Minority Voters to Make Major Impact in Swing States

According to U.S. Census figures from 2000, Hispanics make up 17 percent of Colorado's population, 42 percent of New Mexico's population, and almost 20 percent of Nevada's population.

Getting their support and getting them to vote are not the same thing, and Obama has mobilized people like Torres in Pueblo to make sure they get to the polls.

"I go door to door, canvassing everyday, mostly to Hispanic people on the lower east side of town. Some of the homes I've gone into I wouldn't put my dog in," Torres told ABCNews.com. "This is what some people have come down to, living in hovels. American citizens shouldn't have to live this way and they're fired up. In this economy it doesn't take much to convince people they need to make a change."

Several Florida Groups That Could Make the Difference

Florida polls indicate that the two candidates are in a dead heat with the Democrat showing a slight 49 to 46 lead, according to the latest Time/CNN poll.

"The race is very, very close. Florida has a history of tight elections. 2000 wasn't a fluke," said Lance deHaven-Smith, professor of public administration and policy at Florida State University, referring to the dispute over "hanging chad" ballots that had to be decided by the Supreme Court.

"A small shift can make a huge difference, and it could very well come down to one group or another making the difference," deHaven-Smith said.

Both campaigns are looking at the 833,000 Cuban-Americans and the 800,000 Jewish voters in Florida as the groups that could tilt the state in their favor.

DeHaven-Smith said he expected Jewish voters "not to deviate from the typical Democrat vote," but many Jewish-Americans in Florida say they remain undecided.

"I have always voted Democratic, but I have real reservations about Obama that have nothing to do with outlandish smears or his race," said Susan Cohen, 72, a retired New York City school teacher who moved to Florida in 2004 and is Jewish.

"I'm worried he is inexperienced, and I'm not entirely convinced he is as committed to Israel as his predecessors. But, I can't imagine voting for a pro-life candidate, and with my pension in the shape that it is, I don't know what do," she said. "It is not just me. A lot of the life-long and Jewish Democrats I know say the same thing."

DeHaven-Smith said Democrats are also targeting younger Cuban-Americans whose families have traditionally voted Republican.

"Cubans have always been the base for Republicans in Southeast Florida, but we're seeing a generational shift. Younger voters, many of them first-time voters, are moving away from the Republicans."

The growing population of non-Cuban Hispanics has also become a growing force in Florida.

"The state is clearly very much in play. Both candidates are focusing on central Florida -– Tampa and Orlando ... Orange County voted Republican in every election from 1948 to 2004, but then flipped because of an influx of Puerto Rican and Mexicans," deHaven-Smith said.

Blacks Could Turn North Carolina From Red to Blue

North Carolina presents another potential opportunity for the Democrats to harness minority voters and flip a state from red to blue.

The latest CNN/ Time poll puts Obama and McCain at a tie of 49 to 49, in North Carolina, a state that has voted Republican in every election since 1980.

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