With Latinos becoming a strong presence in the political world many politicians are taking notice and jumping onto this bandwagon, of sorts. The latest politician to do so is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Last Friday, Governor Christie released his first political ad for re-election in the state; a first ad that is in Spanish.
The reported $275,000 ad Entitled, “Orgullo de New Jersey,” uses the same imagery seen in the “Jersey Proud” ad campaign that was Christie’s initial campaign commercial. Like its original, the Spanish ad continues the original ads claims.
When describing how Governor Christie had taken on the task of bettering New Jersey from fiscal disaster four years ago, Bill Stepien, Christie’s campaign manager, said “Gov. Christie has delievered on that mandate with a real record of positive accomplishments to strengthen New Jersey. It’s no surprise that the governor is attracting bipartisan support from every corner of the state and within the Hispanic community, including endorsements of the Latino Leadership Alliance and the National Coalition of Latino Officers.”
The Latino Leadership Alliance of New Jersey, an organization created by Latino Leaders of New Jersey to guide not only the state’s Latino communities but for all to benefit from the development of statewide initiatives, endorsed Christie back in February after the governor was able to win them over. The organization once backed Democratic Governor Jon. S. Corzine.
The efforts made by Gov. Christie to attract Latino supports come after the Republican National Committee’s project known as “Growth and Opportunity Project,” which is a 100-page postmortem analyst on the 2012 election that resulted in the conclusion that Latino voters will be placed squarely atop the list of the party’s target to get their side of issues to in order to attract some votes and secure the GOP’s future.
According to a Pew Research Study of the 2012 election study, there are 22% of Latino voters who are registered as Republican, since 2010, against the 70% who are registered as Democrats. Since 2006, the Democratic percentage of registered Latinos has steadily risen, and while it fell to 49%, the Republican percentage has been fair throughout. There were a reported 28% Republicans when George W. Bush ran for re-election in 2004, to just 22% in 2012 during President Obama’s re-election.
The RNC reports that the steady percentage may be due in part to the country standstill regarding immigration policy. With the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” immigration policy reform has become a great area of conversation in the party’s endeavor to gain support by willing to change some of the policy. This move has been met with some negative response within the party.
Currently in New Jersey the Latino community stands at 1.6 million and it’s the 7th largest Latino community in the United States, according to the Pew study. In the state there is an estimated 677,000 eligible Latinos voters which ranks New Jersey in 7th among the states with a large Latino population of eligible voters.
And it’s this specific group that both Governor Christie and his opponent, Senator Barbara Buono are targeting.
Besides trailing him in the polls, Senator Buono is also falling behind in fundraising numbers and now could face losing support of the deciding factor which is support among the Latino community. Current polls show that Senator Buono is losing against Gov. Christie.
Like Christie, Buono earned support from Latino Action Network, a network consisting of individuals and organizations committed to engaging in action at local, state, and national levels to advance the rightful inclusion of Latinos in America, but her support has not met Christie’s and with his new ad targeting Latinos he may further the trail between the two. Bunono’s campaign spokesman doesn’t think so.
Predicting will not be the deciding factor for the state’s Latino voters, David Turner believes Christie’s refusal to increase the minimum wage in-addition to his cuts in social programs will carry more weight amongst Latino voters than his Spanish-language ad.
“Actions speak louder than words,” says Turner, “and the fact of the matter is that the governor’s economic policies have devastated the Hispanic community.”
When asked if Buono’s campaign will be responding with their own Spanish-dubbed ad, Turner simply said that the Buono campaign does not discuss their plans.
Is the rising interest in swaying Latino voters do more harm than good?
On one hand politicians are making more of an effort to include ALL Americans, they are embracing what has always been known about this country: Diversity. Americans are from a multitude of backgrounds so by having those who represent us take the time to address us makes us feel active when we listen. And after we’ve listen we are educated to take the necessary step to determine our future.
But does the appealing to specific cultural or racial group sincere? Or is it merely just another way to get more votes than the other guy? Becoming more racially diverse in politics is a new trend. We will just have to wait and see the outcome.