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Reaching the Latino Vote in Florida

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

TALLAHASSEE 6/14/2012 -- It's not often you hear English* on Spanish-language TV, but up and down the state, when novelas go to commercial break, the unmistakable voice of Mitt Romney takes over.

Two superpacs backing President Obama are pouring four million dollars into running an ad in Colorado, Nevada and Florida; criticizing Romney for neglecting Latinos.

Never before has that much money been devoted to a Spanish-language political ad, but perhaps never before have Latinos been as influential in American politics.

The ad is overwhelming evidence Latinos are being seen through a whole new lens, especially here in Florida and especially by Democrats.
All things being equal, the Latino vote could make or break Obama's chances come November.

Four years ago, Florida Latinos broke for the president, 57-to-42.

Rafael Marte was one of those Obama voters, but he doesn't plan to back him again. Even after watching the new ad, Rafael says he's disappointed.

"When you are not good enough and you try to show that your opponent is bad or as bad as you are, then you get lost, confused, and you say, 'what are you going to do'? Most of the people, we don't vote. We will not spend our time and money to go vote," said Marte.

Not all of Florida's 1.5 million Latino voters feel that way, and many may well be moved by the ad.

The bigger question is if it's worth it. The answer may not come until November.


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