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Can Innovative Targeting Help with Latino Voters?

from Campaigns & Elections Magazine
March 10, 2014

“The growing Latino market with their growing political clout is making them a valuable target for not just political campaigns but businesses,” says Roger Salazar, who recently left a position at Mercury LLC to launch ALZA Strategies—his own Latino-focused shop. “I do believe it is a strongly under-served market.”
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The Hispanic vote, both parties say, is still up for grabs, and consultants are scrambling to shop their services to each side as they ramp up efforts to win more of the fast-growing and increasingly influential voting demographic. A general lack of support for immigration reform, inflammatory rhetoric from a few party firebrands, and dubiously tenable ideas such as “self-deportation” has sent the GOP’s support from Hispanics lower and lower since George W. Bush’s presidency...

...Without reassurances to offer on immigration, GOP candidates still have a hard sell with Latinos.

“When Latino voters start distrusting you on the immigration issue, they start distrusting you on a lot of other issues as well,” Judy says. “If they think that a candidate is nativist, or anti-Hispanic or anti-immigration, they’re not going to want to vote for that candidate regardless of whether or not they agree with them on education policy or Obamacare.”

Still, for political professionals looking to corner the Latino consulting market, it can be a difficult proposition. That’s what John Nienstedt learned after launching the Latino-focused polling firm Latino Edge Research with Hector Barajas last year.

“It’s like everything. Some good reaction. Other times it’s not,” Nienstedt says. That said, Democratic consultants also see new openings in the market.

“The growing Latino market with their growing political clout is making them a valuable target for not just political campaigns but businesses,” says Roger Salazar, who recently left a position at Mercury LLC to launch ALZA Strategies—his own Latino-focused shop. “I do believe it is a strongly under-served market.”

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