Obama or Romney? Univision Advises Candidates on How to Conquer the Latino Vote in 2012

Univision, a Spanish-language television network, has released a video on why Latin American voters are the key to November’s election. As a TV network that has connected with Hispanics “not because they can’t understand English — but because English language TV doesn’t always understand them,” it urges politicians to use its marketing model for their campaigns and to pay attention to the Hispanic population.

Hispanics will vote in huge numbers in this year’s election. While both candidates have begun to cater more to Latin American voters, they need to do more -- both with issues that typically concern Hispanics, such as immigration, and with issues that concern all Americans. Marketing strategy can teach a lot to political campaigns.

50 million Hispanics live in the United States, making up 16.3% of the population. They are the fastest-growing segment of the population, as 500,000 Hispanics turn 18 every month. Indeed, they are highly engaged in the electoral process -- 84% of registered Hispanic voters participated in 2008. 14 million are expected to vote this year. Moreover, they are potential swing voters. Hispanics may decide the victory in 12 of 15 swing states. In 2008, they represented 38% of votes in New Mexico, 15% in Florida, and 13% in Colorado.

Politicians mistakenly assume that Hispanics care only about immigration, when in fact they care more about jobs and education. Therefore, Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications, suggests a “total-market” approach -- create one brand, one message, and one creative platform, and simply adjust it to different languages and cultures. The Univision video emphasizes the dual identity of these voters as both Hispanic in origin but also citizens of the United States -- as it puts it, fútbol and football.