Spanish-language political advertising lagging

Wooing Hispanic voters was supposed to be a big component in this year’s election, but according to a new study politicians are putting their money elsewhere.

The United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) said Spanish-language advertising is a small fraction of overall spending even in states with large Hispanic populations such as California and Florida.

“Political commentators from both sides of the aisle have said repeatedly that 2012 is ‘The year of the Hispanic voter,’” said Javier Palomarez, USHCC president. “But while political advertising spending records are being shattered, neither political party is investing a comparable percentage of their advertising dollars to reach these voters.”

The USHCC study looked at spending in 10 states (California, New Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Florida, Arizona, Texas, New York and Virginia) from April through September. In those states during that time, $358.9 million was spent on political advertising. Of that, $16.4 million or 4.57% was spent on Spanish-language advertising. These figures represent ads for local, state and federal elections.


At the presidential level, the Obama campaign has aimed almost 10% of its money toward attracting Hispanic voters in those states while the Romney campaign is just over 4%.

Palomarez said Democrats and Republicans are blowing an opportunity by not doing more to woo Hispanic voters.

There is no ‘right’ level of Spanish-language advertising,” Palomarez said, “but certainly both major parties should be prioritizing Hispanic voters and dedicating real resources to reaching those voters.”

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