SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Cheering crowds are expected Tuesday when President Barack Obama makes a rare presidential visit to Puerto Rico.
But the point of his trip isn't really the nearly 4 million U.S. citizens who live on the island — and can't vote in the general election.
Organizers are hoping the visit will generate good will on the U.S. mainland, particularly in Florida, where the fast-growing Hispanic population will be essential to Obama's re-election effort in 2012.
Democrats see the Puerto Ricans in Florida as a potential counterbalance to the larger, traditionally Republican Cuban-American community in a state Obama needs badly to win a second term.
Obama plans to spend only a few hours on the island. The last official presidential visit was by John F. Kennedy in December 1961.
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