Elections 2020: Florida’s Hispanic vote will be strategic

Nobody can denied the importance of the Hispanic Vote in US, especially, when this group grew importantly during the last years. In fact, Florida’s Hispanic electorate grew by 81 percent between the 2014 and 2018 midterm elections. Moreover, Hispanics who registered to vote as independents grew by 101 percent, meaning Hispanics are the fastest-growing portion of Florida’s electorate heading into the 2020 election.

Other relevant fact is that the voters are younger than previous elections. Univision CEO Vincent Sadusky said in a statement. “2020 is shaping up to be an especially competitive election and, particularly in many large states including Florida with significant Latino populations, we have no doubt Hispanic America will play a key role in picking the next president and which party controls Congress.”

According to MiamiHerald, this is one of the reason because Florida Sen. Rick Scott focused heavily on Hispanic voters in his successful 2018 campaign, spending millions to run Spanish-language ads during major events like the 2018 FIFA World Cup and touting his visits to Puerto Rico throughout the campaign. The Spanish-language TV campaigning, combined with an anti-socialism message in South Florida, helped Scott and Gov. Ron DeSantis win narrow victories over Democrats.

The same source showed another interesting piece of data: how Hispanic Republicans in the city of Miami shaped statewide races. Despite voter registration growth among Hispanics in Miami-Dade lagging behind statewide Hispanic growth rates, turnout among Hispanics in Miami-Dade was three percentage points higher than the statewide Hispanic average. That means more Hispanic voters who were previously registered showed up at the polls, evidence that older, Cuban-American voters who tend to vote Republican showed up in 2018. In many precincts across Miami-Dade, Scott and DeSantis outperformed Donald Trump’s 2016 showing.

For sure, next elections will be again an interesting political event in the US. If you are the responsible for the marketing budget on the next Elections 2020, what are you going to do?

More resources:


Latin American elections 2019

2019 Elections in Central & South America: Improvement or Status Quo?

On the heels of the 2018 elections that brought Colombia’s (Ivan Duque), Mexico’s (AMLO Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador) and Brazil’s (Jair Bolsonaro) new leaders to the top post in Latin America, the 2019 elections may not be seen as reaching the same level of impact on the world stage.  However, for the six countries planning elections in 2019, elections are always key to defining whether the future for which path these countries take.

Latin American Countries with elections in 2019

  • Argentina
  • Uruguay
  • Bolivia
  • Panama
  • El Salvador
  • Guatemala

For details of the election timing and key concerns, Americas Society / Council of the Americas is a great resource.

While Argentina represents the largest economy and a country facing numerous challenges, for the U.S., there is definitely a focus on Central America which is a key source of the immigration debate.

For Central America, the challenge is how to combat the violence and corruption that has been a key challenge to these developing countries.  For example, Guatemalans, who in the last election elected an ex comedian on a slogan of  “not a thief, nor a crook” who has ended up in a constitutional showdown with the UN-backed anticorruption CICIG and seems to be the opposite of his slogan.  Will there be a return to politics as normal, or will the next president go beyond slogans and actually embrace international anticorruption efforts.

No Easy Answers:

There are no easy answers for many of these countries.  While Argentina is facing a recession and inflation after Macri’s first term is trying to help the country rebound from more than a decade of Kirchner’s, Guatemala and Bolivia have constitutional challenges, and countries such as El Salvador have spent so many years of violence there are questions as to whether any politician will be able to make significant changes and bring stability to their countries.

Is there Hope?

As long as the people have a choice and elections are relatively fair, the politicians at the very least have to answer to the public.  Large protests against Guatemala’s president trying to oust the UN backed CiCIG to the judicial systems still maintaining some sort of check on power there is some hope.  However the road is full of challenges for many of these countries.


Political Outreach to Hispanic Voters - HELP

Really!! Google Translate – Presidential candidates showing ineptitude in reaching out to Hispanic voters.

Reaching Hispanics in language can have numerous pitfalls that even pose a challenge for native Spanish speakers, but the errors being made by political candidates for the top job in the U.S. is an impressive show of laziness.

Politico reviewed numerous Spanish language pages of some presidential candidates and found many to be lacking.  Following is an excerpt from the Politico article: which has some excellent examples of missteps.

While Google Translate can serve as a workable starting point, more often than not it needs a human hand to produce Spanish that would pass muster with a native speaker.

As with any outreach to the Hispanic or any other multicultural audience, if you plan on reaching out in language, it is extremely important to get it right.  If you can’t, then stick to English.

According to Pew Research: Mapping the Latino electorate there were more than 29 million latinos that were eligible to vote in the 2018 midterm elections.  In states such as California (30%), New Mexico (42%), Texas (30%) among others where the percentage of eligible voters being Hispanic, reaching this audience the right way is important.

While acknowledging that Hispanic voters are important is the easy part, the effort by both the Republican National Committee (GOP) as well as the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is lacking.  If the major committees are unable or unwilling to put forth the effort, what can you expect from political candidates.  Some examples of the Latino/Hispanic pages from the major political parties show a severe lack of effort to reach out to this part of the latino electorate.

 

For anyone who has written in a second language, mistakes will happen, and to some extent when you see candidates make the attempt to speak in another language, some mistakes are understandable, but if your campaign or brand is serious about reaching out to bilingual and Spanish dominant Hispanics, there are inexpensive and simple ways to do it.  There are numerous certified translators, qualified multicultural agencies, and most likely a native speaker nearby that can assist.

The Politico article evaluated numerous sites for Democratic presidential candidates and is worth reviewing.  Here is just one example to see where some candidates are missing out.

Additional Resources:

Pew Hispanic: Mapping the Latino electorate

Reach Multicultural: Multicultural Voter Resources

Alcance Media Group – Multicultural Political Advertising

Republican National Committee: GOP Hispanic page

Democratic National Committee: Latinos

 


canary in the coal mine Venezuala is in trouble

Asylum applications - canary in the coal mine

With pending elections throughout many countries in Latin America, the spotlight is on the numerous challenges facing the region, and specifically the Venezuela elections.  From organizations fighting “fake news” in Mexico elections to those that are a foregone conclusion such as Venezuela.  Elections have a ripple effect throughout all of the americas and one look no further than asylum applications and immigration numbers to see which countries are in the most trouble.  In a CNN article regarding Venezuelans fleeing the situation in Venezuela a couple of pictures tell the story.

Asylum applications 2017 comparing Venezuela, China and Mexico

Asylum Applications from Venezualans to US 2015-16

The key reason that individuals or families uproot and move to another country where there is still uncertainty is because they are almost certain that the current situation will not improve in the near term.  Whether civil war such as that of Colombia, to gangs such as Central America, to economic mismanagement a la Venezuela immigrants and asylum seekers are merely looking to improve their situation.

I was traveling in Venezuela shortly after the election of Hugo Chavez.  During my travels I met an executive from a global CPG company and very quickly it was evident that they saw the writing on the wall and were going to start moving many key assets out of the country.  Sure enough, the government started to implement policies that made it almost impossible for companies to do business in the country (most recently the government took over Kellogg’s facilities).  For a summary of the current situation in Venezuela this segment from Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has brief rundown prior to the Venezuela elections.

 

For the first time Venezuelan asylum seekers to the United States have outnumbered that of Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador.  Just like a major influx in Colombian asylum seekers in the past (which has since calmed as the country has stabilized and prospered), one key statistic to signal where in the world major problems are brewing is asylum applications.

While the current government in Venezuela is sure to win the “election” on Sunday May 20, 2018, the more important questions is whether the people of the country will survive another six year term or if something changes.

 


Mexico Elections: Facing challenges in 2018

In a year with multiple presidential elections happening through Latin America, the region and specifically the Mexico elections on July 1, 2018 face challenges. Just like the United States and the much publicized “fake news” phenomena, the issue is a global one and all countries are battling against disruptions in their systems whether from foreign governments, bots, or extremist rhetoric the battle is only beginning.

Slide from Latin America presentation by Le Black Room at Campaign Tech East 2018
Slide from Latin America presentation by Le Black Room at Campaign Tech East 2018

Returning from a political conference in Washington D.C. where “fake news” was a frequent discussion point, I came across America’s Quarterly (free at the American Airlines lounge) and there was an interesting breakdown of the key players in the Mexico election.  Corruption, crime and of course the economy will make the battle on July 1, 2018 an interesting one.  And while the debate may rage on which direction the country should go, and each person has their opinion on which candidate would be the best, the even bigger challenge is to make sure that there is accurate information for the voters to make an informed decisions during the Mexico elections of 2018.

Political advertising itself runs a broad spectrum and each campaign will defend itself as well as work to shine a negative light on the shortcomings of the other candidates.  Now with the proliferation of fake accounts, bots, unscrupulous campaigns now even have more resources to proliferate false information so the challenge is even harder for finding accurate information.  So, what is  or can be done?

  • Don’t just trust a headline or social media post.  The issues with social media are well documented
  • Traditional news sources (broadcast, print, and digital) have a code of journalistic ethics and years of experience.
  • Government voter pamphlets are a starting point for research on initiatives & candidates.
  • Fact checking organizations (again, worth reviewing process and who is supporting).  In the United States there are numerous, however in Latin America there are still some beyond the traditional media such as Verificado2018 / Verificado.MX (Mexico).

For the Mexico elections #Verificado2018 is supported by over 60 publications (from La Economista, Forbes, El Universal, Milenio, Televisa and more) and is non partisan.  While there is nothing that can replace reading and thinking about the information and sources, having these resources may help should you have questions about the information that you are seeing.