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Hillary Clinton Rallies Hispanic Voters In San Antonio, Texas

KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Hillary Clinton has been out campaigning since Tuesday night's debate, and she drew a big crowd today in San Antonio, Texas. That's not a state where Democrats are hugely popular these days, but Clinton and her main Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders, have been there recently trying to connect with Texas voters. NPR's Tamara Keith is in San Antonio, and she was at Clinton's rally. Hi, Tam.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Hi there.

MCEVERS: Hi. So we're used to hearing about these big, big rallies held by Bernie Sanders. I mean, it's not really been the vibe of the Clinton campaign, right?

KEITH: That's correct. Though this was most definitely a rally. Crowd estimates are that there were just over 2000 people here, which is significantly larger than most of her other events. And it was also a very diverse crowd. But let's just say, this was not even close to a Bernie Sanders-level crowd. Back in July, he had rallies in Dallas and Houston that collectively attracted something like 13,000 people.

For Clinton, coming here was personally significant because in 1972, she told the crowd, she came to register voters and help the McGovern campaign, and she came to San Antonio with her boyfriend, Bill.

MCEVERS: Oh. So why is Clinton in Texas though? I mean, why not focus on Iowa and New Hampshire right now?

KEITH: She was here for a Latinos For Hillary event, so it makes a lot more sense to do that event in Texas than in Iowa or New Hampshire. But also, all of the candidates are putting more emphasis on states outside of those first two and especially Clinton. There's the so-called SEC primary on March 1 with states like Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, many more, and you know, Clinton will be campaigning this weekend in Alabama.

MCEVERS: Hillary Clinton also picked up an endorsement today from Julian Castro. He's the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, and he's the former mayor of San Antonio. Why is that important for Clinton?

KEITH: Latinos will be hugely influential in the 2016 election. Something like 50,000 young Latinos turn 18 every single month, and that is a whole lot of new voters. Castro is a high-profile and popular Latino politician, and Clinton very much needs to get that Latino vote.

Castro is also frequently mentioned as a possible vice president. Clinton was asked about that today, and she said she'd consider him for anything because he's so great. Of course, she was in his home town at the time. And it's also significant for another reason.

Julian Castro is the second member of the Obama cabinet so far to endorse Clinton. As we know, Vice President Joe Biden is considering getting into the race, so for Clinton having members of the Obama cabinet on her side is - it's a sign of strength or a show of strength.

MCEVERS: That's NPR's Tamara Keith. She's traveling with the Clinton campaign in San Antonio, Texas. Tam, thanks so much.

KEITH: You're welcome so much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.