Has it ever been more crucial for political candidates to target Latino voters? If skyrocketing trends in population growth and the immigration issue tell us anything, the answer is a resounding yes, and it’s something radio continues to explore.
This election year and next, targeting Latino voters will be vital for local and national office-seekers. Jose Parra, who had worked for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, split last year to form Prospero Latino, a political consulting firm targeting Hispanic candidates and issues. “There will be big spending in radio in 2016,” he says. “It continues to be important and it’s changing because radio is where candidates can reach newer communities of Hispanics, in places like Georgia and North Carolina.” And, he notes, radio has a historic connection to political activism in this country. He points out that in 2006 and ‘07, when Hispanics mobilized to press for immigration reform, “most of that was fueled by Hispanic DJ’s across the country. That made it a really important political voice.” Demographically, Hispanics are also young and avid radio listeners. That gives the reach and frequency of radio a big boost with that voting bloc.
The importance of the Latino vote didn’t escape Walter Ulloa, Entravision CEO, on the company’s recent second-quarter earnings call. “Every day, we read another article about the growing influence of the Latino electorate,” he said. “As it relates to the political elections, we're certainly in contact weekly with both major parties, Democrats and Republicans, about the national race as well as local races.”