latino lingo

All things related to effective Hispanic marketing, Hispanic advertising and Hispanic public relations.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Record number of Latinos registered to vote, but not credibly courted

The Pew Hispanic Center report indicated 23.7 million Latinos are eligible to vote November 6, an increase of 22% since 2008, and the most than at any other time in U.S. history.

A report on outlines that despite the high registration rate, there is a concern voter turn out will remain low. According to the article, only 50 percent of Latino registered voters turned out in the 2008 election. The two main reasons that Pew suggests are reduced enthusiasm for a non-presidential election, and an economic downturn that has displaced many Latinos (and subsequently caused their voter registration to lapse).

I would like to add a third: lack of credible outreach by candidates. While the presidential candidates are spending money to try to court the Hispanic vote in battleground states like Florida, the percentage of money allocated to that effort is abysmal.  The lack of attention Latino voters receive and lack of focus of issues that are important to Latinos and positioned from a Latino-perspective I believe results in voter apathy and a lack of name awareness of candidates at many levels.

Looking at places where there is a high Puerto Rican population helps to illustrate my case.  Voting rates for Puerto Ricans on the island are over 80 percent,  That rate but drop off considerably to 57 percent for Puerto Ricans in the United States.

And, despite the record number of advertising dollars being used in the 2012 election, The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce issued a release in early October on a study it commissioned that found only 4.57% of the advertising dollars were spent on Spanish-language media.

As Javier Palomarez , President and CEO of the USHCC said in their press release, "Political commentators from both sides of the aisle have said repeatedly that 2012 is the 'year of the Hispanic voter.' And, in fact, Hispanic voters are poised to play a decisive role in some of the most hotly contested battleground states from Nevada to Florida. But you wouldn't know it from the advertising of our political parties. Thus far in 2012, both parties seem to be spending comparatively little trying to reach Hispanic voters on the media platforms they prefer. The difference between rhetoric and action is striking and, frankly, troubling."

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