Latinos

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

We've been hearing about Republican candidates' efforts to win over Hispanic voters. Those efforts have intensified in recent days with ads in Spanish and contention over immigration, like at Thursday night's debate in Jacksonville.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Mitt Romney hasn't had a lot of good news lately but he did get some positive information Wednesday — a new Univision/ABC News poll gives him a significant lead over Newt Gingrich among Florida Latinos less than a week before the Florida Republican primary.

The survey found that 35 percent of respondents said they would vote for Romney while 21 percent said Gingrich was their choice. Rep. Ron Paul was at six percent and Rick Santorum at seven percent.

The issue of immigration, which barely simmered during the first three Republican presidential contests, could reach a boil now that the candidates have arrived in Florida for the state's Jan. 31 primary.

Florida, with its large and influential Latino population, provides the earliest gauge of the difficulty facing any eventual GOP nominee in courting Hispanic voters, who increasingly view Republicans' rhetoric about immigration as anti-Hispanic.

Photo by Kirk Siegler

With the Iowa caucuses over and attention shifting to the New Hampshire primary, Colorado Democratic leaders are wasting no time blasting presumed GOP front-runner Mitt Romney, with party officials focusing on what they say is the former Massachusetts governor’s hard line stance on illegal immigration.

Writer Malin Alegria's first novel, Estrella's Quinceanera, covers familiar territory for anyone who has ever been a 15-year-old girl battling with her mother — but the fact that the book's sassy protagonist, Estrella Alvarez, is Mexican-American makes her unique in the world of young adult fiction.

(This report is part of the Morning Edition series "2 Languages, Many Voices: Latinos In The U.S.," looking at the ways Latinos are changing — and being changed — by the U.S.)

One place the Hispanic population is growing is in the overwhelmingly white state of Iowa. The latest census figures show the Hispanic population, while only 5 percent of the state, has almost doubled since 2000.

And one small town — West Liberty — is the first in Iowa to have a majority Hispanic population.

There's a good chance America will eventually look like San Antonio. Demographically, the Texas city is a glimpse into the American future -- a majority Latino community, where English is the language of choice.

The mayor of San Antonio, Julian Castro, is young, photogenic, well-educated and barely speaks Spanish. Yet he may very well be the model of a new kind of Latino leadership.

A Place In Mainstream America

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