Editor’s note: As President Barack Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney court the Latino community’s vote, CNN takes an In Depth look at this complex and diverse community, what matters most to Latino voters, and how their vote will influence the November elections.
by Alicia W. Stewart, CNN
(CNN) - By now, it has been established that Latino voters are a diverse group and a crucial electorate that will help determine the next president of the United States.
But here is what's new to know about the impact of Latino voters: It will be felt in places one might not expect.
"Moving beyond the Southwest and Florida, Latino voters can also influence the election results in 'nontraditional' states like North Carolina, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, " said Matt Barreto, co-founder of Latino Decisions, a polling firm. "Those states have had substantial growth in the Latino population and among voters, based on our analysis of census data and statewide voter rolls."
Florida-based political analyst Charles Garcia noted earlier this year that in North Carolina, the number of registered Hispanic voters has almost doubled to more than 130,000 since the last presidential election.
"President Obama won North Carolina in 2008 by 14,000 votes," Garcia said. "In 2008 there were 68,000 registered Latino voters, and a whopping 84% of them participated in the election."
Polling experts say this shift will affect the 2012 election.
Engage with news and opinions from around the web about under-reported stories from undercovered communities.
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Editor’s note: CNN.com writer Moni Basu is author of “Chaplain Turner's War,” published by Agate Digital.
By Moni Basu, CNN
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) – Darren Turner insisted on going to war, even though the Army usually reserves desk jobs at home for new chaplains like him.
Turner was young and green, enthusiastic about taking God to the battlefield. The Army captain had learned that people in pain are often wide-open to inviting God into their lives.
Jesus always ran to crises. Turner was going to do the same.
He’d enrolled in seminary in 2004 at Regent University in Virginia, founded by evangelist Pat Robertson. And early in his spiritual journey, he was inspired by Christian writer John Eldredge, who suggests that American men have abandoned the stuff of heroic dreams, aided by a Christianity that tells them to be "nice guys."
God, says Eldredge, designed men to be daring, even dangerous.
Read the full story on CNN's Belief blog
What defines you? Maybe it’s the shade of your skin, the place you grew up, the accent in your words, the make up of your family, the gender you were born with, the intimate relationships you chose to have or your generation? As the American identity changes we will be there to report it. In America is a venue for creative and timely sharing of news that explores who we are. Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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