New DNC Spanish Ad Takes a Swing at Republicans

Today the Democratic National Committee is releasing a new Spanish-language ad in the Denver and Las Vegas markets. Take a look:


Here's a translation of the script:

"Republicans say no to Medicare...

No to financial aid...

No to help for the middle class...

They always say no, but they never say why not...

Obama is fighting on our side...

[clip from Obama: "If we get Congress to pass this bill, the typical working family will get $1,500 in tax cuts next year."]...

More money for the house?...

Fifteen hundred dollars more for a family like mine?...

Why not?"

Beyond Democrats' early spending on Spanish-language ads in key states, there are two notable elements of this ad. First of all, it is generally unusual for Spanish-language ads to go negative. In 2008, the Obama campaign launched "Dos Caras," a Spanish-language ad that called Republicans out for their immigration record, but most of the other Spanish-language ads in that cycle focused on the positive. In 2010, Patriot Majority did a light-hearted Spanish-language hit against Sharron Angle, "Oye Sharron," that proved effective. With the early ad buys this year, and the general tenor of the cycle-- which has already included American Crossroads' attack on the President-- it might become more common to go nasty.

Second, it should come as no surprise that a young Latina features prominently: 50,000 Latinos turn 18 every month, and young Latinos are both the fastest growing segment of the Latino electorate and the fastest growing segment of the youth electorate.

Latinos & Redistricting

Call it the under-reported story of 2011: the once-every-ten year redistricting battle, an incredible opportunity for shifting political power.  The 2010 Census, the basis of redistricting, confirms the growth and evolution of the US Latino population.  But how will redistricting reflect that change?

That is the question posed in a recent New York Times piece by Monica Davey, which features a familiar face, Andres Ramirez.  The article opens by focusing on Nevada, where a booming Latino population has earned the state an extra seat in Congress: 

“There is consensus about one thing: that one of these districts is going to give the best opportunity yet for Latinos to elect a candidate of their choice, and that puts us in a very pivotal position,” said Andres Ramirez, a political consultant and leader of the Nevada Latino Redistricting Coalition. The group has drawn its own map — a very different one from that proposed by the state’s Republicans, but also different from the ones offered by the Democrats.

Latinos have become the political football this year,” Mr. Ramirez said.

There are, of course, complicated question around what successful redistricting looks like for this community.  Is it about carving out districts where Latino candidates can win big?  Or is it about carving out several districts where they can win at all?  And in a state like Nevada that has very recently witnessed the rise and fall of anti-Latino candidates, is it about spreading the electorate around enough to hold each potential representative accountable to the larger community? 

Recap: Today’s White House Hispanic Policy Conference

Today Kristian and I were lucky enough to be among the participants in the White House's Hispanic Policy Conference.  Issues covered included education, health care, science and technology, immigration, and housing.  The break out sessions I was in were largely participant driven and focused on local leaders and practitioners, not the beltway insiders. 


What I began to notice by the end of the day is that across issue areas there is a common disconnect between what the federal government offers and what the American public, particularly members of the Latino community, know they have access to.  Connecting local communities with the programs that are meant to help them remains the macro structural challenge.


Here's another way of looking at it:  today, #AtTheWH, the Twitter hashtag used for the  policy conference was a trending topic in Washington, DC.  The real measure of success will be making it, along with the information shared, a trending topic across the country. 

What the 2010 Census Means for the 2012 Election

Last week NDN hosted a panel discussion on what the 2010 Census means for the 2012 Election.  Morley Winograd, NDN Fellow and co-author of Millennial Makeover, one of New York Times Ten Favorite Books of 2008, and the forthcoming Millenium Momentum, focused on the growth of the Millennial Generation and the importance of engaging this fast-growing portion of the electorate.  Joel Kotkin, an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, and the crtically acclaimed author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, offered his thoughts on migration within America (particularly to the South and West), and what those changes mean for state and national politics.  Carlos Odio, the former Deputy Latino Vote Director for Obama for America and Deputy Associate Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and now the Director of Special Projects at New Organizing Institute, offered reflections on the changing Latino electorate and how and where their participation will make an impact in 2012.

Some of the most interesting questions came from our audience, who wondered if the midterm turnout rates were a predictor of 2012 enthusiasm among Millennials and Latinos, and whether the administration's policy priorities matched the electorate's priorities.

We plan to continue the census series, so be sure to send any ideas for future programming to Alicia at

Invite: Mon. June 20th Event -- What the 2010 Census Means for the 2012 Elections

America is going through profound demographic change.   The latest census results affirm what we at NDN have been saying for years: the Hispanic population is booming, the population is moving to the South and to the West,  and the Millennial Generation is on the rise.   But what does this new data tell us about how both parties will need to retool going into the 2012 elections?   What do these demographic shifts mean for American politics?

Join us on Monday, June 20th at 5:30pm ET for a panel discussion on what the 2010 Census means for the 2012 Election.  Morley Winograd, NDN Fellow and co-author of Millennial Makeover, one of New York Times Ten Favorite Books of 2008, and the forthcoming Millenium Momentum, will join us to discuss the growth of the Millennial Generation and how this fast-growing portion of the electorate can be engaged.  Joel Kotkin, an internationally-recognized authority on global, economic, political and social trends, and the crtically acclaimed author of The Next Hundred Million: America in 2050, will offer thoughts on migration within America, how suburbs and city-centers will change to accommodate population growth, and what those changes mean for state and national politics.  Carlos Odio, the former Deputy Latino Vote Director for Obama for America and Deputy Associate Director of the White House Office of Political Affairs, and now the Director of Special Projects at New Organizing Institute, will offer reflections on the changing Latino electorate and how and where their participation will make an impact in 2012.

Following the panel, there will be a brief reception with light refreshments.  Be sure to RSVP here.   

For background, be sure to check out the past work of NDN's 21st Century America Project.

EMERGE Panel: "My Journey" Panel Discussion & Networking Reception

Emerge Series
June 9, 5:30pm
The Donovan House, 1155 14th Street NW


Join NDN Senior Advisor Alicia Menendez as she moderates a panel of emerging Latino leaders for this year's EMERGE series.  Panelists include Ingrid M. Duran, co-founder D&P Creative Strategies; Roderic Olvera Young,
Senior Vice President, Chair of Global Reputation Management Practice, MSLGROUP; and Victor Anger, Vice President, Agency in the Mid-Atlantic, State Farm.  The event is sponsored by Poder Magazine. 

Marco Rubio: Is a great last name enough to woo national Latino voters?

Marco Rubio: Latino friend or foe?  That's the question posed in today's Al Dia:

Líderes hispanos y activistas de inmigración esperaban que Rubio tomara una postura más moderada en vistas de una campaña electoral, pero en su lugar, el republicano ha tomado una postura de mayor oposición al DREAM-Act, y se refiere a cualquier medida que no esté relacionada con la seguridad fronteriza y al verificación de estatus migratorio para trabajar, como “amnistía”.

In short, activists continue to hope that Senator Rubio's position on immigration will evolve...back to what it was.  From Scott Wong at Politico:

as a state lawmaker in 2003 and 2004, Rubio co-sponsored a bill providing an in-state tuition break for high-achieving children of illegal immigrants. As speaker of the Florida House, Rubio blocked several bills from coming to the floor, saying it was Washington’s responsibility to solve the immigration problem.

But rather than stepping up on the issue, Rubio has stepped back.  From Politico:

...backed by grass-roots tea party activists on the campaign trail, Rubio tacked right on the immigration issue and never looked back. He endorsed Arizona’s controversial immigration law that is being challenged by the Obama administration in the courts. And he opposed an earlier version of the DREAM Act that was twice filibustered by Republicans in the Senate.

“My position is unchanged from the campaign that I ran on,” Rubio said. “I’m not here to break campaign promises.”

Marco Rubio is undoubtedly smart and charming.  His future is bright.  He has an opportunity here to demonstrate leadership and to act as a bridge between disparate communities.  Instead, he is playing it safe.  That is the real crisis of leadership. 

Rubio's name is freqently mentioned as a Republican vice-presidential candidate.  The implication is that having a Hispanic on the ticket makes it easier for Republicans to win in the Sunbelt.  But a last name isn't enough to woo Latino voters.  While Rubio carried the Cuban vote, he did not carry the non-Cuban vote in his own state.  If Rubio wants to be a national player he will need to take up the mantle of reform for his people, for his party, for America.  If he doesn't, it will be a big loss for him, for his party and for the people who sent him to congress. 

Demographic Explosion Underscores NDN's Predictions

As census news and analysis begins to roll in, we at NDN could not be more excited. For years the team at NDN/NPI has been a leader in helping policymakers better understand the changing demographics of the United States. In the coming year, we are excited to continue our role as interpreter of what these changes mean.

Below you can find some of our 21st Century America efforts, including spot-on demographic analysis by Mike Hais, Morley Winograd and other members of the NDN team and clairvoyant political analysis from Simon on how these demographic shifts are changing modern politics.  I hope you'll take a minute to read these pieces and compare where our analysis was to where we find ourselves today. 

A Continued Look at the Changing Coalitions of 21st Century America, Poll and Presentation, by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

Hispanics Rising 2010

The American Electorate of the 21st Century, Poll and Presentation, by Mike Hais and Morley Winograd

End of the Southern Strategy, by Simon Rosenberg

The 50 Year Strategy, by Simon Rosenberg and Peter Leyden in Mother Jones

This Week in the 21st Century America Project

Inspired by “Ya es hora” campaign, Asian-Americans in California begin a major citizenship push

Joseph Berger at The New York Times has a great article about ethnic job niches.  In his piece, Berger suggests that as Koreans and Italians move out, Latinos are moving up:

The Koreans who streamed to the United States in the 1970s were often middle-class professionals who might have needed years to learn English and obtain their American credentials in engineering or chemistry. But a small nest egg might buy a store in a ragged neighborhood, and there were plenty of fruit markets and delis being forsaken by aging Italians and Jews. These older immigrants sold out to Koreans partly because the children they had sent to college did not want to inherit a business where they would have to lift fruit cartons. “The niche is not disappearing, but the previous occupants are,” Professor Kasinitz said.

A perfect illustration is what’s happening now: Since fewer South Koreans are leaving their now-prosperous homeland, and college-educated Korean offspring here want less grueling work, Latinos who once worked for the Koreans are taking over their stores. Similarly, Italian landscapers in the suburbs are slowly giving way to companies started by the Latino laborers the Italians once hired to cut grass.

So here’s my question:  once Latinos take over Korean delis, do we start calling them bodegas?  And in gentrifying neighborhoods, who is going to run those bodegas when the Latinos move out?  The hipsters?

And, Latino Decisions has a new tracking poll out showing that while Latino support for the Affordable Care Act remains high, it has decreased over time.  From today’s release:

Latino support for maintaining the law remains higher than the general public, as 49% of the sample report that the Affordable Care Act “should be left as law” compared to 31% who believe that the “bill should be repealed”.  Thus, compared to the general public at large, Latinos demonstrate a much lower preference for repeal (31% compared to 46% in Gallup).  However Latino support for Obama’s health care plan has dipped over time.

Matt Barreto, LD’s lead pollster suggests that perhaps the dip can be attributed to a lack of White House outreach.  What do you think? Was this a missed opportunity?

This Week in the 21st Century America Project

This weekend, singer Shakira was honored by the Harvard Foundation for her artistic and humanitarian work.  After the ceremony, Shakira offered a message of hope to the Latino community:

The Grammy Award-winning singer...said Latino immigrants in the U.S. facing various anti-immigrant bills will have "justice" as public awareness about their plight grows.

"Justice will come. I'm sure," Shakira told The Associated Press after the award ceremony. "Wherever there is ... a kid, who could be the son or the daughter of a Latino immigrant, who cannot attend a school in the United States of America, that kid should be a concern to all of us and our responsibility."

Shakira's sentiment is on-point with the results of a Pew Research poll released just last week which show that despite a rise in extreme rhetoric against Hispanic immigrants, including the emergence of a campaign to change the 14th ammendment, a majority of Americans oppose such radical proposals.  According to Bruce Drake at Politics Daily:

Proposals to deny citizenship to what immigration hardliners call "anchor babies" born in the U.S. to illegal immigrant parents are unpopular with the public. Fifty-seven percent oppose changing the Constitution's 14th amendment that grants automatic citizenship to anyone born on American soil. Thirty-nine percent favor changing the amendment and 4 percent are undecided.

Pew also released a different set of research last week - one examining the digital habits of Latinos and African-Americans.  The study found that Latinos have less home broadband access than black Americans but share similar rates of Internet and mobile use. Other key findings include both groups using mobile technology for internet access in the absence of home broadband.  Unsurprisingly, more acculturated Latinos reported greater online usage than their less acculturated peers.  In addition, when researchers controlled for income and education, the numbers were consistent across racial groups.  Jill Duffy has a good rundown of the data here.   

Finally, Chuck Raasch uses the scene in Wisconsin to examine the difference between Millennials and other generation when it comes to cooperation and combat.  You can read it here.

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