NYC Mayoral Candidates Woo Latinos

NEW YORK (AP) -

Hispanics could make up nearly a quarter of potential voters in New York City’s mayoral election, and polls suggest their vote is still very much up for grabs.

“This is the great X factor in this election,” said Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio, the first candidate to narrate a Spanish-language ad, which aired Thursday.

The latest poll that tracked Latino voters found them virtually split between two Democratic candidates, with 20 percent saying they would vote for former representative Anthony Weiner and 19 percent for City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. De Blasio followed with 12 percent.

Of the city’s 2.4 million Latinos, half are citizens over 18, according to 2011 U.S. Census data. While the city’s elections board does not track voter registrations by ethnicity, Hispanics are expected to have a significant impact on the November election.

Candidates are frequently seen at events targeting Latinos. Some rushed to the podium to speak during a ceremony in May to name a portion of Broadway Juan Rodriguez Way, in honor of a Dominican man who is thought to have been New York’s first non-Indian settler. Most were forced to reveal whether they eat cuchifritos, Puerto Rican fried foods, during a recent debate.

Quinn has published a booklet, “Nueva York 2014,” which lists her accomplishments as City Council speaker and explains her positions on issues.

De Blasio proposed a universal city identification card for residents, including immigrants who live illegally in the U.S. Weiner has proposed a city health-care system similar to Medicare that would include immigrants excluded from federal coverage.