Hispanics

Unemployment Rate of Latinos Skyrockets

In September, the Pew Hispanic Center's report on the overall state of Latinos found that Latinos were in a significantly worse economic condition and reported a decline in their general well-being. We have continued to see how the economic crisis is hitting Latinos particularly harshly, and today we find that the unemployment rate for Latinos has sky-rocketed to 8.8% in October. The overall national unemployment rate for October reported today is 6.5%, with 240,000 jobs cut during the month. Hispanics have been particularly affected, as the number of unemployed Hispanics went up in September to 1.72 million, and in October Hispanics comprised 1.96 million of the 10 million people unemployed nationally.

Closing Arguments to Hispanics...on "Sábadoooo GigAAAAAnte!"

Both candidates are fighting to make their closing arguments to Hispanics over the less than three days until the Presidential election as they appear tonight on Univision's internationally known variety show, "Sábado Gigante."  Even non-Spanish speaking Americans throughout the U.S. have heard of the famous host, "Don Francisco" and his beautiful female co-hosts.  The show takes a more serious turn tonight, as it airs Don Francisco's interviews with Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain during which they discussed the most pressing issues in the Hispanic community.  Sen. McCain gave his interview in Sedona, AZ, Sen. Barack Obama taped his during a campaign visit to Miami, FL.

These interviews began in 2000 during George W. Bush and Al Gore's presidential campaigns, and followed with Bush and Kerry in 2004.  You can watch tonight's interviews with Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain when they air during the show's second hour, at 9 p.m. EST on Univision (check local listings).  

NDN, Hispanic Community and NV Leaders Denounce Efforts to Supress Hispanic Vote with Deceptive Phone Calls

Las Vegas -- NDN, a Washington, DC-based progressive think tank, yesterday held a news conference with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada and several Hispanic community leaders -- Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated individuals -- to denounce deceptive practices targeted toward Hispanic citizens in an effort to prevent them from voting.

According to news reports and anecdotal evidence, some Hispanic voters have received calls asking for personal information and telling them they can vote over the phone, which is not a legal practice. Reid, NDN and others urged Hispanic citizens to make their voices heard by voting on Election Day.

Said Senator Reid: "Any effort to silence voters' voices is despicable and runs counter to the principles of our democracy. I commend Univision and others for taking this matter seriously and for taking action. I call on the people who are behind these tactics to stop immediately so we can have a fair election that allows every voter to be heard."

Said Andres Ramirez, Vice President of NDN's Hispanic Programs: "Any voter who has encountered disturbing suppression tactics should call the Nevada Secretary of State. We are increasingly concerned about the smear campaigns and deceptive tactics targeted at the Latino community, and we want to educate voters about their rights."

Citizens who feel they have been victims of such a scam should call the Nevada Secretary of State at 775-684-5705.

At yesterday's news conference, Reid, Ramirez and the public officials and community leaders unveiled a new PSA airing on Univision in Reno and Las Vegas taped in response to the disturbing phone calls. Univision-affiliated radio stations in Nevada also are airing this PSA on radio. Click here for Fox News video of the conference.

Reid and NDN were joined at the news conference by several Hispanic leaders, including State Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen, State Assemblyman Moises Denis and Geoconda Arguello Kline, President of the Las Vegas Culinary Union Local 226.

Following this effort in Nevada to safeguard the Hispanic vote, Fundacion Azteca America encouraged the Hispanic community to get out and vote with a "No Te Espantes Ve y Vota" ("Don't be Scared, Go Vote") voter turnout rally today in front of the L.A. City Hall, aiming to dispel any misconceptions, fears or doubts that first-time voters may have leading up to the November 4 elections.

Participants included: Luis J. Echarte, Chairman of Fundación Azteca America and Azteca America Network; Nora Vargas, Executive Director Latinos Issues Forum; Eric Garcetti, President of the Los Angeles City Council; Gilbert Cedillo, California State Senator; Rocky Delgadillo, Los Angeles City Attorney; John Trasviña, President and General Counsel of MALDEF and Los Angeles City Council members Richard Alarcon, Jose Huizar, Janice Hahn, Jan Perry and Tom LaBonge.

Ad Wars: Barack Obama En Español

Barack Obama's latest ad is not only in Spanish, but it has Barack Obama speaking in Spanish through the entire ad - not an easy feat.  He has a good accent, better than George W. Bush's.  And as we saw in the case of then Gov. Bush, the Hispanic community doesn't care so much about a candidate being able to speak perfect Spanish, they care that they try - and I must say, Sen. Obama pulls it off seamlessly here.  By contrast, Sen. McCain hasn't so much as tried to learn the "I'm John McCain and I approve this message" tagline in Spanish.  This ad is part of something historic.  Barack Obama has now spent more than any other presidential candidate in history on Spanish language media.  And he is only the third or fourth candidate that I can count that has cared to speak to this demographic in their language of origin.  As reported in the documentary, "Latinos 08", Jackie Kennedy filmed a message in Spanish on behalf of her husband when he ran for office, George W. Bush spoke some Spanish here and there, and Howard Dean tried his hand at it as well, but the Obama campaign has spent a record amount of resources on a record amount of Spanish language ads.  And it seems to be paying off.  According to the latest polls, Barack Obama now holds a 40-50 point lead among Hispanics.  This is his second Spanish-language address, the first having been an ad in Puerto Rico during the primaries. Here, he is trying to bond with the Hispanic community by speaking of the "American Dream" that motivated so many of them to come to this country, thus trying to add an emotional connection to the support among Hispanics that seems largely driven by issues and party identification. 

And a translation of the ad:
BO: We share a dream,  That through hard work your family can succeed.
That if you're sick, you can have access to medical insurance.
That our children can have a quality education, regardless of whether you are rich or poor.
That is the American Dream.
I ask you for your vote, not just for me and the Democrats, but so that you can keep that dream alive for yourself and for your children.
I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Ad Wars: En Español

With only two weeks to go until Election Day, Sen. Barack Obama is clearly not taking the Hispanic vote for granted as he continues flooding the airwaves in Spanish with no less than three new radio and television ads.  The first radio ad, "Ataques" ("Attacks") addresses Sen. McCain's attack tactics, and is airing in NM, CO, NV, PA, IN, WI, OH, VA, NC, Central FL, and South Florida (Miami, West Palm Beach).  It's interesting that there's an entire second version of the ad for Southern Florida, using voices that have more of a Caribbean tint to them, which reflects the origin of most Latinos in that area.  I see this as an indicator of why Obama has been doing so well among Hispanics - he recognizes our differences.

The second ad, also on radio and recorded by Senator Ken Salazar, "CO, Salazar Early Vote" airing in Colorado, is aimed at motivating voters to vote early.  

The third ad, a television spot called "Oportunidad" ("Opportunity") is about access to higher education, airing in NM, NV, CO and FL.  See the tv ad below, along with the English translations of the ads.

Oportunidad (TV Ad Version)

 BO:  I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message.

Voiceover:
The cost of a college education is a real worry for many families.
But under the Obama Plan a student can earn the first $4,000 of tuition through community service.
Putting a college education within everyone's reach.
And the Obama Plan offers scholarships to recruit more teachers to make sure our children are ready (smart/prepared).
With Obama and the Democrats ... a new opportunity.

Ataques (Radio Version)

ANNOUNCER 1:
Wow, have you heard the terrible lies that John McCain and the Republicans are saying about Barack Obama?  How horrible.

[ANNOUNCER 2:]
Well, it doesn't surprise me.  The republicans will say anything to distract the public from the economy.

[ANNOUNCER 1:]
My neighbor - who has 2 kids - lost her job and her health insurance last week.  And her husband, who works in construction, is about to lose his.  I don't want to hear any more attacks.  I want to know what the candidates will do for us.

[ANNOUNCER 2:]
Well, that's why Barack Obama is my candidate.  Instead of continuing George Bush's same failed policies - like John McCain wants to do - Barack Obama understands what our community needs from a President. He has specific ideas to help us.

[ANNOUNCER 1:]
Under Obama, the middle class will receive three times more relief than with McCain.  Obama will cut our taxes!

 [ANNOUNCER 2:]
And what matters to me is that Obama has a plan to give health insurance to all.  My neighbor will be saved!

[ANNOUNCER 1:]
Barack Obama and the democrats are the change we need.

[BO:]  I´m Barack Obama, candidate for President, and I approve this message.

CO Salazar Early Vote (Radio ad)

[KEN SALAZAR:]
In Colorado - the gateway to the West - we know anything is possible if you're willing to do the work. 

This is US Senator Ken Salazar. My parents raised 8 kids on a ranch.  We were poor, with no electricity and no telephone, but all of us became first generation college graduates.
Like my parents, we all will do anything for our families.

And you can do something for your family right now: vote. You don't have to wait until Election Day.  You can vote early, today thru October 31st

With Barack Obama and the Democrats real change is within our grasp ... affordable health care ... investing in jobs here at home, and a college education that's affordable for every family ... whether they be rich or poor.

To find an early voting location near you, go online at VoteForChange.com... VoteForChange.com.

What are you waiting for?  After eight years of George Bush, we can't afford more of the same.

This is Ken Salazar asking you to vote early today for Barack Obama and the Democrats. 

[BO:]  I´m Barack Obama, candidate for President, and I approve this message.

Hispanics Hand it to Obama

Obama's most important lead after last night's debate may have come among Hispanic voters, who favored him by a 50-36 percent margin according to the national Politico/InsiderAdvantage survey of undecided debate-watchers. The candidates were evenly matched among white voters, with McCain holding a 49-46 percent advantage - equal to the three point margin of error. African Americans picked Obama as the winner by 88-10 percent. You can trace Hispanics' support of the presidential candidates through Gallup's weekly poll - the poll shows Obama with a consistent comfortable margin of at least 20-25 points ahead of McCain. The latest Gallup poll shows Obama ahead by a 60-31 percent advantage.

Candidates Woo Largest Spanish-speaking Audience in the Country, Part II

More on John McCain's interview with Univision anchor, Jorge Ramos. Univision has the largest Spanish-language audience in the U.S.

ON LATIN AMERICA- When asked about the prospect of Russia providing Venezuela with training and nuclear arms, and whether he would rule out U.S. military intervention in Venezuela, Sen. McCain responded that he definitely would (keep in mind all those Florida voters who are originally from Venezuela or still have family and ties to the country). Sen. McCain stated his priorities regarding Latin America as: 1) U.S. independence from Venezuelan oil, as there is evidence that Venezuela is helping aid the FARC in Colombia, and 2) passage of a Free Trade Agreement with Colombia.

Last weekend, Barack Obama and Joe Biden appeared with Jorge Ramos on Al Punto. By contrast, when asked about Latin America, Sen. Obama appeared to understand that the United States' relationship with the region has so much more at stake than merely trade agreements and foreign aid, "Trade agreements cannot serve as a substitute to sensible policy...It's not about just sending money [to the region] and forgetting about it...If this hollow policy continues, our children will be in danger...we should be in contact at this critical time." Sen. Biden noted, "..this Administration has no policy towards Russia, or towards Latin America for that matter."

ON OTHER ISSUES - On immigration, Barack Obama said during his interview with Ramos that in order to truly secure the border, we also need to go after unscrupulous employers and to provide legalization to all the undocumented in order to bring them out of the shadows. On the election:

JR: Will Hispanics decide this election? What do you think of Latino voters?
BO: "...The states with the largest Hispanic populations will certainly have a decisive role during this election....Hispanics could be the largest group of voters in New Mexico....I do think Hispanics are going to turn out and vote because they will decide whether they want to continue 8 years of failed policies or not...so I have no doubt that this election will turn out record numbers of Latinos and voters in general."
JR: So will Hispanics decide this election?
JB: In some states, like Florida, yes....in my state for example, small state of Delaware, has among the largest rates of growth of states on the east coast, the population has increased 25% over the last 17 years, and a full quarter of that growth is comprised of Hispanics in my state.

Jorge Ramos also posed a few tough questions to Sen. McCain:

JR: Governor Palin, she said Sen. Obama worked from an ex-terrorist's living room. But she works for the campaign right? So I take it she had your approval to say those things, are you suggesting that [Sen. Obama] tolerates terrorism?
JM: No. We just believe the American people should know more about this relationship.

**Sarah Palin was scheduled to appear with John McCain, but she reportedly had a scheduling conflict. Sen. McCain did say that she will be on Al Punto soon.

Is the Presidential Race Fueling Hate Speech?

In case you missed this yesterday...we've spoken before about how Words Have Consequences.  FBI statistics have shown a dramatic increase in hate crimes - primarily against Hispanics, but is the Presidential race also providing fuel to the fire? It is astounding that in this day and age someone would stand up and say what this lady says.  It's even more astounding that McCain responds by saying, "No, he is a good and decent citizen," as if being a good man and an Arab were mutually exclusive.  
 
 

Cero y Van Dos - En Los Debates No Se Habla de Inmigración

Cero y van dos - se esperaba que los candidatos a la presidencia hablaran sobre el tema de inmigración durante el primer debate, enfocado a relaciones exteriores, pero no sucedió. Entonces se esperaba que seguramente hablarían sobre sus propuestas con respecto a inmigración en el segundo debate, sobre políticas nacionales...tampoco sucedió. Con el empeoramiento de la crisis económica, el tema de inmigración ha sido relegado al olvido durante los debates. Sin embargo, sigue al centro del esfuerzo publicitario de ambos candidatos para ganarse el voto de Hispanohablantes.

La batalla sobre el tema de inmigración continúa. Después del último anuncio del Senador John McCain sobre inmigración, el Senador Barack Obama responde. El reportero Chris Cillizza puntualiza que el Senador Obama esta invirtiéndo lo triple que John McCain en anuncios de televisión.

Por mucho tiempo, NDN ha destacado la importancia del tema de inmigración como un factor que motiva a Hispanos a votar, sin importar si son nacidos en EEUU o en el extranjero, y esto se demuestra en el hecho que los candidatos estan teniendo esta batalla sobre inmigración en español. Con el porcentaje tan importante de votantes Latinos en estados clave en la contienda de esta elección, los candidatos estan luchando para ganarse a este grupo demográfico por medio del tema de inmigración. En este anuncio, Obama reconoce el daño que ha sufrido el partido Republicano en la comunidad Hispana a raíz del tono negativo que tomó ese partido durante el debate sobre inmigración, y relaciona a McCain con su partido y con los ataques anti-inmigrante del partido Republicano.

 

 

McCain's Mixed Messages on Immigration?

NDN has followed U.S. Sen. John McCain's track record on Immigration. The latest is John McCain's second ad on immigration in Spanish. Andres commented on the ad during an interview with NPR:

"It's disturbing to me, as a Hispanic, to have someone who feels he can blatantly deceive and think people won't pay attention," says Andres Ramirez, vice president for Hispanic programs at NDN..."

Marisa wrote about the ad, and NDN has long advocated on: 1) the importance of the Hispanic vote (this demographic could very well swing several southern and western states in this election), and 2) the issue of immigration as a motivating factor in the way many Hispanics vote regardless of whether they are native or foreign born - this is thanks to the GOP strategy of turning the debate on immigration into a debate on whether Hispanics should be in this country.

Actually, McCain's message on immigration is not mixed at all - since 2006 he's been consistently against immigration reform. The first and second ads focus on misrepresenting Obama's position on immigration, but at no time do they state McCain's position - much less go as far as saying that McCain supports immigration reform. Instead, since the GOP now recognizes that Hispanics respond negatively to these anti-Hispanic attacks, they created the same kind of degrading ad except this time they (inaccurately)attribute the comments about Mexico and immigrants to Barack Obama.

So will McCain's attempt at making Obama seem anti-Hispanic work? Andres is right - it's not working. NDN and analysts across the board believe the large numbers of Hispanic voters in Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada and Florida could be decisive in those swing states. Our latest polling in these states showed that Barack Obama is ahead of John McCain by at least 30 points among Hispanics in the Southwest, and specifically on the issue of immigration, Hispanics believe Barack Obama would do a better job than John McCain. Even in Florida, where the candidates were even among Hispanics (42%-42%), when asked about immigration, 42% of voters trusted Barack Obama to better handle the issue over 37% preferring John McCain. The largest difference was in Nevada, where 60% of Hispanics trusted Barack Obama more on the issue of immigration, while only 18% preferred John McCain.

And the latest ad makes no sense when put in context - on the one hand, the McCain campaign launches this ad to attempt to portray Obama as anti-immigrant, while on the other hand, they create another ad in English and Spanish that attacks Obama for allegedly voting against allowing people to own guns in order to defend themselves from these "criminal aliens" who are "crossing illegally into our country." So which is it?

In a year when the Hispanic electorate has nearly doubled from what it was in 2000 (from 7.5 million to approximately 14 million this year), given that Hispanics make up a large part of the electorate in key Southern and Western states, and given that Hispanics are mobilizing to get out the vote, to vote early and vote absentee in those states, it does not bode well for John McCain.

 

 

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