As recently as 2004 presidential sweepstakes, candidates competed in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina ifor their party's nomination. This line-up depressed the Latino vote while giving the country these weak match-ups: Bush-Kerry in '04, Bush-Gore in 2000, and Clinton-Dole in 1996.
But things have changed dramatically for 2008.
Next year's primary schedule is frontloaded and features early primaries in California, New York and Florida--states with heavy concentrations of Latino voters. To win presidential candidates will have to--for the first time--appeal directly and vigorously to the Latino voters of the early states.
It's about time.