Destination 270

SMU Students Analyze the 2012 Presidential Election

Romney, Obama Need to Put Their Money Where their Mouth Is

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For months we have heard pundits, strategists and politicians alike talk about how crucial the Hispanic vote will be this election.  With this demographic making up a considerable percentage of voters in key swing states like Nevada, Colorado and Florida, both President Obama and Mitt Romney have vowed to win the over the allegiance of the nation’s latinos.

However, a recent study by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce is telling us that both campaigns aren’t putting their money where their mouths are when it comes to reaching Hispanic voters through targeted advertising.  The study found that while overall spending for advertising has grown significantly in the past months, surpassing the total spent in the 2008 election cycle back in early September, the amount spent on Spanish language advertising has remained at a puny 4.5%.

This has the potential to be an extremely problematic oversight for both candidates, especially given the huge Hispanic population in this years hotly contested state of Florida.  Not only are a whopping 16% of the eligible voters in Florida Hispanics, but the ones who are most likely to vote are the ones more likely to be watching Spanish-language media.

According to Monica Lozano, CEO of ImpreMedia, the Latino’s that are most likely to cast their vote on election day are the naturalized, foreign-born citizens, rather than the younger generations born in the U.S.  Given their more direct ties to Spanish-speaking countries, it is no surprise that this demographic relies more on Spanish-language media here in the United States as well.

While both candidates seem to be slacking on their initiative to communicate and connect with Florida’s Hispanic voters, the Chamber study did find that the Democrats are outspending the Republicans by almost double the amount of money on Spanish-language media.  With Mitt Romney currently trailing President Obama by around 37 percentage points among Florida’s Hispanic voters, this insight should be quite thought provoking for Mr. Romney and his campaign team.

For his sake, let’s hope he gets the memo soon and starts to put a little more of his campaign cash into Spanish-language media.  If not, it look’s like he may have a tough road ahead in Florida.

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