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A directional sign points the way to a polling place inside El Mercado de Los Angeles, a Mexico-style marketplace in East L.A. on November 6, 2012.
Exit polls are showing that overwhelming majorities of Latino and Asian American voters - more than 70 percent of each group - voted to re-elect President Barack Obama on Tuesday. Together with black voters, who reportedly supported Obama in even higher proportions, these voters of color are credited with carrying key states for Obama and ultimately assuring his victory over Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Data so far has suggested that Latinos made up 10 percent of overall voters, a record number. At the same time, the non-Latino white percentage of the American electorate is on the decline. Does this election signal a tipping point in the influence of voters of color - or has that happened already?
Pollster Matt Barreto of the Latino Decisions firm has closely tracked the attitudes of Latino voters in the runup to the election. The firm has calculated that 75 percent of Latino voters - in the same range national exit polls have estimated so far - cast votes for Obama on Tuesday. The Pew Hispanic Center estimates from its exit poll analysis that Latinos voted 71 to 27 percent for Obama over Romney.