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Political communication and audience: The rise of the Latino voter in the US May 31, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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As the Republican Party moves out of the primary season and begins to target the general election, most political analysts say that the GOP has a lot of work to do with Latino voters. Latinos are expected to have a say in 15 key swing states in the 2012 election, and a poll conducted by Univision indicates that 52% of Hispanic voters are still undecided. With voter participation among registered Latino voters around 85%, one can expect both parties to use all forms of political communication to address issues like immigration and the Dream Act with a kinder tone. According to many analysts, though, the conventional methods of reaching Latino voters won’t work anymore. As Arturo Vargas of the New York Times recently wrote, “Both Obama and Romney should campaign actively among Latino voters, visiting their communities and learning of their concerns and priorities during this election cycle. Candidates fail when they assume Latinos are a single-issue constituency, and that a simple translation of an advertisement will do the trick.”

For more on the changing audience in 2012 political ads, and the rise of the Latino voter, see the following story fromAl Jazeera:

Discussion Questions:

1. Why is it important for both political parties to attract Latino voters in the 2012 election?

2.  Why might Latino voters in the United States be more concerned about electing Republicans to office?

3.  How might Republicans address the concerns of Latino voters without compromising their own plans to reform immigration?

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