WEST LIBERTY, Iowa (AP) — Political strategists and a prominent advocacy group say Iowa's growing Latino population could play a more powerful role in this year's presidential campaign.
Iowa's Latino population increased 84 percent between 2000 and 2010, to more than 151,000. That's about 5 percent of the overall total.
The League of Latino United Citizens is conducting a first-of-its-kind effort to identify Latino voters in Iowa and increase their turnout. The group says it has identified 35,000 Latino voters from previous elections, and is aiming to sign up 15,000 more before November.
While the community might still only make up 3 percent of Iowa's electorate, strategists say even a modest increase could be meaningful if the race here is close between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.