ORLANDO, Fla. – Puerto Ricans living in Florida's midsection are drawing unprecedented attention from the presidential campaigns.
President Barack Obama is set to visit the Orlando area Thursday, the latest effort to woo a segment of Florida's most independent voters.
The growing interest in the Puerto Rican vote by the campaigns of Republican Mitt Romney and Obama stem from a combination of factors. One is the sheer growth in the state's Puerto Rican population. It's doubled in the last decade to more than 860,000 — and accounts for 1 in 14 voters overall.
Another factor is an increase in civic involvement as Puerto Ricans become accustomed to the rough-and-tumble of state politics.
And Florida is playing a key role in the razor-close presidential race.