Why Latino Voters Will Swing the 2012 Election

Photographs by Marco Grob for TIME

Arizona has a history of offering up extravagant political characters who sweep into the national conversation and proceed to upend it--from "Mr. Conservative" Barry Goldwater to Joe Arpaio, the sheriff who reinstituted chain gangs, to Jan Brewer, the sitting governor, who championed the most incendiary immigration law in the country. But when it comes to understanding what is about to happen in Arizona and a host of other crucial states in the coming campaign, you have to meet a barrel-chested Phoenix firefighter named Daniel Valenzuela and hear how he won a seat on the city council representing this city's mostly Latino...