The Battle for 2012 Begins with Hispanic Voters

Juan Williams, Fox News, August 2, 2011

Let the record show the 2012 election campaign gets started this week.

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The opening shot is the announcement of two critical ad buys, one by the Democratic National Committee and the other by the Republican National Committee–both in Spanish.

These buys follow a major Spanish-language campaign that began two weeks ago with $20 million in funding from Karl Rove’s American Crossroads group. The DNC and RNC have not revealed how much they are spending on their ads, although the DNC claims its buy is many times larger than the RNC’s.

The DNC ad, titled “En Quien Confiar,” is a direct response to the spots being run by American Crossroads. It begins with a line cautioning Hispanics not to believe “ads that pretend to care about our children.”

The voiceover translates in part as: “It’s the Republicans who would end the Medicare guarantee while protecting tax cuts for the very rich. It was the president who extended health insurance for our children, financial aid for students and tax cuts for the middle class.”

The kicker: “We know who to trust, and who we can’t. Because it’s our job to protect our families.”

This early battle over the Hispanic vote reveals strategic thinking about how tight the presidential contest looks to be in November 2012. Another telltale sign is that last week, in the middle of the intense debt-ceiling debate, President Obama kept his promise to speak at the annual convention of the Hispanic leadership group La Raza.

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The competing RNC ad aimed at Hispanic voters is titled “Change Directions.” In the ad, a little Hispanic girl, sitting on a couch looking worried, is watching the news. A voice, purportedly commenting in 2017 on the end of Obama’s second term, says: “Eight years ago we were promised hope–today many believe our American dream has been lost.”

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The big question now is whether creeping frustration and pessimism about the economy is enough to push Hispanic voters out of the Obama camp and into the arms of the GOP candidate next year.

Frank Sharry, executive director of America’s Voice, insists that is not likely.

“The Republican Party’s outreach plan to [Hispanic] voters amounts to a wish, a prayer and a gamble. Instead of adapting their actual position on immigration reform, the party is hoping that running a few more [Hispanic] candidates, placing a few more Spanish-language ads on television and focusing only on the poor economy will be enough to overcome their continued embrace of a mass-deportation immigration platform,” he said.

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  • Anonymous

    Hispanics comprise a small percentage of voters relative to the big picture, but the GOP is always spending ridiculous amounts of time and resources to get Hispanics to vote for them. Wouldn’t it be more productive for the GOP to use most of its resources to energize its white, conservative base instead of wasting a whole lot of effort to win over people who will neither vote for them nor make a substantial difference?

  • Anonymous

    I will NEVER vote for the traitorous Republicans again. I will vote when I see them PANDER to the White race for once.

    For now I will go with the Constitution Party. Or the WHITE Party that the anti-Whites went crazy over denouncing. I cannot remember the name. It was on Amren a few days ago. I would much rather “waste” my vote, (as they keep telling us) than vote for any of those who hate our guts.

  • D. Wade

    Do not spend too much on obtaining the hispanic vote. Try but realize the the percentage of the white vote is what will turn the election. It seems as if minorities tend to vote as a bloc. Witness the 95 or 97% of the black voter that Obama obtained in the last election. A 65% of the white vote would I believe counter any bloc voting by the minorities.

  • Anonymous

    Whites are still 75% of the electorate. This is HUGE!!!

  • SS

    To Anon #1,

    No because they know Whites are already the minority and, we are well on our way out of existence.

    Politicians are only working to secure a spot for their own “white” blood line, ya know, AWAY (gated community) from the non-whites and, still be in charge of course.

  • Jefferson

    Why do political ads that aim toward the Hispanic community need to be in Spanish ? Liberals are always claiming that Hispanics are assimilating into mainstream America, so why can’t these political ads that are aimed towards them be in English ?

  • Anonymous

    The Republicans have a “mass-deportation immigration platform”? Maybe in some parallel universe in which the GOP grows a spine and decides to openly represent the interests of the founding stock and its values.

  • highduke

    The GOP has business interests they can’t financially afford to alienate by energizing their White conservative base with racial rhetoric. Today when 1/3 voters isn’t White and elections are won by under 3% margins it’s more important than ever to stop the Dems from monopolizing the minority vote by courting middle class non-Whites. Think about it.

  • Anonymous

    8 — highduke wrote at 9:09 AM on August 5:

    The GOP has business interests they can’t financially afford to alienate by energizing their White conservative base with racial rhetoric. Today when 1/3 voters isn’t White and elections are won by under 3% margins it’s more important than ever to stop the Dems from monopolizing the minority vote by courting middle class non-Whites. Think about it.

    —————————————

    Haven’t you heard? The GOP has been at this for decades now. In the last 12 years or more the GOP has been pandering to hispanics/blacks and many Whites like myself quit voting for the Republicans. Don’t forget THEY are the ones who put up McCain!

    I voted the Constitution Party the last two elections. I will continue to do so. The GOP is a lost cause and are as bad as the donkeys.

    So you are saying, it is okay to alienate the White voting base just to get a FEW hispanic voters? Because that is all they will EVER get from hispanics. When those so-called hispanics voted for Bush Jr. the GOP tried to tell us they voted in larger numbers than what was factual. Come to find out they got very few hispanic votes even though Bush/GOP really pandered to them, promising “Immigration Reform” to their hispanic audience. So you want us to trust the Republicans?

    LOOK at where we are in the last 30 years or so voting for Republicans. We are ten times worse off than ever. They NEVER did a darn thing to stop illegal immigration (Reagan and his amnesty, Newt and his Republican Congress), did nothing about the border, building the fence, nothing about deporting them AS THE LAW STATES! Now we are stuck with all these millions of illegals and their offspring, taking OUR tax dollars for everything from welfare to education, not to mention all their crimes costing us billions!