Talk to me
The presidential campaigns are having a hard time learning Spanish.
Much has been written, spoken, and spun about the deciding role of the Latino voter in the upcoming general election. The candidates have gone to Latino forums, uttered a word or two in Spanish when in front of a Latino, had their pundits squawk incessantly about the importance of the Latino voter and why they think we should vote for one candidate or the other on cable news shows. But guess what? No one is saying much in Spanish. Sólo un poquito.
A recent study by The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, quoted by the Los Angeles Times, reveals how little resources each campaign has devoted to political advertisement in Spanish. The actual numbers are staggering. Even though Latino voters account for 16 percent of the general voting population, they only account for four percent of the Romney campaign’s advertising budget and 10 percent of President Obama’s. It seems like the former has given up on us and the latter is taking us for granted. If you ask me this doesn’t paint a pretty picture for what the next four years will be like for the Latino community.
I know that you know that a great amount of Latin voters are perfectly bilingual, after all you are not reading this in Spanish, but targeting our community in our original language seems like a no brainer. It feels like the proper thing to do. A much more compelling and effective case can be made and a closer connection achieved if only the campaign made a concerted effort to speak to us in our own language. Big corporations like Procter & Gamble are today experimenting, most effectively I must ad, with bilingual messages to promote their goods and services. Campaigns failing to devote the proper resources to target us in our native tongue seems almost like a case of political malpractice.
In any case, and whichever the language, the pandering goes as strong as ever. Don’t believe me? Just check out Romney promising visas to the dreamers when just a few month ago he was promising to veto the dream act. Maybe in the end, that’s what everything boils down to anyhow.