Puerto Ricans flocking to mainland could sway swing states

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Residents of Puerto Rico can't vote in presidential elections. But with the island's economy in shambles, many are fleeing to the U.S. mainland, potentially shifting demographic norms in some closely contested states.

The impact of Puerto Rican migrants on the election hinges on how successful voting advocates are in getting them to the polls. Many focus more on finding jobs, homes and schools.

Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio — three pivotal states in the fall — absorbed more than 22,500 Puerto Rican migrants in 2013 alone.

Many more Puerto Ricans already living on the mainland have relocated to these states from traditional hubs such as New York.

Even if only one-quarter of eligible recent Puerto Rican migrants vote in Pennsylvania and Florida, that could be enough to tilt a close race.
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