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A national Hispanic leader? There isn't one

"Latinos living in the United States do not have a national leader," a new report by the Pew Hispanic Center finds.

When asked to name the person they consider "the most important Latino leader in the country today," nearly two-thirds -- 64 percent -- of Latino respondents said they did not know. Ten percent said "no one."

The bilingual national survey of 1,375 Hispanic adults was done before the November election by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center.

Sonia Sotomayor, appointed last year to the US Supreme Court, was the most frequently named with some 7 percent saying she is the most important Latino leader. Others who rated: Rep. Luis Gutierrez, an Illinois Democrat who pulled 5 percent; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who drew 3 percent and Univision anchor Jorge Ramos who drew 2 percent.

The report notes that in the election, three Hispanics, all of them Republican, were elected to top statewide offices: Marco Rubio to the U.S. Senate in Florida, Brian Sandoval as governor of Nevada, and Susana Martinez as governor of New Mexico.

"The prominence of these offices conceivably could provide platforms from which any of the three could emerge as national Latino leaders," Pew directors wrote, "But to do so they would have to overcome some strong partisan head winds."

They noted that nationwide, Latinos supported Democratic candidates for the U.S. House by a wide margin, according to the National Election Pool's national exit poll.

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Ban pigeonholing

Probably because most "hispaics" view themselves primarily as Americans. You don't talk of a national "Jewish" leader, or a national "Italian" leader, do you?

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