Latino voters helped Colorado stay blue -- more so than in any other battleground state

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Big photos below.
Up until the final days of this year's presidential race, pundits on both sides of the aisle agreed that Colorado remained a toss-up, and a key battleground for both candidates. In the end, however, the state, like virtually every close race in the country, ended up going to Obama, and a report says the Latino vote was critical -- more so than in any other swing state.

A joint election-eve polling from ImpreMedia and Latino Decisions, which surveyed Latino voters in eleven states, found that Hispanic voters played a crucial role in helping Obama win reelection.

In Colorado, says the report (on view below), polling found that Latino voters supported Obama over Romney by an 87 percent to 10 percent margin -- the largest split of all eleven states in the poll. That amounted to a net contribution of 9.5 percentage points to Obama, the findings show. And that amount was larger than Obama's 4.3 percent margin of victory.

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Sam Levin
State Senator Lucia Guzman who hosted a "Latinos for Obama" event at her house over the summer.
"The numbers kind of speak for themselves," says Patty Kupfer, managing director of America's Voice Education Fund, an immigration reform organization and contributor to the poll. "It's really remarkable.... Latino voters made a decisive difference for Obama."

Official national exit polls found similar support for the president among Latino voters, though not quite as drastic as the ImpreMedia poll; Kupfer says she believes the national polling numbers tend to do a poor job of capturing the impact of Hispanic voters.

Those exit polls show that 74 percent of Hispanic votes went to the president -- still a very significant number.

"If the administration can recognize that the second term that they have is in large part due to support from Latinos, what does that mean for their policy agenda?" asks Kupfer. "When these voters deliver for them, what are they doing in return to recognize that support?"

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Sam Levin
At a Romney event targeting Latinos over the summer.
The importance of the Latino vote has been very apparent at Obama and Romney rallies in Colorado for months leading up to election day. Civic groups also launched efforts aimed specifically at combating the suppression or intimidation of Latino voters in Colorado.

Continue for more details from the poll and for more photos.

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