Over the past decade, Hispanics have become the nation's largest and fastest-growing minority group. However many Hispanics fail to vote — 58 percent of eligible Hispanics were registered to vote in 2004, according to the Census Bureau, compared with 69 percent of black voters and 75 percent of white voters.
Urging them to turnout to vote in November, Obama argued Latinos could be the deciding factor in who wins the White House.
"Make no mistake about it: The Latino community holds this election in its hands," Obama said Sunday at a conference of the National Council of La Raza. "Some of the closest contests this November are going to be in states like Florida, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico — states with large Latino populations."
Obama noted Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., lost New Mexico in the 2004 presidential election by fewer than 6,000 votes.
As the general election battle heats up, the Democrats and Republicans are focused on winning key battleground states with heavy Latino populations, including New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, and Florida.
The Obama campaign will begin to run ads next week on Spanish-language radio stations in several key battleground states.
ABC News' Gary Langer, Teddy Davis, and Jake Tapper contributed to this report.