman of the Obama campaign.
No surprises here.