Could Arizona become a swing state in the presidential election? - FOX 10 News | myfoxphoenix.com

Could Arizona become a swing state in the presidential election?

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PHOENIX -

What if Arizona turned blue and it's 11 electoral votes went to President Obama this year?

According to the latest Rocky Mountain poll, the President with 44 percent is two points ahead of Republican Mitt Romney at 42 percent, a statistical dead heat.

This is the first poll showing Obama with a slight lead in Arizona and it has some people wondering if Arizona could become a swing state.

Even the research director said he was surprised by the findings because Arizona is known as a Republican state.

He said who wins Arizona could depend on one group of voters: Latinos. 

"If Latinos turnout anywhere near proportionate to their numbers, they're gonna be the deciding factor in this election," said Earl De Berge, research director for the Behavior Research Center's Rocky Mountain poll.

According to his research, in Arizona, Latino voters favor Obama to Romney 77 percent to 10 percent and Caucasian voters favor Romney to Obama 49 percent to 33 percent.

"If we want something done for us then we need to choose the right president," said Veronica Espinoza.  

Espinoza said she voted for President Obama four years ago but now she's undecided.

So is Isreal Martinez.

I really don't know, haven't made up my mind," said Martinez.

Both want to choose a candidate who will offer amnesty and are leaning toward the President.

"I feel like Obama is a little more focused on that," said Martinez

But while Latino voters are more likely to vote democrat, they're also less likely than Caucasians to head to the polls.

"About 20 to 25 percent of Latinos say they may not vote," said De Berge.

Groups like Adios Arpaio said they've registered 1,000's of Latino voters at marches and rallies  over the last year. If those voters turn out, the impact will be significant.

"The democrats need the Latinos to vote they need them to vote in big numbers," said De Berge.

De Berge also said a key motivator for the Latino community to head to the polls is so that they can vote against Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

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